Diversify your farm business

Planning for farm diversification


Careful planning is essential to diversifying a traditional farm successfully. Write down your ideas and build your plan gradually. It will take time to develop your plan and it may need to be revised a number of times before you are satisfied with it.

How to make a plan to diversify your farm business

The key steps involved in farm diversification are:

  • Identifying an idea that will work for you. You will need to research your local market and ensure that your idea is viable. Invest Northern Ireland's Business Information Centre can provide market information on your potential idea.
  • Shaping a suitable business plan. Planning is essential to your success and will be critical to obtaining financial support - see how to write a business plan: step-by-step.
  • Working out how much is required to finance the idea and how to ensure it is secured - see business financing options - an overview.
  • Working out what is involved in producing and delivering the new product or service from your rural enterprise.
  • Working out how you will market and sell your product/service - see how to create your marketing strategy.
  • Ensuring you meet any legal requirements.
  • Get training to build up your understanding of what is involved in running your own rural business.

There are several practical things you can do. It is worth spending time talking through your idea with friends and family and also with your local business adviser, your accountant and your local Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) rural adviser.

Gathering as much feedback as possible can help to shape your plan and test how feasible your initial idea is.