Business Models for an Urban Homestead | Bootstrap Farmer

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On a day to day basis, we need just a few basic things for survival. But our particular preferences and tastes within those create an endless opportunity to provide something unique.

If our track record is any indication, we’ll usually choose something we uniquely desire over an alternative that might be better for the overall health of the planet.

We’ll choose something that’s more convenient or cheaper if the products are otherwise perceived to be the same.

So, this presents a challenge to make locally made products just as convenient and accessible to the mass market on a localized level.

Where there are gaps, there are opportunities.

In embracing this in my own life, I have found a ton of opportunity to rise to the occasion and be part of this future.

Kombucha, microgreens & CBD are just a few examples of newly popular products that can be a part of a healthy lifestyle and produced in a local & sustainable way.

Technology leveraged by apps is providing local producers with the opportunity to reach consumers with the same tools used by giant corporations. Easy mobile payments, social media advertising, simplified inventory & logistics tracking allows us to do a lot more with a lot less.

Small localized networks of farmers and producers are the ones who have the biggest opportunity to lead this movement. Production from local specialty farms, both indoor and outdoor, is the starting point of a future in which small farm production is turned into an ever-expanding array of unique products that turn consumers into Locavores.

So, how do we do that?

Make it reasonably affordable.

Make it convenient.

Have variety.

And how do we do that?

The Supply Chain

If we can pre-sell what we make, we reduce waste and lower our costs. If we can set up customers on subscriptions, we add convenience and reduce waste.

If we set up a weekly delivery through an online store, we can sell to our customers 24/7 without a brick & mortar, and then deliver to them weekly.

If we work through a local delivery hub, we can skip doing delivery ourselves and leverage the production of other local producers that adds variety, convenience, and affordability since the delivery costs can be spread out.

By expanding what we can source from a raw material perspective, the more products we can create and make available to the local food economy.

So, what are the major categories of consumption and how much progress can we actually make?

Putting aside electronic technology, which it’s own set of challenges, most of us day to day use:
  • Water (alcohol/coffee/tea/juice/soda)
  • Food (meal prep/oils/superfoods/desserts)
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Hygiene
  • Energy
Let’s look at each one and analyze the opportunities…..

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