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How can you diversify your rural business?

If you own a farm with unused barns waiting for transformation, a country estate, or an existing food outlet looking for expansion, the diverse opportunities for business diversification are infinite. The key factors that govern your development prospects are budget, planning permission, feasibility and creativity.

Discover some of the most effective ways to diversify your rural business:

1. Food retail outlets – A retail outlet filled with local and regional produce can attract customers and create a lucrative offering for your target market.

2. Café/restaurant – Entice visitors to spend more time on your premises by setting up a café or restaurant. Offering a menu of fresh, on-site prepared meals throughout the day can ensure a steady influx of customers. If paired with a farm shop, it can also help reduce waste and promote upselling of products.

3. Retail villages – A retail village is another excellent diversification option, especially if your land is situated near high-traffic areas or tourist hotspots. These villages bring together a variety of shops, boutiques, and eateries, creating a destination that encourages visitors to spend more time and money. It not only attracts locals but also tourists looking for unique souvenirs, artisan goods, or local produce. The communal atmosphere can also host seasonal events and markets, adding another layer of attraction for potential customers.

4. Pick-Your-Own produce – Align with the seasons and establish a Pick-Your-Own area. This attraction could extend beyond summer fruits like strawberries to autumnal pumpkins, or even a mix of fruits and vegetables. With the growing demand for locally grown produce, customers will relish the opportunity to handpick their weekly groceries.

5. Play areas – If your target audience comprises families or you have vacant barns, consider setting up either an indoor or outdoor play area. Paired with a food outlet, it can encourage longer visits. If your farm already offers public attractions like petting zoos or open days, a play area can be an added attraction.

6. Nature trails – Utilise your extensive land to create nature trails. Engage children with activities like insect spotting, wildlife observation, or treasure hunts.

7. Maze – Similar to a play areas, mazes can attract families, prolonging their stay and increasing their expenditure on other offerings.

8. Glamping site – If you’re located near popular attractions or amidst stunning countryside, setting up a camping/glamping site can generate revenue with minimal investment. It also allows you to gather useful insights about your visitors’ preferences for future expansion.

As demonstrated, there’s a multitude of ways to diversify your land or business that aligns with your current offerings and appeals to your existing target audience, while also attracting new visitors. The above examples also complement each other, offering exciting attractions that increase footfall and profit as you expand.

If you’re considering diversifying your business, get in touch with us to explore the best options tailored to your unique business, location, and target market.

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