Struggle faced by small & medium scale Business for growth

Every small to mid-size business has its struggles and of course, the more obscure the business is the more work they must do to become known in the public eye. Take for example Agrotourism, which is not exactly a new concept but still not widely thought of as a "go to" activity amongst the general public in certain areas. Agrotourism is when a farm or ranch offers patrons fun activities, events or classes on their land such as learning to make soap, learning about wine tasting or even learning to run an alpaca farm. Agrotourism is a 947 billion dollar industry according to the U.S. Travel Association and each year keeps growing steadily.
Owners Jay and Melissa Reeder of Apple Mountain Alpacas Farm in Clarkesville, GA is one example of a family business that teaches people how to run their own alpaca farm and harvesting the alpaca hair to make products such as socks and hats.

Here are the 5 struggles most businesses owners go through running an Agrotourism business.

1.) Marketing

With today's means of marketing using Facebook Ads, Instagram and other free to inexpensive methods, it's not easy for a farm to market themselves. They must find ways to engage their audience and continue to find new customers. Most people think of going to the beach or going to a theme park. The challenge is how do they convince people to consider going to a farm to learn about alpacas for the day instead of lounging on the beach?

2.) Finding Great Employees

Good help can be hard to find especially if you need that person to learn a skill they have never done before. It takes a lot of time and money for a small business to train new staff properly to handle the unique roles that an agro-business may offer. Over time that employee could bring the business into a loss or gain. Training them to be customer first is wise to make sure you have repeat business for life.

3.)  Standing Out

Business is competitive. Farming sand Agrotourism businesses are no different. They all compete to get new and repeat customers to spend their dollars on their land as opposed to the farm down the road. Even if all the businesses in the area are slightly different, it can be still tough to stand out and convince people why it’s better for them to go your farm over everyone else around.

4.)  Finding Customers

This one is tricky. You need to be able to target the right kind of audience both on and offline. You need to always be exposing your business and tell people why they need to come to you. No one will just find you randomly anymore nowadays. Even if they did it won't keep the lights on. You need to be smart with finding customers and the way to do that is with marketing online, word of mouth, flyers, local fundraising, sponsorships, blog posts, etc. Even so, you need to specifically target the kind of customer who is into outdoor adventures, farm life, animals, pie eating contests and more. If you target people who only enjoy going clubbing on Friday nights and working out 6 days a week then your wasting time and money finding your next new customers.
Overall Agrotourism is on the rise and farmers are becoming more and more creative to find new ways to draw in more customers to spend their money. For alpaca farmers Jay and
Melissa Reeder this only continues to fuel their passion and desire to do what they love which is to teach people about Alpacas and enjoy getting outside more often.

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