One of the foremost essential for survival is food. It is an integral and vital element, so much so that food as well as those providing food are revered and respected in the country. In fact farmers are termed as the ‘andata’ or the food providers, with much reverence. However these food providers (farmers), despite the respect received are only the food producers, who concentrate only on the process of growing crops and tending to their farms. The important task is to connect the farmers or their products with the consumers or the end users in the market. This is achieved by those who deal in selling vegetables and they can be termed as the true andatas or food providers since they form the link between the farmers and the customers. Owing to the vital role played by those supplying vegetables and fresh produce to the customers, vegetable selling business is a great business idea to explore. Vegetable selling helps in the supply of the extremely essential products to the consumers. But this business has the added responsibility of ensuring that the hard work and fruit of labour of the farmers is not wasted and their produce gets a good price in the market and the farmers benefit from the noble occupation of the vegetable sellers and suppliers.
A vegetable selling business is an excellent business opportunity as it deals with commodities that are essential for survival and needed on a daily basis. Also, the increased awareness regarding healthy eating, consuming fresh foods and preferably eating local produce has risen and so has the demand for freshly sourced farm produce.
Chores Involved In Vegetable Business
The tasks involved in vegetable selling business include deciding whether to grow the produce and sell it too or just source the produce from cultivators and farmers and sell. Entrepreneurs can produce their own vegetables and fruits on a farm or can even start small on a patch of garden or even a terrace space and get that produce directly to the customers. Alternatively, they can team up with several farmers who concentrate only on their farms and cultivation jobs while the entrepreneurs handle the marketing of the farm produce. The next task involves investing in or arranging for appropriate transportation to carry the fresh vegetables and fruits from the farms and fields to the market place (or vegetable shop), while ensuring that the produce remains fresh and intact. The vegetables can either be transported to the main market or the entrepreneur can even invest in a vehicle or cart that takes the vegetables to various localities and residential areas for selling.
The vegetable business is a vital business that will always be in demand as customers are going to need fresh vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. However, this business idea is not novel and has been there since the very beginning (owing to its essential nature), but the business needs to revamp itself to be relevant in the changing times and to stand out against the various vegetable vendors already existing and operating their business in the traditional manner. There is a need for introducing technology and marketing techniques, including digital advertising methods to the traditional methods of the vegetable business. New ideas and technology will help the business grow and will also help to connect with customers of all ages groups, especially with the millennials and younger generation.
Vegetable Business Plan
The revamping and upgradation of the vegetable selling business requires thorough planning and this is possible by creating a vegetable selling business plan. A business plan is a document that describes the entire business in detail, along with its goals, objectives, vision and mission. Thus, the business plan elaborates on the exact nature of the business, the direction in which the entrepreneur wants to take his business and the plan of action conceived in order to reach the desired goal. A business plan is essential to formulate while planning the business and it’s expansion strategies because the business plan helps the entrepreneur streamline the business ideas into a proper direction, thus bringing them into fructition. Also, down the road, once the business has started, the business plan helps entrepreneurs stay true to their vision and not get waylaid. Further, while applying for loans or funding for the business and it’s expansion, a business plan helps give the bank officials get an idea regarding the exact nature of the business and the plans for the business. Thus, a vegetable business plan is quite essential while revamping the business and a business planning checklist must be referred to while designing the business plan to ensure that it is comprehensive and complete. A few essential details to be included in the business plan include-
The business model includes the exact nature of the business and the ways to conduct the business. Details such as if the entrepreneur is going to grow the vegetables and then sell them or going to source it from various vendors and then take it to the market is to be mentioned in the plan. Also details of how the business owner plans to sell the produce must be mentioned, for instance, set up a shop in the market place or have a moving vegetable cart that visits different localities or even provide a door to door delivery of vegetables in a specifically designed vehicle. The vegetable business requires few equipment too for the business, such as a large truck for transportation, delivery dolly, boxes to keep the produce, tables, display bins, measuring scale, and tent like structure or awning in case of setting up a booth at the market and a refrigerated vehicle if delivering the produce to various restaurants or in bulk.
The business model must also include information on the registrations and licences that the business owner needs to obtain for conducting the business such as a Shop Act, GST registration, etc. along with details regarding how the entrepreneur plans to expand the business in the future.
The business plan must include details of the business entity that the vegetable business will conform to, such as a sole proprietorship or a partnership or a limited liability partnership or a one person company or any other business structure that is deemed suitable by the entrepreneur. The business entity defines the way the business will operate and also the taxation scheme and regulations applicable to the business. The concept of business entity helps keep the business separate from the business owner and gives the business an identity of its own, which helps customers and organisations (such as bulk purchasers and restaurant owners) view the business as professional and structured.
New Business & Marketing Techniques
Since the vegetable business is an old and established concept, new techniques need to be applied to the way the business is conducted along with marketing of the business. The business owner can apply digital technology to the business by taking the business online where customers can view the produce of the day and order online and get the delivery on the same day. Similarly, entrepreneurs can offer packages of certain vegetables which might be required for particular dishes, for instance they can combine all the vegetables into a package required to make Chinese fried rice and Manchurian or required for mughlai curries or for Maharashtrian amti, etc. Business owners can even provide diced and chopped vegetables in packets, which is time effective for the customers. Also, new payment methods must be made available to the customers, not just for online payment but also to those customers visiting the vegetable stall, such as e-wallet or via unified payment interfaces.
Marketing too can be done digitally along with traditional method of fliers and pamphlets. These techniques will help increase the popularity of the business, thus ensuring customers come back to the business repeatedly. While planning the business and marketing strategies, a study of the competitors and the current marketing trends need to be conducted and included in the business plan.
Investment & Funding
While elaborating on the business plan and techniques, the investment required to start and run the business must be calculated and included in the business plan. The capital requirement includes cost of shop space or while setting up a kiosk in the market along with the cost of purchasing vehicles for transportation and delivery of the produce. The cost of equipment, packaging of produce, and miscellaneous day to day expenses plus marketing expenditure needs to be included in the capital requirement. Along with the capital requirement, the plan of obtaining funding for the business must be included too. Sources of funding can be either from bank or NBFC loans or via borrowings from friends and family. These details need to be mentioned in the business plan.
These are some of the essentials to be included in the vegetable business plan. In the future there is a lot of scope for development and progression for the vegetable selling business, provided the business owner has a foresight and plans the business effectively, right from the beginning. For assistance with business planning and execution, business owners can contact deAsra for guidance and support.