How To Plan A Vegetable Home-Delivery Business
Agriculture has always been the chief occupation of India and is vital for the country’s economy. Agriculture employs approximately 64% of the population and agriculture has been estimated to contribute approximately 18% to the GDP and practically 40% of the total rural NDP, that is, Net Domestic Product. These figures thus give an insight into the significant influence agriculture has on the economy and highlights the importance of agriculture too.
However, in the recent times all we hear about is the plight of the farmers, the misery they are suffering and how the agricultural sector is facing troubled times. The problems range from lack of knowledge or access to proper seeds, soil, etc to poor farming techniques to facing the brunt of natural calamities to being ripped off the deserved earning due to middlemen in the market.
From the consumers point of view, people are looking to buy fresh and organic produce, preferably directly from the source itself. The demand for fresh vegetables and fruits, delivered at the doorstep has risen substantially owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are hesitant to step out, especially to crowded places such as the vegetable market and would prefer the home delivery of vegetables and fruits.
Thinking from the farmers point of view, one of the biggest obstacles faced by farmers is the presence of middlemen. These middlemen purchase vegetables and fruits from farmers at very low rates and then sell the same in the market at higher rates, thus eating into the profit ideally deserved by the farmers. What the farmers need is to make their products reach directly to the consumers. And consumers too would prefer a doorstep delivery service of fruits and vegetables.
This demand for delivery of fresh vegetables has given more momentum to the already popular vegetable home delivery business. The popularity of this business is set to rise, as can be judged from reports suggesting that the global organic vegetables and fruits market is expected to grow at CAGR 12% by the year 2027. The COVID-19 situation has further given a boost to the vegetable home delivery business, as several entrepreneurs are venturing into it or plan to, given its popularity and profitability.
But the vegetable home delivery business is not new, in fact, it is one of the oldest businesses. However, by adding the benefits of technology to the vegetable home delivery business plan, it can get a new perspective and thus be able to reach out to a wider customer base. Technology has always come to the aid of various business domains including agriculture, and therefore technology can be used beneficially for the vegetable home delivery business too.
Benefits Of Vegetable Home Delivery Business
Agriculture is one of the country’s oldest occupation and has always been important. In fact a cumulative FDI or Foreign Direct Investment equity inflow of about US$ 9.08 billion was achieved between April 2000 to March 2019 in the agriculture sector alone, giving an insight into the scope for development and growth in business ideas related to agriculture. And vegetable home delivery business is a great business opportunity to explore, especially by adding the advantages of technology to it.
One of the chief concerns of farmers is the price cut they suffer in their profits owing to the middlemen in the market who take away the majority of the share. A vegetable home delivery business can help eliminate the middlemen and provide a farm to fork service to consumers whereby the farm produce (fruits and vegetables) can reach directly to the end users in a fresh condition and at best prices (suitable for both, the farmer and consumer). This is the biggest advantage of a fruit and vegetables home delivery business for the farmers.
Some of the other benefits of vegetable home delivery business include-
- It provides access to fresh and high quality vegetables and fruits.
- The doorstep delivery makes it convenient for customers as they save up on time and resources which would otherwise have been spent to go to the market to purchase groceries.
- Customers can get access to organic produce too, which in turn will benefit their health and wellbeing.
- The consumers can make the purchase online, via a cashless facility too, which can be an added convenience.
- In these COVID-19 times, getting fruits and vegetable home delivered is a safe and secure option, along with being hygienic.
These are some of the advantages of the vegetable home delivery business.
How To Plan A Vegetable Home-Delivery Business
Now that it is clear that a vegetable home delivery business plan is a sureshot winner, given its demand and profitability, the next step is to learn how to start a vegetable home delivery business successfully.
- Make A Business Plan
The starting point for every business is to make a business plan. A fruit and vegetable home delivery business plan is a written document that outlines the entire plan for the business- its goal, objective, methods planned to be used to achieve the goals, the equipment and investment required for the goals, and the expected timeline within which the entrepreneur plans to accomplish the said goal. The contents of a vegetable home delivery business plan include-
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Research and Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Management and Operations Description
- Financial Summary
- Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy
To ensure that all the above essential points are included in the vegetable home delivery business plan entrepreneurs can Download business planning checklist to prepare a thorough and detailed business plan.
- Conduct On-Field Research
When planning a vegetable home delivery business, entrepreneurs need to carry out thorough research and analysis. The main research to ensure farm-to-fork fresh fruits and vegetables is to carry out on-field analysis and create a network of several farmers who will supply these products. The entrepreneurs need to identify farmers in the vicinity of the urban area that they plan to cater to or they can first identify the farms and agricultural areas they want to source the products from. Also, while conducting the research entrepreneurs need to ensure that the farmers are able to offer a variety of produce, such as several different varieties of fruits and vegetables. The terms and conditions along with the pricing and costing details also need to be discussed with the farmers beforehand, in order to start the vegetable home delivery business on the right note.
- Implement Technology
A vegetable home delivery business in the present times needs the implementation of technology to make it more relevant. Therefore, both the agricultural aspect as well as the technological aspects are equally important for the business and need to be worked on in the planning stage.
In order to eliminate the role of middlemen, entrepreneurs can introduce technology to connect the farmers (and their produce) directly with the customers via a platform. This platform can either be a website or even an app where the daily produce available can be updated. Another alternative can be to use WhatsApp business account to enlist the vegetables and fruits available for ordering and allow the customers to order directly via the WhatsApp business account. These are easy ways to adapt too for the farmers as well as an easy ordering process to follow for the consumers. Setting up a business account or creating a website or app can be done easily with the right technical knowledge. What the entrepreneurs require is good pictures of the fruits and vegetables on offer along with daily updates on the day or weeks produce availability.
- Consider The Technicalities
Apart from setting up the channel through which the farmers can connect with the customers, entrepreneurs also need to devise a plan for the doorstep delivery of the produce for the vegetable home delivery business. They can invest in a delivery truck or van to reach the doorstep directly from the farm and even devise a delivery schedule, location wise. An e-bike or two wheeler can also be used as a more economical alternative.
The packaging of the products also needs to be considered. The farmers can be taught to package the produce appropriately post harvesting at the farm itself to avoid handling the fruits and vegetables repeatedly. Else entrepreneurs can take care of the packaging themselves, using plastic vacuumised bags or cardboard boxes or net or cloth bags.
Along with the packaging, entrepreneurs also need to consider investing in a cold storage refrigerator to store highly perishable items. Alternatively, entrepreneurs can invest in a cold storage facility vehicle to store as well as deliver the vegetables, thereby taking care of two essentials at once.
- Calculate Capital Requirements
In order to successfully kickoff a vegetable home delivery business entrepreneurs need to consider and make certain investments. These include-
- Investing in creating a digital (tech) channel to connect the farmers and consumers
- Purchase the produce from the farmers first while waiting for payments from the consumers
- Purchase delivery vehicle/s
- Investing in packaging material as well as storage facility or equipment
- Employing staff to help with the procurement and delivery of farm produce.
- Investing in a marketing and advertising plan.
- Procuring business incorporation and other necessary registrations required for the vegetable home delivery business.
It is vital to note down all the expenses, to calculate the capital required to start the business. Also, it is crucial to figure out where this capital can come from, whether in the form of a loan or an investment from a firm or from family etc. This process of finalizing where to procure a loan from can be made easy as entrepreneurs can compare options & apply for MSME business loan via deAsra’s services.
Additionally it is equally important to calculate the input- output costs and expected timeline for the same to decipher the viability of the business.
- Devise A Marketing And Advertising Plan
The next vital step is to design a marketing plan for the fruits and vegetable home delivery business to cater to a wider customer base. Entrepreneurs can definitely make use of digital marketing methods to spread the word about the business and reach out to the desired audience, such as via Facebook and WhatsApp.
Entrepreneurs can even think of different ways to create a loyal customer base, such as by offering monthly or yearly vegetable and fruit delivery subscription packages or creating combination deals and offers and even offering discounts. Marketing and advertising are necessary for the success of every business venture and therefore need to be planned in detail while planning the business itself.
These are just some of the essential factors that need to be considered when planning a fruit and vegetable home delivery business. As with any startup, there will be some hiccups on the entrepreneurial path which can be either solved by referring to the above details or by approaching deAsra for any entrepreneurial query or concern.