As more people have recognised the benefits of hydroponic farming, this new-age technique has grown in popularity. So much so that home growers are increasingly looking at ways to turn their hydroponic farm into a business.
With competition coming in the form of established grocery and fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers, as well as mainstays at local produce stands, this isn’t a decision to enter into lightly.
Rather, aspiring hydroponic farm business owners must look at everything from market research to legal obligations and financial responsibilities. Having all the right information will help ensure that your hydroponic farm functions as both an effective producer and business.
Defining A Hydroponic Farm
When it comes to understanding how to start a hydroponic farm business, it’s important to understand the basics of hydroponic farming. As such, this farming technique utilises water solvents to grow plants, fruits, and vegetables.
With hydroponic farming relying on water solvents to facilitate growth, such a garden, or farm can be located inside a greenhouse or similar indoor structure. Completely eliminating the need for soil.
Looking At The Costs
Hydroponic farms are beneficial to both individuals and the environment. For example, hydroponic produce is significantly less harmful to the environment. Additionally, the resulting produce is also fresher and tastier.
While there are numerous benefits to be enjoyed, it’s important to note that there are costs associated with hydroponic farming. With this in mind, there are two costs aspiring business owners need to be aware of- immediate costs and recurring costs.
Immediate costs are essentially one-off purchases that are required in order to start building and setting up a hydroponic farm, let alone a hydroponic farm business. As such purchases range in terms of price.
Immediate costs include:
- The land where the farm will be housed
- The greenhouse where the produce will grow
- Obtaining relevant permits and registration
- The hydroponic system
- UV lights to aid growing
- Climate control system
- Automation system to improve processes
- Pest control system to keep produce healthy
When it comes to running a hydroponic farm business, owners will also have to cover recurring costs. This essentially includes financing the different facets that makeup day to day operations.
Common recurring costs include:
- Water bills
- Electricity bills
- Internet bills
- Seeds for growing
- Maintenance and repairs
- Paying salaries
- Re-stocking fertilisers, nutrients, pH stabilisers, and growing mediums
Setting Up A Hydroponic Farm Business
When it comes to creating a hydroponic farming business, it’s important to note that business owners will need to set up both the farm and the business. As such, due consideration needs to be given to both aspects in order to enjoy success.
Setting up the farm
In terms of setting up the farm, the most important aspect is finding and then equipping a place to grow. For those who take great pride in having a lawn that looks green and lush all year round, a traditional growing process is out of the question.
Therefore, it’s wise to consider growing in a greenhouse. Traditionally, greenhouses come in a variety of sizes and can be either built, rented out, or purchased outright. When looking at different greenhouse sizes, consider the amount and variety of products you want to grow.
From there, the greenhouse will need to be equipped with access to water and electricity. This will ensure that the hydroponics system can function seamlessly and that temperature and light control systems are also able to run effectively.
It’s also worth mentioning that hydroponic farm owners will also need to procure an inert hydroponics medium (the growing medium) as well as seeds or plants during the process of setting up the farm.
Setting up the business
Once the farm is up and running, focus on the business portion of this venture. A great place to start is by creating a business plan. This will outline the business name, its mission statement, and the money that can be dedicated to employees, supplies, and marketing.
From there, the business must register as a legal entity. The next step is to prepare a business account and credit card for expenses. In regard to expenses, it’s important to keep accurate accounts for tax purposes. It’s also wise to acquire business insurance.
As food regulations are quite strict, a hydroponic farm business will also need to obtain the relevant permits and licenses. Once the farm is up and running, it’s important to pay attention to marketing. This is because customers are the backbone of a business.
Starting Your Own Hydroponic Farm Business
There is a real sense of satisfaction when crops that you lovingly tended to sprout into fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables. With this in mind, it seems natural that producers would want to share this joy with the greater public.
However, starting a hydroponic farm business requires research and dedication. While tending to fragile crops, you will also have to deal with competitors, business plans, financials and marketing. All of which will be worth it once customers taste your produce.