Farm Business Lab
Build the profitable farm business of your dreams!
What is the Farm Business Lab?
Farm Business Lab is 7 week business planning program with ongoing support that will change the course of your farm. You will work with experienced coaches and facilitators to launch or grow your farm business over the course of the class.
Who is the Farm Business Lab™ for?
The Food Business Lab™ is for early-phase food and beverage entrepreneurs. This is defined as a range of businesses from those that are at the idea phase and have not yet started selling to those selling up to $5,000 per month in product. Food businesses can include value-added farm products, restaurants, food trucks, packaged food and value-added producers, artisanal beverages (including wine beer, mead, soda, and spirits), baked goods, pet treats, and more.
What: Hands-on exercises, learning tools, dialogue, access to seasoned entrepreneurs, accountability for completing a business case document and business case presentation, and building a peer network.
Why: Farm Business Lab™ provides proven, practical business tools and builds confidence — you are the future of our local economy — and increases your chances for success significantly. Use Business Lab™ to build the vehicle to carry your idea, product, and dreams forward.
When: Seven class sessions over a seven-week period. Three hours of meeting time per class.
Where: The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Keene, NH
Benefits of the Program
Farm Business Lab™ for business is a collaborative program. You will work with the instructor and other participants to discuss your business and dive deeply into the components of your business. The instructor’s role is to help facilitate the discussion and offer insight, where helpful.
We also invite a number of community-based entrepreneurs to share their expertise and experience with either starting a business or supporting growing businesses. Guest speakers include business founders, service providers, working professionals, and all-around wise sages.
Farm Business Lab™ offers an ideal setting for discovery, hands-on application of practical business tools, and the ability to clearly communicate the value of your product or service, and the benefits your business offers.
Clarity – Throughout the course, farmers will learn how to:
- Enhance the competitiveness of your business
- Receive technical assistance
- Receive peer support from other specialty crop producers
- Create a business plan
- And more!
- The network of fellow entrepreneurs will become your support system for years to come
- You will have access to the network of business coaches at the Hannah Grimes Center
(Class topics subject to change as needed to maximize the impact of the Business Lab™ experience)
Introduction to Food Business Lab™
- Class overview
- Create mission, vision, and values
- Understand the opportunity and or the problem your business addresses
The “Big Three”: From Idea to Reality
- Resources and assets
- Working on your business plan
- Working on your presentation pitch
- Diving into the essential elements of your business
- Business model and financial viability
- Basic terms and definitions of financial terms
- Financial statements, budget projections
- Financing your business
- Initial practice pitch
Customer, Marketing, and Sales
- Defining and understanding your customer
- Define the market and business need
- Create your value proposition
- Developing your marketing and sales plan
Milestones and Metrics
- Project management techniques
- SMART Goals
- Metrics to understand performance and health of the business
Executive Summary of Your Business Plan
- Full pitch practice
- Learn from an experienced entrepreneur
- Pitch your business to friends, family, and community members!
- Debrief and assess your experience and all-important next steps
John Rixey, Farm Manager of Dog Days Farm
Rachel Patterson, Co-owner of Headwaters Homestead
David & Amanda Wadleigh, Owners of Kimball Fruit Farm
Gerianne Fierro, Owner of Lucky 13 Farm
Melissa Spencer, Owner of Ripple Cut Flower Farm
The following criteria may be taken into consideration for selection:
- Must be a specialty crop producer (or planning to be)
- Producers needs/goals are a good match with program curriculum
- Demonstrated interest in improving profitability and efficiency of your business
- Demonstrated readiness to participate fully
- Demonstrated trajectory for growth
Schedule, Cost, How to Apply
The tuition for Business Lab! is $700.
We have scholarships available for qualifying applicants.
A non-refundable deposit ($100) is requested in advance of the class. The remaining cost of the class is due before the first day. Both may be paid online.
- Complete a Farm Biz Lab™ application.
- Please complete our Intake Form.
- Submit your Application and Intake Form to us by the deadline (May 1st 2023)
- Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted before the start of the class to confirm program acceptance or schedule an additional interview, if necessary.