Rural diversification experts

Find and professionally develop the right niche, and opportunities abound for farmers, landowners, forestry and other small, rurally based businesses to thrive. Now is a very good time to consider all the options and find one or more that is right for your business, location and personality.

What sort of diversification is right for you?
Farm Shop, farm shop café, play areas/nurseries for children – essentially consumer-facing businesses that require:
Good local population, good road access, welcome attitude to strangers at your farm, working with people (staff and suppliers), high professional standards in retail and food safety …
There are farm shops that thrive despite little local population but they work on creating unique features that draw customers to them. Cafés are excellent – people love to eat and drink away from home – but they are challenging. Waste can drain profitability and staffing issues are commonplace. Play areas and children’s nurseries require specialist input to get right.

Costs of getting started depend on what you are starting with, and what you want to achieve – sorry to be cryptic but it’s the truth! Returns can be excellent, many farm shops have annual turnover of over £1.5million with net profits between 5-10% of turnover for a well-managed outlet.

Remember that there are grants available now to help develop this kind of diversification.


Call RNUK now to find out more about how we can help you become a successful farm and local foods retailer.


Weddings and Events
Not for the faint hearted!

The average cost of a wedding reception these days is £10,000 – and the sky is the limit for this very special day. Quite rightly, your customers will want nothing but the very best so attention to every detail is vital. Consider this diversification if you have a special location or building, or can offer rustic charm and character, have great communication skills and have the patience of a saint.

Events can be excellent but consider how many there are these days and how you will make yours the ‘go-to’ one. Many good ideas have fallen by the wayside because hosting a great event requires nice weather (you can lose £,000’s with a rained-out event, only Glastonbury can get away with it), good infrastructure, enormous amounts of detailed organisation, ideally a raft of volunteer labour to call on and – frankly – deep pockets because you might not get the ticket sales.
Still, it’s tempting to think about a Harley Davidson or Mini drivers’ rally, music festival, beer and local food festival... Call Retail Netwerks UK Ltd to find out what we can offer.


Adding value to primary produce/Production kitchens
Any web search will produce a list of food businesses that started life on the farm that grew the primary produce. Most are successful (given the usual caveat of good management underpinning the development), and outgrow their original premise and premises
Adding value to primary produce is a very good diversification opportunity for many farmers but the trick is to make it excellent, different, something people really want and are willing to pay for. That’s where Retail Netwerks UK Ltd comes in.

There are grants available to support development in most parts of the country to convert farm buildings for food production and even buy a vehicle for local distribution of your new foods.


With our backgrounds in new product development, brand development and marketing, your call to Retail Netwerks UK Ltd should be a first step in making this opportunity work for you.


Rural accommodation
So many opportunities here if you like people and enjoy offering the opportunity for strangers to enjoy your location and landscape.  Many farmers are proud of the environmental successes on their land, from encouraging wildlife to growing wildflower meadows. Simply showing off the farm can be very rewarding.

Accommodation can be in the farmhouse as B&B, in converted outbuildings as self-catering rooms, yurts, shepherd’s huts, tree houses, lodges on the water and simply a field opened to campers using their own mobile homes and tents.  Each needs a different level of investment but, even to offer a field to campers, you’ll need to provide clean toilets and showers with hot water these days to win business, and a decent track onto and around the field.

There are grants available to support this kind of diversification in most parts of the UK. Call RNUK to find out more.

 

 

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