Every year people decorate their homes and businesses during the holiday season by putting up Christmas trees. A Christmas tree farm grows and sells evergreens for those who want real trees as opposed to artificial ones during the festive season.
Millions of real trees are purchased every year and the demand continues to grow. The sale of artificial Christmas trees is declining in recent times, this leaves plenty of room for growth in the natural or real Christmas tree industry.
Start a Christmas Tree Business
Find right Customer
You need to judge your suitability for the business before you start. Anyone who enjoys working outdoors and with their hands will enjoy owning a Christmas tree business.
Tree farms don’t require a tremendous amount of work, most of the work involves tending to, cutting and delivering trees. All of these tasks require hands-on labor.
It is necessary for you to be familiar with the agricultural practices that work in a particular region. If you don’t have the experience of working in farms of any kind then you should consider taking local classes on agriculture and working on a nearby farm for a season.
Talk with as many farmers in your area as possible because this will provide you with insights that come from years growing crops in the region.
You need to have a well-defined business plan before you start. Write down all the priorities and the ideas related to your business in a piece of paper. Decide on your budget, do the necessary cost-analysis, identify all your operational requirements.
The business plan also includes marketing and promotional strategies. Set your goals and vision statement while planning.
Costs of Starting a Christmas Tree Farm Business
The primary startup costs associated with opening a Christmas tree business include costs of land acquisition, preparing the soil and purchasing seedlings. The amount of land required for the business ranges anything between 10 to 20 acres.
As an owner if you already have suitable land and a tractor, you can start up a tree farm at relatively low cost, you can use your own land and prepare it yourself.
You can keep your initial investment low (in case you don’t own a land) by purchasing acreage in a rural area where land is cheap or you can also enter into a sharecropping agreement with a landowner, where the profits are split and you don’t have to pay anything for the land initially.
If you don’t have a tractor then you can hire a farmer to prepare the soil for you.
Your target market can include individuals, wholesalers or non-profit organizations, many farms sell to all three types of customers.
Out of these three, individuals will pay the most, but most of them will buy only one tree. Wholesalers might purchase a lot of trees, but they frequently pay one-third of their retail price.
Non-profit organizations are often a happy medium, paying above wholesale prices for several dozen trees that they will sell as a fundraiser. You can also sell one or two large trees at much higher rates than most individuals, wholesalers or non-profit organizations will pay.
Local governments and a few businesses might be willing to pay a large amount for a tall tree. One or two sales like this can boost your farm’s annual income.
Marketize and Promote the Business
You need to have a solid marketing strategy to make your business profitable. The internet makes it easier for you to promote and marketize your products. Online content and ads on popular social media platforms can be used to target potential customers in the area.
Most of the states have extensions or Christmas tree associations that maintain directories of tree farms in the state. In the initial period of your business, you can attract new customers by offering coupons or special deals on trees.
These kinds of tactics will help attract them to your business. Remember that the satisfaction of your customers will lead them to promote your business to their friends and family.
Building a Team
You can manage the business single-handedly for most of the year when it is small in the beginning. As soon as your business starts to expand, you need to hire laborers for maximizing the number of trees you are able to sell.
You need to hire laborers with farming skills so that they take care of growing the trees.
You need to obtain certain state permits and licenses that are required to operate a Christmas tree business. Check with clerk’s office of your town or city to get more information about licenses and permits.
It is also important that you comply with all the labor safety requirements if you are hiring them. You need to be well acquainted with the land acquisition laws of your state while buying land.
Create a Website
You need to create a website with help of a professional that will be dedicated to your business. Invest in buying a domain for the business. The website will help you to maximize your online presence and reach out to a large number of potential customers.
Upload the photographs of your trees on the website and provide a detailed definition of the products. Mention all the information related to your business on the website.
It will also provide you with the necessary feedback and reviews, this will help in enriching the quality of your trees. You can receive orders from customers living far away from your locality through the website.
To sum it up,
these are the important points that you need to follow when you are starting your own Christmas tree farm business. It can be a profitable venture if you are able to manage it efficiently. Research the market and find out the popular Christmas trees.
Try to farm those trees that are not easily available in the market. Also, find out the prices of the trees as charged by your competitors, this will help you to fix your own. Some of the popular Christmas trees are scotch pines that are drought-tolerant.
So, if you are looking for a profitable cash crop for your small acreage, Christmas trees are the most profitable option. You can easily manage the business from home, provided you possess the land and other necessary equipment.