Starting a well-planned farm shop with a business plan is a great entrepreneurial idea for a farm. Besides the business and marketing planning, you also need to plan whether to repurpose or build farm buildings as well as the layout of the customised shop. Here are our top 3 tips for calculating the size of the farm store.
Firstly, you need to determine what services and products you will be offering e.g. cooked food on site or prebaked cakes that are prepared elsewhere. This will define what equipment you will have in the interior.
Measure each piece of equipment, even the small pieces and any related piping. If you haven’t bought it yet, use the technical drawings.
You might want to oversize your building so it can be used for storing equipment in future if the shop moves to another location. So instead of 18 metres wide, consider 25 metres wide and instead of 35 metres long, consider 55 metres. You could also combine the shop with storage so that city visitors get to view real farming machinery.
Note: Machinery might need 5.5-metre door clearances.
Repairs will be needed so make sure that whatever space you plan for your shop equipment includes enough space to access them for maintenance, especially if they are difficult to remove or move.
Will you keep tools in the shop for small repairs or will you always bring in tools from the farm workshop? If you are storing a small set of tools in the shop, where will you be storing them? If you do need to do a minor repair, will it be in the shop or in the farm workshop? Where in the shop would you do this?
What about the storage of spare parts or consumables e.g. water filters, stock, baking ingredients, cleaning materials, shopping bags, etc?
Plan in a scullery space as well as public ablution facilities.
Your interior measurements and layout will feed directly into the external sizing of your farm building. Remember to leave the right amount of space for various flows, for example, a good aisle size is 1.2 metres which lets two people walk past each other or allows one person to bend over easily to pick up something from the bottom shelf. This might be too generous for your footprint, in that case, you can shrink it down to 0.9 metres.
If your product is bulky or people will use trolleys then 1.2 metres might be the better size.
You will need extra flow space around the pay point and entrance.
Keep shelving depths conservative as shelves must always look full. Having shelves that are stacked 12 deep will make achieving the full look expensive.
Plan extra space for your expansion in the future. It can be used for storage of farm equipment for now and then can be integrated into the shop when needed.
Now you just need to get your branding, signage and social media profiles set up!
To get professional input on your sizing and layout, feel free to pick our brains!
Call our farm buildings design team in NZ today for a free quote!
The Web Guys