There are many things that you can grow in your garden or backyard farm that are considered specialty products. When you are first starting out it is always best to specialize in something that is not readily available in your area. It will also promote your status to semi-expert right away.
For example: There are 3 greenhouses in a 50 mile radius of your home. They are your standard greenhouses and have been in business for years. You could not compete very well as they have a solid customer base already, and people get used to doing business with the same people.
However if you had “Bonnie Sue’s Specialty Herb and Gourmet Vegetables” you have just created a new niche. The same people that have been going to Pat’s greenhouse for years don’t feel guilty or disloyal shopping at yours because you are different, plus you will also appeal to a different crowd.
This makes you the expert in the area even if you are just starting out. If you have put together a business from scratch and have gotten it off the ground chances are you know more than most of the people around your area.
I have to insert here it is very important when you are starting out that if you don’t know the answer let the person know you will find out and get back to them. DO NOT give them a false answer as this will come back to haunt you. Much of my business originally came my way and not my competitors, because I was honest and told people the truth and not that you must use or buy my product because it was the only way to solve their problem. One great way to have a support team is to become a Master Gardener, not only will you learn more about horticulture, but you will also meet others with specialty experience.
It was also very hard for me at first when people referred to me as an expert. It took a few years to realize I was exactly that. I knew more than most of the people around about my niche. I now have been asked for job references from many Scientists (all have their doctorate, and years of experience) in the Agricultural field because of becoming respected and being professional and doing a better job than expected.
The best way to advertise your product is to address women’s groups, rotary’s and other such clubs, or to make donations in your area to any conferences that are coming to town if they include your business name on their information. These can include coupons, small samples, or just a listing in the program.
Niches are important when competing in the farm area. You Joe Littleguy can’t compete with the big corporation farms unless you have a hook, or a niche. Look around the web and you will find that this is becoming more and more important because we all know that if you have a unique or special product then you have a marketing hook that can be potentially worth thousands of dollars.
Now I just took a small snide jab at the “Big Boys” but don’t think that they are the enemy. Just the opposite, if you can get a product of yours in their store, then your money woes are at a close.