Business Planning Resources (primarily from WA FarmLink)
- MISA Business Planning Guide: Business plan broken down into sections. This includes some helpful worksheets as a starting point.
documents/small_business/ small_business_guide.pdf This is another business planning guide, so comprehensive that to might seem a little bit overwhelming, try starting with the balance sheets they mention under “Financial Planning”
- University of Maryland Cooperative Extension “Farm Business Planning” workbook is an excellent resource with worksheets, samples, and step by step guidelines on developing a farm business plan. (downloadable PDF)
- Oregon State University, Small Farms Program, “What can I do with my small farm?” publication, a region-specific farm planning booklet available as a downloadable PDF that helps you map out options for your farm, based on size, goals, and resources.
Crop Budgets and Spreadsheet Examples
- British Columbia’s Department of Agriculture offer budgets for specialty organic crops similar to those in Washington State.
- Oregon State University has a list of crop budgets, on a variety of different crops, many apply to larger farms but there are some applicable to small-medium farms.
- NC State University Cooperative Extension hosts an exhaustive list of example enterprise budgets for different crops, along with other useful links and videos.
- Agricultural Marketing Resource Center budget information and templates:
- WSU Extension publications on crop/enterprise budgets:
Business Training Opportunities
- US Small Business Association web resources
- SCORE – FREE one-on-one business counseling
- The Washington State Small Business Development Center offers information on funding available to small business owners along with information on training, advising, research, and a long list of resources including business plans, taxes/licensing, start up guides, and much more.
- Community Capital Development – has a number of FREE programs to help you build your business.
- Washington State Microenterprise Association
- Washington State Business training – Career Bridge
Co-op resources (from our friends at Seattle Good Business Network):
- Cooperative Business Models for Young Farmers Webinar from Democracy at Work Network (DAWN)
- Democracy At Work Network’s technical assistance request form. (If you don’t have a budget for DAWN’s services, they can still provide a half-hour phone consult and suggest some next steps);
- American Worker Cooperative a national resource site;
- The Canadian Co-op Association;
- The Cooperator, a monthly co-op and condo publication;
- Cultivate.Coop a co-op wiki;
- Equal Exchange’s resource page;
- The Food Coop Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to helping food coops get started with resources;
- Int’l Co-op Alliance, a general resource;
- The Nat’l Rural Electric Coop Association;
- The Nat’l Co-op Business Association;
- The Northwest Cooperative Development Center;
- Strengthening Local Independent Co-ops Everywhere. A group of folks involved in building the cooperative economy in the Puget Sound region. Get on the listserv by emailing get.your.slice@gmail.
- US Federation of Worker Cooperatives a grassroots membership organization.
Raising Money for your Business:
- Revenue Financing is an emerging structure for impact investments in food and agriculture.
- Cutting Edge Capital, one of the country’s experts on unconventional finance strategies, just published a guide to Choosing the Right Securities to raise capital for your business.
- Private placements are a way to raise money through exempt sales of securities on a restricted basis. Slow_Money_Private_Placement_Primer this document covers the basics of private placements that comply with SEC Regulation D. This document is not a substitute for legal advice or representation.
- Slow_Money_Due_Diligence_Primer — demystifies the complex process of evaluating risk, and return in an investment
For a complete list of resources for business and farm planning and training, financing, access to land, etc., available to Washington State Farmers, please refer to the Washington Farmlink Resource Guide
If you have anything you’d like to add to this section, send us a note.