Are you a small business that would like to get online but not sure where to start? It is about making the web work for you.
Maybe your business has relied on selling to large bulk handling companies. While it is less hassle, the catch is sometimes even when the weather has made it a good year, the market says it’s a bad one, and you are left at the hands of these large companies who decide how much they want to pay for your product.
Maybe your sales have come through word of mouth and referrals?
How can online help you?
There are many existing online platforms, such as AuctionsPlus, Feed Central, Greys Online etc. designed to help rural people sell their produce. These are fantastic services which receive high levels of traffic. Selling products throughout the year to create a steady income stream year-round is a great option.
If you are feeling ambitious, however, the possibilities that online can offer are only limited by your imagination.
Here are a couple of scenarios to prod the creativity into gear:
- In this REAL-life scenario, farmers in India were on the brink of watching their harvest rot to waste, after COVID squashed all farmers markets. Indian farmers were able to sell their produce for 70% more per kilo than before.
- You have grain available to sell for seed. In previous years supplying the neighbours has been enough but this year you are thinking of expanding that client base. On your website you have all your seed varieties and treatments available to view, as well as a video where people can visually inspect your product. People can also place a deposit online. Whenever someone enquires about what you have to offer, you can direct them to your website.
- Imagine the kids want to earn some pocket money. You have noticed that people love to know where their food and products come from more than ever before. The kids have a small flock of pet sheep, individually named and all with different personalities. On their online store, people have the choice to purchase a garment made from a certain sheep’s wool.
Think of the last time you used the phone book to find a business; online search is now the number 1 way people find businesses. For many Agri-businesses, online is the logical next step. For some, however, the online opportunities might not seem so obvious. You cannot start a website and have it go gangbusters overnight – it simply doesn’t work like that. Having a successful online platform, like anything, takes work.
Many ideas might sound far-fetched – a lot of what exists online today probably did sound crazy 10 years ago, but they are now part of our daily lives. Online has proven it is here to stay. The benefits are real, the returns rewarding and the opportunities online are only limited by your imagination.
So whatever your business, it is really about making the internet work for YOU.