Farmers Market Business Planning: Taking Your Market to the Next Level

      Posted On: January 4, 2018

Whether you are considering starting a farmers market, or have been operating one for 20 years, working through the exercise of creating (or updating) a business plan is useful. It will help you (and your stakeholders, such as board, volunteers, steering committee and/or sponsors) understand what role your farmers market plays in the community, whether your operations as defined are sustainable (and profitable), and what actions you can take to be more relevant to current and potential market shoppers.

Each business plan is separated into three sections:

  1. The first deals with the more business-focused aspects of your farmers market, including your mission and goals, your background, including history, site selection, customers and demographics and competition, and finally your organizational structure.
  2. The second deals with marketing and customer outreach plans.
  3. The third deals with your financial projections for sustainability.

The Farmers Market Federation of NY will host a three-part series on creating your farmers market business plan. Our presenter, Laura Biasillo, Ag Economic Development Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, will walk you through each of these sections and break down the types of information that should be included as well as give relevant examples and guidance to help you craft your own business plan, no matter the size of your market.

After each of the webinars, worksheets will be made available to help participants apply the lessons within each webinar. Completion of the worksheets will give a farmers market manager the pieces to create a business plan for their farmers market, planning for the future and sustainability of their market, as well as putting policies and procedures into place for enforcement and accountability.

Part 1: Focusing on Business – Thursday, January 4
Part 2: Marketing Planning – Thursday, January 11
Part 3: Financial Projections – Tuesday, January 23

Participation in the webinars is free, but pre-registration is required. All sessions are scheduled from Noon to 1:30pm. Participating in ALL 3 sessions will provide attendees with 2 continuing education credits toward maintaining their FMM Pro Farmers Market Managers Certification.

You must register for each webinar individually. Find registration links here.

For more information, contact the Federation office at 315-400-1447 or email