Thoughts on the FFA CDE - Ag Marketing Plan -- 3 of 5 Analysis of "The Business Proposal"

September 10, 2015

The Business Proposal


Mission Statement

Mission statements are not long, rosy essays on life and dreams.  Think more strategic, almost military.  They want to "take that hill", "destroy that bridge", or "invade that island".   Southwest Airlines has a great example of a concise mission statement.  "To be THE lowest cost airfare among commercial airlines."  It's easy to plan when your mission is that focused.  If they add a meal for every person on every flight, then will be they be the lost cost airline?  Nope.  So you don't get a meal but you get a cheap flight. 

For the Local Yokel Christmas Tree Farm a very basic mission statement would be "Provide the highest quality Christmas Tree at market competitive prices."  If your group is comfortable with that, then this will be your primary focus for your marketing plan.  All ideas will be measured against this mission statement.


Key Planning assumptions

You should make some assumptions that everyone is aware of.  Average rainfall, steady economy, input prices (seedling, fertilizer, water, labor, fuel) are all stable from last year, and an equal number of competitors are some very basic assumptions.  You can also look to see how long the holiday season will last in days this year compared to last.  Is Thanksgiving earlier?  Is Christmas on a weekend or weekday?  Are there more weekends during the holiday season this year? 

Short and Long-term goals

The short and long term goals should match up with what the business owner wants.  Short term he wants to sell every tree he planted for each specific holiday season.  Long term goal would be to increase overall attendance and make the tree farm more valuable to sell within 5 to 10 years.  That may include planting more acres and is within the farm's capacity.

Target Market

We discussed this earlier.  From your analysis the 20/30 year old couples with a child market is your largest customer base.  Any other group that comes to buy a tree is fantastic but this target market will be the judge of whether your marketing idea is good or not.

I didn't go real deep on this part of the CDE, but it should be somewhat redundant based on what we have covered so far.  Onward and upward to (part 4).  If you have just found this blog series you can start from the beginning at (Part 1: Ag Marketing Plan)