Imagine visiting New York City for the first time and trying to find your way around without a map. You might find some of the places you want to visit, but not without a lot of detours and lost time. The time you could have spent visiting sites and enjoying the city. This is exactly what you're doing with your business if you don't have a marketing plan.
I never met anyone who got into farming because they enjoyed trying to predict consumer buying preferences or because they got great personal satisfaction from tracking the grain futures market. Most business entrepreneurs aren’t thrilled about spending time researching their competitors’ advantages. Farmers want to farm. Entrepreneurs want to develop businesses around new products or services. Neither prefers to spend a substantial portion of their time or financial resources developing their marketing program, much less implementing it themselves. Not that they’re not capable of doing so - they often don’t find the work enjoyable and they’re just not sure how to go about it. Yet, until a farm or enterprise makes its first profitable sale, it’s a business in name only.
The process of identifying your potential customer Decision Marketing Units (DMUs), determining your market segments, and then developing a targeted strategy is called market research. This research involves gathering additional information about customers, competition, and overall market potential.
Getting Things Right is part of the Maryland Retail Products Producer Program. This section will provide information on supply, storage, purchasing, establishing prices, ordering and delivery schedules, invoicing and payment terms, and product promotions.
County Offices provide local zoning, health, and business development resources and restrictions. On this page, you will find links to a variety of county-based agencies, offices, and organizations. Use these pages to 1.) Have access to current resources, 2). Determine which county agencies regulate your type of enterprise. 3). Develop a contact list of local business development contacts.
Agritourism—one of the fastest-growing segments of agricultural direct marketing—allows farmers to diversify their core operations and keep farmland in production while preserving scenic vistas and maintaining farming traditions. By providing authentic farm experiences for visitors, agritourism helps educate the public about the importance of agriculture to a community’s economic base, quality of life, history, and culture.