HOW TO REALIZE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION TO VENTURE INTO AGRIBUSINESS
As we start the year 2014 many Kenyans have made a resolution to venture into agribusiness as fulltime employment or as a side hustle. Agriculture in the country is no longer seen as mere hobby farming- a laborious venture with lot of waiting period for benefits and returns but rather as a business, a source of employment for the youths, a source of livelihood and most importantly a sector that will contribute to the growth of the Kenyan economy. To succeed in agribusiness and agriculture entrepreneurship, it is important that we are armed with not only the relevant information, right and appropriate skills but also have a strong desire and passion as any other venture. Below are few tips to people out there with desire to go into any part of Agriculture and Agribusiness or are already into it.
1. Expect the best, prepare for the worst. This may be a generic tip for most things that are risky in nature but it applies perfectly well to agribusiness. If one has yet to determine the specifics of a venture like your production history or the right strategy for boosting produce, it is more prudent to expect a few lows before you can begin to dream about the highs. For example, it is fairly common for new businesses to put up red numbers for a few months before profits begin to turn. This can be alarming for young entrepreneurs, and the best advice that can only be given is to expect these lows, be prepared for them, not panic, and work hard at it before profits can be made.
2. Have a business plan. Like any other venture, agribusiness requires a well prepared business plan. A business plan is fundamentally a planning tool; it allocates resources and measures the results of your actions. It also helps you set realistic goals and make decisions. A lack of planning leaves you poorly equipped to anticipate future decisions and actions necessary to run your venture.
3. Be Fully Committed. Successful entrepreneurs are people who are fully committed to their business ventures. You have to be prepared to put your heart and soul into what you’re doing. You have to truly believe in your product or service, and be prepared to work long hours to get others to believe in your product or service, too. You have to be ready to go without treats such as holidays, and even necessities such as salary, for what may seem like an endless stretch of time.
4. Leverage on the Skills Experience and Knowledge of others. “Learn from the mistakes of others-you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.” There is so much you can learn from other people who have ventured in agribusiness before, in the digital era of internet and social media one can learn from all over the world and request for advice from strangers. Don’t be scared to ask, Sometimes a seemingly innocent question uncovers a touchy subject. But it can also put you on the road to a breakthrough.
5. Network and Join the right support Organizations: Trust me, being part of the right networks and organizations either online or offline makes it possible to gain access to information and resources needed. Attend field days, engage in social media such as blogs, twitter and face book that relates to agriculture.
6. Use professionals. Be willing to spend money and time to utilize the assistance of a qualified veterinarian or agricultural extension officer. Cheap is expensive, and trying to save the cost by not consulting professionals will cost you more in long run.
7. Be patient. No tree gives fruit overnight. For the fruit to appear, the tree has to undergo several phases. Similar is the success in any business venture. You need to be patient to reap the fruits of your toil. You need to keep your effort through the lean phase. You need to be steady and focused.
Venturing into any business is never easy but it is not impossible. Pay attention to these tips plus others and listen to the experienced farmers around you who can help you learn what it takes to be successful in your chosen agribusiness.
Success in your venture