Sure, you have an agritourism idea for your business, but do you have a business plan? And do you need a written plan? It depends. The format for your business plan can vary greatly. If you’re seeking outside financing, you will likely need a formal, comprehensive business plan, for which there are many guides. If you’re establishing a partnership or other legal structure, you’ll want a written plan to spell out agreements regarding business goals, operations, and key roles and responsibilities. Even if you’re investing only your own money, you may sleep better with a written plan! Without such a plan, your business can grow so fast and unfocused that it takes over your life, or it can stagnate as a cash drain that detracts from your most important life goals.
If you’re not writing a business plan for an outside audience, you can certainly keep it focused and brief. It should include the following:
Of course, your written business plan is not written on stone. When you see promising opportunities, you may want to consider how you can test your new ideas simply and cheaply – following the trend of retail pop-up temporary shops and food carts. For example, could a small event, open house or tour provide a useful testing ground? You can even plan to experiment as part of your business plan!
Treo Ranches in Heppner provides a great example of business evolution from a traditional ranch to a fee-based hunting lodge, to bike tourism, and now to pheasant pie production. See their story below: