I know shockingly little about Hollywood or pop culture.
I don’t even have TV.
But as a local food entrepreneur, the movie Chef got me thinking. Weaved into a fun and yummy story are 10 important lessons that you as a local food startup can use to keep yourself and business on track.
You’re stuck in a job that’s sucking the life out of you. Ok, it pays the bills and gives you a few holidays so you can recharge your batteries just enough to remain productive.
But are you happy?
Most people aren’t. They dream about turning a hobby or the love of local food into a small business, but those 6 years of college and the 12 years of schooling before that have only trained them to be cogs in a machine.
I know. I’ve been there.
But I’m here to tell you that if you are passionate about eating quality food, you can make a nice living and you don’t even need to know how to grow so much as a tomato.
“I love it when we take technology developed for globalism and it becomes the way in for localization.” – Joel Salatin
In the first 4 minutes of this video interview with Dr. Mercola, Joel Salatin talks about the inefficiencies of farmer’s markets, the advantages of selling online to avoiding expensive brick and mortar and selling fresh local sustainable food directly to consumers.
This 3 minute video explains how it took a crisis and 5 years travelling around the world to discover the idea behind Farmwell… To create simple farm software so farmers can quickly setup a website and sell local food online… and make it super easy to find local food in your area.
If you’re a farmer, you live with risks that range from weather to injury to financial ruin. But why should you bust your hump from dusk till dawn with stress and risk for less than you’d get pumping gas or working construction?
The answer to that question is found in time. Let me explain.
When you think of it, time is all we really have. We’re born. We’re here for a while. One day our time is up. As life is precious, so is time. We all have aspirations, family, projects and dreams. But it’s challenging to find the time for it all.
This is as true for me as it is for you. My background is in business and IT, but I know farm life too. I grew up on a hobby farm in Canada and in 2012 I was Bill Mollison’s farm manager in Tasmania. For the past 1.5 years I have put virtually all my time and energy into developing Farmwell. It’s web software for farmers who want a simple way to get more customers with less work. There’s a waiting list of farmers keen to start using it. These farmers have made it clear that they respect the value of their time and want to invest it wisely.
Let’s say you have a bit of savings and you’re keen to buy land to farm. Even if you can see hidden value, land is by no means cheap.
The problem is not that you can’t borrow money to purchase that hidden gem you’ve found. The problem is that the real costs only begin once you start; equipment, materials, transportation, energy, development, effort to build up a customer base.You’d have the burden of repaying the loan while you’re still at your most vulnerable — the startup phase.
That means never giving the farm a fair chance to get up and running, a chance to be financially sustainable.