Friendly Advice on How to Start a Farmers Market

If you would of told me that I would be managing a farmers market a year ago I would of thought you were crazy. The opportunity arose quite suddenly to be the manager of our local farmers market. I am no expert on how to run a farmers market, but the following are important concepts to consider when you are thinking of starting a farmers market for your community or taking over one as a manager.Before you even begin to formulate your location, vendors, layout, marketing strategies you need to have a board of directors. This board will be the governing entity of your market. You will need people who are experienced in urban planning, business, the agricultural scene, and active with your community. It is also a good idea to talk to other farmers markets; how did they start their market? What advice do they have? Would they be willing to help you? Once you have your board members selected, you need to come up with a mission for your market. What do you stand for? What do you want your community to gain by your presence?You can’t have a farmers market without vendors. The type of vendor for your market really depends on your location. Here in Asheville, artisan vendors don’t do great. Produce vendors those are the vendors you want. You need to make sure that they are not all selling the same crops. Variety is key. At our market we have five produce vendors. They all have different items for sale. With the new craze of food trucks, it would be a great idea to recruit one or many for your market. My market is a smaller farmers market and I found that it’s best to try to reach out to food trucks that are just starting out. The ones that have been around for a longer period of time may consider your market – if it’s on the small scale or just starting up – a waste of their time because they may not make what they would consider to be a good profit for their time.Marketing is a deal. Based off data the best way to market is using social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,etc. These are valuable assets to any business. You can also use Google Business to let people know about your market. Social media posts are free, which is great when you are just starting out. Once you get your market sustainable cash flow, you can look into boosting posts on Facebook and Twitter. Both Facebook and Twitter offer you to set your advertising budget which allows for less stress; once your budget has been spent the advertising stops until you reset it. Another great idea is to partner up with local businesses that are willing to promote your market using their social media. From my experience going and talking to local restaurants, breweries, kitchen supply stores that do food demos are all great prospects.Location! Location! Location! This is very important to farmers markets. Last year my market was behind a church in their parking lot. There was no road visibility. We lacked new customers due to no visibility. During the off season we worked diligently to find a new location that was more visible, had walk ability, as well as good parking. We are now partnering with a local business to use their parking lot which has road visibility, parking as well as walk ability for our neighborhood. This move was a win-win for everyone involved. Our customers are now their customers, and their customers are now our customers.If you want to start your own farmers market here are some resources to consider reviewing before starting the process. There is a course you can take through the Farmers Market Federation of NY, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County and SUNY Cobleskill and funded by NYS’s Fresh Connect Program. This program costs $200, after taking the certification course you will be a certified Farmers Market Manager. It is an online course. I plan on taking it in the near future. Another great resource is ASAP. They have a section dedicated to how to become a farmers market manager with Powerpoint slides, PDF’s on farmers market rules and regulations. The best part is that this is a free resource.Resources:http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmm-pro-suny-farmers-market-managers-certification-programhttp://www.asapconnections.org

Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.

Payday Loans – A Temporary Solution

Managing you budget can be a bit tricky and quite difficult. At one point or another, you can even fall short of cash days before your next paycheck. The need for instant cash then becomes inevitable. And the quickest and easiest way to get it is with payday loan. Payday loan is a type of short term loan vehicle that allows you to borrow a small amount of money you need to survive until the next paycheck. It is a type of loan which can help you pay off unexpected bill or any financial responsibility immediately. Payday loan therefore is one solution to temporary need for emergency cash.How to apply?Unlike other types of loan vehicles, applying for payday loan is very easy. You don’t have to be backed up with a good credit history to get approved for the loan. You don’t need to present tons of documents necessary for the loan. And you don’t have to wait for days to get the money. All you have to do is to find a creditor with the most favorable terms and apply online, over the phone, or at local offices. Your loan can be approved within 24 hours or even on the same day. The requirements are simple: you need to be at least 18 years old, you should have an active and current bank account, and you should have a regular paying job. Some creditors ask that you should be employed at your present work for the last 3 months. Others may require you to have a checking account. Ether way, these requirements are just for formality sake.How payday loan works?Payday loan works simple. Once you get approved, the money you borrow will be directly deposited to your bank account, or, if you apply in person, you can get the money immediately. The terms of repayment vary. Many creditors require you to write a postdated check as your payment while some directly deduct it from your salary. The length of repayment varies as well. Creditors allow at least 2 weeks for repayment the money you borrowed but it can go for several weeks depending on the term agreement between the creditor and to borrower.Prolonging the repayment of the loan, however, is very detrimental to the borrower. Since this type of loan has high interest rate, repaying it for extended time is not cost-effective. Some payday loan companies offer interest rate as much as 50% per week. Meaning, if you borrow $200, you have to pay $300 back to the lenders after 1 week. The rate gets more complicated once you neglect to pay your creditor back in time. The interest soars and you have more financial problems than you originally have. There is one woman in Kentucky who borrowed $150 from a local lender. She promised to pay the money back plus fee. Six months later, she was still short of cash and discovered that her credit soared to more than $1000. She began receiving phone calls and threats that she will go to jail if she didn’t pay up.The point here is, although payday loan is very attractive and luring for its quick approval during the time of financial emergency, you should always know first if you really need it or not. It also doesn’t mean that even if you are expecting a paycheck in a few days, you can reluctantly apply for this type of loan just to suffice your need for money. Always remember of the price that you have to pay back once you apply for payday loan. Remember that you are on a binding contract with your creditor once your loan gets approved. And this contract can get you into trouble in the future if you were not able to abide to it.There is a saying that you cannot borrow you way out of debt. Always remember this when considering payday loan as a resort to your financial problem. Use payday loan only if you have nowhere to borrow money from. Avoid payday loan as much as possible. But if you have nowhere to go, use payday loan as a final and temporary solution– not as a first option to your immediate financial need.
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