Whether you live in a small town or outside a big city, everyone loves the charm of their local pick-your-own berry farm. These sites are the perfect place for family and friends to enjoy the summer season. But for you-pick farm owners, this time of year means there’s a lot of hard work, too. Fortunately, we have a few suggestions to help your business thrive.
Making time to improve your operation and increase your business and community recognition is always a good idea. Paying special attention to these factors for will help everyone enjoy their time on the farm!
Great Customer Service
You-pick berry farm customers often come to your site as a way to escape their regular day-to-day life. It’s fun to see new scenery and connect with nature, but your facility offers a lot more, too. Help make each visitor’s experience memorable by sharing some farm history or additional information about the products you grow and offer. The more details and background you can explain about your operation, the better.
Hiring friendly staff will make all the difference. Since you-pick operations don’t rely on as many laborers as other agriculture sites, be sure to take your time as you consider your team of employees — they’re the face of your farm, after all.
Grow Your Community
Scheduling additional activities throughout the year can be another tactic for increasing your traffic. By offering ag-entertainment outside of your regular you-pick berry season, customers will have even more reasons to come back. You can always boost your farm’s appeal by adding a hayride activity or a corn maze for this autumn’s festivities.
This comes down to investing in your marketing, too. Improving your presence on social media can make you the go-to spot in your area. Consider working with a local bakery for a pie bake off or canning lessons or reach out to local businesses for team-building opportunities. The best place to spread the word? Social media!
Convenient Parking and Amenities
No one wants paying customers to turn away simply because parking is inconvenient. Experienced you-pick farm owners know that having the right space is key for a successful operation. If you aren’t able to create parking areas close to your berries, you can help keep your guests’ morale high by providing a shuttle service to the farm from a parking lot that’s farther down the road.
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-maintained facility, either. Keep your paths clean so guests have easy access to your produce, and work to place enough signs throughout the property. That way, guests will know how to make their way from the parking lot to berry bushes, restrooms and check-out lines.
Proper Business Insurance
Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure your business is up to code with the right policies to protect you, your employees and your customers. Maintaining the proper insurance for your you-pick berry farm will help you run your business with confidence. This also lets your guests know that your site and products are safe.
Some of the most common insurance policies for pick-your-own operations include crop coverage, peak season coverage and workers compensation. Agritourism insurance can also be added to certain policies to give your company more protection in case of an incident. Safety is always a concern for public sites, and you-pick farm operations need to watch for child safety risks and other mobility concerns. If you need help reviewing your options, know that your Farm Bureau agent is here to help. Having the right protocols and insurance in place can encourage more people to come out and support your business — for this year, and for many seasons to come!