Consulting Services
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Dennis Bowman
Posted on: May 9, 2001

I’m very impressed by your info on Richters Q&A. -- worth 100 hours of web searching! I’m a start-up and wish to hire a guide. I’ve seen many stories on web and frustrated by generalized info. I realize many hundreds of hours are needed just to set myself up for risk, let alone make income. Are you available for casual consulting?

Thank you for your nice comments about my work. I am available as an outside consultant, and is what I do now for some of my incomes. I also act as a broker for many already established. You probably could use me to help develop a business plan (Farm Plan), and for follow-up phone consultations.

Once you have a project or two on-going, taking an 8-hour intensive workshop can fine tune your work, and give you broader responses to your field and marketing questions. I plan one of those at Richters Herb Farming Intensive in October 2001. I normally offer up to six workshops per year, plus participating at other conferences.

It must be remembered that this industry is NOT a raw material supplier industry, but driven on cottage industries. It is not the cheapest and best herbs grown that make money, but the consistent delivery of chemistry in some form of packaging. All those who make it in this industry do so via a product (like Indian Herbal Coffee). If the product is any good, the customer will come back for a second purchase. That is the ONLY way anyone makes a living in this industry.

The market is driven by availability. For example, you might produce an animal feed suppliment that causes a female dog to be more fertile for breeding. If the formula works, you will become successful. Of course, growing the material allows vertical integration and control of your quality (of chemistry delivered).

But, your money does not come from the quality of your farming, it comes from the delivery of your cottage industry. With that understanding, the selection of your crops is strictly based on your cottage industry idea. You must start with your idea, and that will dictate what crops you should cultivate, and which crops you should purchase from another source.

I can help you toward selecting a cottage industry idea, and then formulate a business plan around that. This is what I do under Farm Plans. This is a complete business plan, taking into account various factors, resources, and market situations. For more detail on what might be needed to get me started, visit my website at www.nwbotanicals.org and check out Services (under OAK).

First things first, however. Start with your idea on what the public might want in the way of something "new" for the industry. That then dictates what you can (and cannot) grow on your farm.

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