II. Assessing your Potential for Agritourism Success
Now that you have a sense of visitor interests, market trends and the range of possible activities, the next step is to assess how agritourism fits your skills and interests, your property, and the marketplace. When you’re done, you’ll have some specific ideas to research and develop. Later in Section V: Developing a Business Plan, you’ll find more guidance on how to test your idea, do a feasibility analysis and develop a business plan.
The self-assessment process has five parts, some of which include consulting with family members, employees and possible partners.
- Is Agritourism a Fit for You and Your Family?
- Is Your Property Suitable for Agritourism?
- Do You Have Time?
- Is There a Customer Base for Your Idea?
- What Connections Are Important to Your Success?
Enjoy exploring what’s possible! Keep in mind that you have many choices about how to proceed. As you look at the possibilities, take heart from the following chart from Pennsylvania’s “Your Agritourism Business in Pennsylvania: A Resource Handbook” (2009) that shows some myths and realities related to agritourism activities.
|Agritourism takes a lot of financial investment.||The number of assets you already have may surprise you.|
|Agritourism means you never get a break.||There are many activities from which to choose. You are your own boss and can choose when you want to operate the agritourism business.|
|Agritourism requires many big changes.||You can decide what works best for your location, so the need for changes will depend on your vision of the new business.|
|Agritourism requires a lot of experience to be successful.||The basics of agritourism success take good planning and management. This requires diligence and not necessarily a lot of experience.|
|Starting an agritourism business requires the hiring of new employees.||You can decide how large your operation is going to be. Many activities require only you.|
|Agritourism means that a large number of people will be on my land.||You can control your comfort level with visitors. You can be active in agritourism even with just one customer at a time.|
|Agritourists are annoying and will be a nuisance.||You can match agritourism activities to things that interest you. Good matching will mean that you are more likely to attract people to whom you can relate.|
From: Your Agritourism Business in Pennsylvania: A Resource Handbook – Susan D. Ryan Ph.D. and Sean A. Hayes, California University of Pennsylvania, Tourism Research Center, 2009.