Create Value Added Products For Income
By: Tom Chatham
It is becoming harder every day to keep up with rising prices in a declining economy. This type of situation is often referred to as stagflation. Your income stagnates while prices rise making life ever more difficult. In the situation many Americans now find themselves in, they will need to develop a business of their own to replace the ones that are now disappearing at an alarming rate. The best businesses to be in in the future are those that provide a basic necessity to the population.
For those with a small plot of land that need to support themselves, it becomes necessary to maximize the income from that land. Many people make good money from produce which can be grown intensively in many cases but unless you live in southern latitudes you can only grow most things for part of the year. While produce is a sure money maker in most cases it cannot be stored for very long making it difficult to provide income on a regular basis throughout the year.
Growing things such as grain is one way to insure you can store a product for sale the year through but unprocessed grain does not provide very high profits on a small scale. An acre of corn will only provide you with several hundred dollars gross per acre so a large field is required to make any reasonable profit. But, what if you could make thousands of dollars per acre instead of hundreds? This would make the small plot you have more viable as an income source.
A bushel of corn sells for about $6 depending on the season and available stocks. That same bushel of corn when ground into cornmeal will generate around $36 on a retail level. The ability to grind your own grains for resale provides you with the opportunity to maximize profits on your small acreage. It is easy to find a produce stand in rural areas but how many sell value added products like cornmeal or flour? This can provide you with a product that few others have and if you have sufficient acreage, you can produce enough to sell throughout the year.
With small scale grain raising, you have the ability to grow heritage plants in an organic way. Many people now seek organic feeds for their livestock making organic grains a growing business. You will not make the maximum profit per bushel selling as feed but if you have sufficient land, it can increase your profits immensely. Another product you can provide at the same time are seeds. Having the ability to produce seeds for sale can reap huge profits if your selling base is large enough. A bushel of heritage corn can sell for as much as $1,200 when broken down into small packets for home gardens.
Value added products are not limited to grains. If you have a sizable woodlot, a small portable mill can provide you with lumber to sell. With a flock of chickens you can sell eggs for a few dollars a dozen or you can hatch them out and get a few dollars per chick. Those that can raise and process meat can increase their profits considerably over the sale of live animals. Making cheese or ice cream from excess milk adds a lot of value to dairy products. Making products such as sorghum syrup, rolled oats or honey are products that are not made by everyone that sells produce so you will have the ability to draw people to your business for these specialty items.
In the search for better profits from your small plot, it is necessary to develop a customer base that you can depend on for repeat sales. Repeat customers are the basis of any profitable business regardless of the product. Having a business location where your customers can come to view your products and fulfill their needs is the very best way to build a small business that can provide income during difficult times. Your ability to control your products from harvest to sale will allow you to remain competitive in the marketplace and reap the maximum profit from your products.
Using available resources to their maximum potential is the way Americans built this country up from the wilderness they found. Making a product to sell is the only way to produce real wealth. The act of producing value added goods requires knowledge and equipment. By analyzing your potential and that of your land you will be able to determine what you are capable of and what equipment you will need to build up your business. By making up a list of what you need to do you will be able to plan out a strategy that may take a few years to realize but can provide you with the ability to be productive and stay ahead of a declining business environment where basic necessities will always be in demand.