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Five Alternative Farm Diversification Ideas

Experience Days

Experience days are all about individuals encountering or undergoing something a little different from the norm, whether in a group or as an individual.

With a growing population of thrill-seekers and those wanting to ‘out-do’ their peers alongside those who are to seeking more time for themselves and professionals who are looking for new ways to network, there is an increasing opportunity for businesses to consider how they could take advantage of this expanding industry and the many different audiences this could appeal to.

Traditionally, Virgin Experience Days and Red Letter Days have been the ‘go to’ organisations people have referred to when wanting to purchase memorable gifts or to organise special events, but who’s to say you couldn’t create your own on-farm experience days or weekends?

Pets

As a nation of pet lovers, there is no getting away from the fact that we love to splash out on our pets. In 2017 consumer expenditure on pets rose to £4.6 billion, a level of expenditure that does not look set to fall any time soon. 13 million households within the UK own a pet for which the most popular pets are dogs, closely followed by cats. With this comes opportunities for those looking for new business ideas.

If you offer accommodation, it is also worth considering if you can make this pet friendly. People now want to holiday with their pets and not allowing their ‘furry friends’ to come along may mean you are losing out on potential customers.

Glamping and Camping

‘When is the glamping boom going to come to an end?’ This is the question that is not far from anyone’s mind. But the enquiries keep coming in and the demand is there whether that’s from families, groups or couples wanting to experience glamping. The important factor when considering setting up a glamping site is making sure you have a point of difference that allows you to stand out from the crowd.

Breweries and Distilleries

The UK craft beer industry is booming. There are now over 2,000 microbreweries within the UK many of whom have made use of the reduced beer duty rates associated with the small breweries’ relief scheme.

Equally, the UK’s love affair with gin shows no sign of drying up either with 315 distilleries now operating across the UK all taking advantage of the craze for craft varieties. The downside is that the drinks market is now a very crowded industry to enter from a producer point of view. If you are thinking about getting into this industry, your marketing needs to be ‘on the money’ and it helps to have a strong USP. However, in both instances, the opportunity is in the production of raw materials. Whether it’s hops or quirky flavourings for aromatic gins these ingredients need to be grown somewhere and could provide an opportunity to grow alternative crops not previously thought of.

Online Business

There is no getting away from the fact that the digital world and technology now plays an important role in our everyday lives, and rather than running away from it, embracing it could be a cause for celebration and offer a new way of doing business.

Gone are the days of relying solely on traditional business structures, there is now huge scope take advantage of modern business models.

Who is to say that you can’t take your existing business model online? For example, a florist could you take their knowledge and expertise online by offering training courses and webinars. An owner of a children’s nursery could package-up what they have learnt on their business journey and sell this online via downloadable e-books for others to learn from. It’s about time we stepped into the 21st Century and made use of the technology available to us which could help reach a significantly wider audience than traditional business models would allow.

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