Beekeeping is a fun hobby for many, but perhaps you want to take it a bit further – to turn it into a profitable business. Starting a honey business will require you to properly plan and prepare before starting any operation. You will need adequate resources to buy the materials and equipment you will need. It is also useful to have some knowledge about beekeeping and the know how of running a business in general. This guide on how to start a honey business details all of what you will need before getting into this sweet venture. Let’s get started.
Get Listed on Honey Business Directory
The first thing you will want to do is turn to your local honey business directory and ask them to list you on their directory network. Ideally, you should research and find that for your more or less locality and then start on your way to finding out who to do business with through this directory. There are various directory sites on the internet that provide a listing for calling companies in various localities and pre-research this.
Prepare Business Cards and Letterhead
The business card you will be using will address, “Please contact me for more information about today’s Honey Service.” This will give you contact information that you can plug into a newsletter or even just use as a business card, but you will be using your letterhead instead. It is important you find out beforehand what your company looks like, where it is situated, how many employees you have, what the prices of your honey services are, the location of your apiary, what type of honey you will provide, specialties you have, and a variety of other necessary information. You can get this information from doing business announcements with various newspapers. It is also recommended you do some research to see what other honey businesses are located in your vicinity in order to find out what other companies do.
Create a Website for Your Business
The next thing to do is to quickly create a site that will contain all of the information that you have gathered about your business including pricing, honey samples, honey sales and services, directions, hours of operation, contact information, and even a honey bee FAQ. You will need to have a domain name and core system administrator.
Plan for Membership
While you are crafting your website, take the time to make sure that the domain address is also linked to the honey bee brush that you want to create. This will help with claims expiration, notices to renew, and other issues that are necessary in being listed on directories. If you are not able to get listed on the directory, then your website that you are creating will also do double duty because it will also serve as a directory.
Prepare Other Resources
There are all kinds of items that you will need in order to make your honey business a success. You will need to do research on local honey merchant associations and local honey bee clubs as well as find out what other services your competitors provide. For example, if you would like to advertise, then you can join a local pike distributor’s association. This will afford you with the services of a display (where you can sell honey) that gives you access to marketing services, free honey and other information that will help you to gain recognition in the marketplace. To help drive your honey business, it is important to put up flyers that include the hours that you are open for business as well as your contact information. Of course, you will want to encourage potential customers to contact you via the phone.
Testimonials and Testimonials
Having friendly and favorable testimonials from your customers will help to establish your reputation in the honey market. To get these testimonials, you will need to place an ads in your local community paper as well as on your website and invite individuals to email or call you to schedule a honey tasting. You must also send them the dates and locations where they can come for a tour of your honey operation. When you see that the testimonials and than lack thereof, it would be a good idea to contact them and gauge their opinion on it. For example: “We are planning for next month and would like to pick your opinion on the samples that we sell.” This helps to clarify and insures that you are not selling something that might turn people away.
Be Prepared for Local Honey Bee Associations and Honey Bee Clubs
The first way to further promote your honey business is to travel to the local honey bee association the month before you start selling honey. This will help to circulate the word that you are selling honey while providing some expertise to the people who are interested in bee keeping. It is also important to let these associations know that you are not only selling honey, but that you are also selling bees. This will give you an additional reason to do advertising in the community as well.
Making Announcements in the Newspaper
A great way to promote your business is to place an ad in your local newspaper. This will help provide competition for those that are already selling honey and entice individuals to visit your honey operation. This is a great way to test whether or not people will buy the samples and will give you valuable feedback that you can use to improve your business. The newspaper will also provide listing of what other honey companies are doing in the area. When visiting your honey bees, ask your customers if they have heard of these companies and what they think of them or if they know if them.
Invite Local Honey Bee Vendors for a tasting
Another way to promote your business is to invite as many honey vendors for a tasting at your location. This will give you the discovery of what different kinds of honey they have available as well as giving you the opportunity to have the opportunity to meet other professionals in the industry. All you have to do is prepare the honey de-stems, storage and honeycomb and then offer the honey tasting. The sales will be more than enough for you to have and you can then turn around and sell honey at wholesale prices.
One of the best ways that you can market your honey business is to develop your own logo. There are a number of ways to do this and it is recommended that you spend some time to research these options. Your logos can be art or word design and should serve as your company’s identity. The words may be an name of a natural product and the art can demonstrate what you are selling. It is also a good idea to include your website address because the branding will help people to choose you over other competitors.
If you already have a good reputation going into the honey business, it will be a good idea to go to your local community paper, community grange, club meetings and other bulletin boards and write a simple ad that mentions you are selling honey and give some information about what kinds of honey you have available. This is a good way to get business while establishing a new rapport.
To successfully run a honey business, you need to have a plan about how you are going to make it happen. If you do not have a budget, then you will not be able to proceed with your other plans effectively. To find out how much it costs to keep bees, you will need to ask someone that has been in the industry before. You will learn that it costs a bit of money that could be better spent on equipment because you are using bees for pollination. Bees are natural pollinators, however, they will be able to migrate and provide a great service for your honey business. In order to get started, it is recommended you start from the ground up and invest in new equipment. Try to find out what other honey bee suppliers are doing in the area and what different services they provide. For instance, if you are selling honey, you want to make sure that you are selling some kind of machine to clean honey jars.
You also need to have someone to work with. While different types of honey bees are sold on the market, they all require the same instructions and information to operate properly. If you do not have someone to operate your honey bee, you will have to hire someone after you have gotten the advice on everything you can do to start your business.
The best advice to follow is to start from the ground up. You can find a bee keepers for hire for bee keeping or you can buy a bee suit or can rent one from one of the bee keeping supply companies. There are also a good number of bee keeping schools if you need help learning more about this wonderful industry.
Answers From Experts on How to Start a Honey Business
Answers from experts on how to start a honey business:
I would start with a beekeeping weekend event that every year teaches people how to maintain honey bees, sell honey, raise bees, or work from home as a freelancer. The different options are endless: sell honey, make bees, make products, dark chocolate, whatever you can come up with. What is important is you have good information for those wanting to work in the beekeeping world or have a honey bee sanctuary on their property.
I’m a beekeeper and I created a honey business from scratch. It will be much cheaper than you think. The first thing I did buy was a queen bee of a known European strain and her daughter. Then I purchased three long shallow boxes and in the end I had six hives from my one queen. I know what you are thinking: I am a beekeeper, why the hell would I buy all these extra stuff and why I don’t want to just reuse the boxes I already have? Keep in mind that beekeeping is not an income making business. First you have to develop yourself and have some knowledge before you dive into this market.
You must have the consideration of the above when you wish to start your honey business. While you are trying to start your honey business, you will see a good number of beekeeping websites and blogs on the Internet. Most of these websites are one-stop shops for active beekeepers that sell their homemade bee products e.g. honey bees, lovely honey, beeswax candles, natural bee beauty products, etc.
One critical aspect of your honey business is the marketing of your goods and services. You need to spend a lot of time on researching the best ways to promote your honey business. The first thing to do is to try and learn how other hives of different sizes make money. Â You will notice that some hives make a lot of money and other honey bee keepers very little from their bees. The hives and the beekeepers earn their money from their products while being careful and fully aware of the risks of doing this honey business. Look around your area and put up a good number of beekeeping websites and forums that focus on selling honey and other bee products.
The cost of your honey business is totally dependent on the investments that you have with you. As a beginner it is financially viable to build your own nine hive boxes. However, as you start getting into this field, purchasing your own equipment can be a financial burden. If you find you do not have enough money don’t beat yourself up. That was something I knew once I really started showing interest in bees and developed into a beekeeper. Time must be spent in training to learn to keep bees, process and manufacture your own honey, etc.