|bananas (matooke), chicken, rice, peas, vegetables - Christmas food|
These should be the days, for a youth in farming, that should be the most profitable seasons. Why? Because, people are happy and they are in super high gear of buying lots of food or agricultural produce. They have saved the money to buy the best food for themselves and their families. Often people are looking for the biggest turkey, duck, chicken or biggest bunch of bananas that they can find.
Here are 10 ways, how you could turn holiday seasons into your most profitable season of your agricultural business.
- Know where each agricultural item is grown or produced in plenty. For instance, turkeys are reared in plenty in eastern Uganda; Chicken and Mangoes are often in high supply and at cheap prices from northern Uganda. Bananas from Masaka and western Uganda. Carefully note all this in a notebook and go to step 2.
- Ask your friends. You may not know anyone from where chicken or bananas come from but your friends do. Ask your friends if they can put you in touch with somebody from these different parts of the country. The person they recommend does not have to be a farmer but just anybody who knows the local language and can act as your guide when you visit the town. With time, this person can be your business agent in the town, giving you tips on where to get the cheapest chickens or turkeys.
- Make partnerships with farmers. Pay the farmers you are getting produce from very well and on time. Make them more than your friends and support their families. Because it is a business, you are not going to buy from them once, but multiple times. And when you take care of their problems, it is only human, that they take care of your business needs ensuring that produce is available when you need it.
- Several modes of receiving payment for agricultural items that you deliver. Make use of so many ways of receiving or paying money such as cash, bank account, Mobile money (MTN, Zap, Warid pesa, Msente). Also make sure that the farmers you work with accept payments via mobile money. This reduces movements with big amounts of cash which can be robbed and delays to have agricultural items delivered to where you need them.
- Arrange and organize several months in advance. If it is the Christmas season, start planning and talking to your clients in September. If it is Easter season, start planning in January. A few months before the holiday season, agricultural products are cheaper and more available than within the holiday season itself. Book agricultural supplies from a farmer by putting down a cash deposit, and always make sure to have written agreements and receipts to reduce on disagreements.
- Also accept to deliver agricultural produce on credit. Exercise caution and also make sure to have a contract with your client. Big clients such as hotels, supermarkets, restaurants and schools often pay at the end or beginning of the month. They pay well and they pay big money. Having five such clients would make you earn millions in income. The only problem is that they often want big amounts of agricultural items delivered without paying for it immediately. Sit down with your financial planner, draw up a contract and receipts and keep as many of these such clients as you possibly can.
- Weigh and sell in weights. For instance chicken in Kampala, is bought on how big it looks instead of how much it weighs. Of course, the bigger the chicken appears, the better the price. Weigh your chicken, turkey or bananas and sell it according how much it weighs. So many people in business earn less for ignoring this. Supermarkets everywhere sell their chicken, bananas or fruit in weights (grammes, kilograms..). You should do that same.
- Be knowledgeable about prices of agricultural produce. You need to know almost how much each agricultural item trades for, both in the cities and out in the country. Also how expensive or cheap the big supermarkets or markets in the cities are. This not only forms how much you are willing to pay for food items from the farmer but also how much you are willing to sell for. Check out our resources page for information about market prices just below the farmers portal headline.
- Keep your promises. Be trustworthy and honest. Pay what you owe and tell the truth. Alliances built on lies do not last. Remember you reap what you sow. You may lie to the farmer or your client about a delivery today that does not happen but next time, you may be the one being lied to about getting paid. Deliver on time and if not, inform the client about any delays along the way.
- Go an extra mile to please your loyal clients. Consider offering a discount or surprise them with a free chicken. If you screw up, invest in the client by offering them a surprise. Make them happy. The little gifts you give your client will go a long way in ensuring that the client stays with you. Few salespeople do it to keep their clients.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise to get new clients and expand your business. There are so free ways you can do this using the now easily available information communication tools. Your mobile phone probably has over 100 friends. Send an SMS with an offer of a free chicken to every friend who gets you a client (this is somebody who buys from you). Use free tools such as facebook, Google trader and different farmer portals you can find in our agricultural resources section.
- You can also grow your income to more than $25,000 a month! You only need passion, to keep learning and hardwork.