Starting A Sustainable Farm Consulting Business
All professional fields have experts who are always consulted by people who need professional advice and guidance for a fee. They are called consultants and the service they render is called consultation.
Agriculture is also a professional field that has experts who can render consultation. If you are a master of the agric business you major in, you can offer a consultation service to people who need to know one or two secrets of your business.
What you have in your brain is an asset that should not be given out for free. It took you long years of trial and error, researches and practices to be able to master your agric business, so you are in a position to be able to coach anyone who doesn’t want to go through the same stress you went through to become successful.
Coaching can be one-on-one or group coaching. This means you can be paid by one person to have a private consultation or you can do the same for many people at the same time, this is called group consultation.
There are two sets of people who are always looking for consultants for help in the agricultural sector; they are those that want to start a farm or any agric business and those who are already into the business but want to expand.
You as an expert need to be able to know how to approach the needs of these people based on your experiences.
HOW TO POSITION YOURSELF AS A CONSULTANT
First thing first, you must be very knowledgeable in your field and must have results to back it up. You must not have all the knowledge and donkey years of experience, but it’s necessary you have the right knowledge.
Next, you must showcase yourself as a professional for many people to perceive you as one and then contact you.
Here are some simple proven ways to position yourself as an expert.
Create A Professional Social Media Account
Create a professional Facebook or Twitter or account or both and always post content about your business. Content can be in the form of a written post, pictures and videos. These content must be about your area of expertise; make sure they are well crafted and simple to understand.
If you are consistent enough, people will notice you and start asking questions in your comment section. Provide them answers, by so doing, you are creating an impression in their minds.
Join An Online Community Of Farmers
This could be a Facebook group dedicated to agriculture and agribusiness alone. Here, you do the same thing you do with your personal Facebook account, give so much value consistently.
The advantage of this professional platform is the large number of people who are only interested in anything agric. From constantly writing about your field, e.g goats breeding, groundnut seeds processing, hydroponics etc, people will begin to know you, like you and then trust you enough for consultation.
When you are trusted, you will start receiving messages in the form of queries, advice, guides and so on in your inbox. That is a sign that you have made an impression. It takes time sometimes but it always works.
Owning a blog is also a way of positioning yourself as a professional.
To own a blog, your domain name must reflect your business e.g. www.agrolink.com, plantainestate.com.ng, etc. This is to make it easy for people to know your focus.
Always update your blog with posts, agric latest news and updates. This will make your page rank well on google search and keep people visiting regularly.
Another reason for owning a blog is because it is also a good way to position yourself because most times when people are considering approaching you for a consultation they will search you on google. If they find relevant things about you and your business then be rest assured that their decision making will be quicker. You will be instantly perceived as an authority and before you know it, you are in business.
Organize A Free Webinar or Seminar
This is a very good way to show how good you are to people. People love freebies so expect to have many attendees.
After the free training, you can let them know that you hold one-on-one sessions with clients. In fact, without saying anything, if you performed very well, some of them will come back for more; these people are your potential customers.
Acquire more credibility through certifications and show them off when you have the opportunity. It shows that you are learning and improving yourself.
Also, ensure that you have a decent office space where you can host your clients.
Finally, put a good price on your service. You can start with a moderate fee to attract your first customers in order to build your business and gain plenty of good reviews that will attract more people and then allow you to charge more.
Starting a consultation in agric involves many things and tactics, but if these few tips are followed painstakingly, then you will be in business in no time.
Here you have it, sustainable farm consulting.