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Fresh Threads: Fruit farms, inventions and business advice

  1. Kat Haylock

    Kat Haylock Community Editor Staff Member

    430 195
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    Hi UKBFers,

    Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of what's been happening on the forums. 

    Here are this week's picks:

    1. Starting up your own fruit farm

    For-all-occasions, General Business

    For-all-occasions is thinking about setting up a pick-your-own fruit field, ideally starting with strawberries or raspberries. Has anyone got any experience with this, or any advice on moving forward?

    Stedurham: One near me does well, but I guess it’s seasonal. They also have a garden centre part, which is again, seasonal. But they do nice coffees and sandwiches, so it seems busy all year round. I’m not sure you could sustain just having [the field].

    Ian J: There's a big one near us, but they also sell through local garden centres and greengrocers, and I'm not sure how profitable these enterprises are when dependant solely on pick-your-own. Having watched my mother eat most of the strawberries that she picked, I'm sure that these places would be more profitable if instead of weighing the basket they weighed the person when entering and leaving and charged for the difference in weight.

    GTL: Personally, I would guard against it being the sole source of income, as the risks of a bad summer could have a significant impact on footfall and therefore turnover. Also, you should be aware that a) such investment is not cheap, b) it will take a few years for plants to reach best yields and c) footfall is limited to the picking season, which is about three or four months a year. 

    2. Employee on sick leave, took position in other employment

    gidwick, Employment & HR

    Gidwick has an employee who’s been off sick for over six weeks. They recently learned that the employee took up a position at another venue three weeks ago, but the same employee has just handed them another sick note for the next two weeks.

    Gidwick sees it as a huge conflict to their business, and wants to dismiss the employee – where do they stand on dismissing him while he’s off sick?

    Scalloway: I would ask the employee directly if they have taken on another job. But if they have not been with you for two years you can sack them without giving a reason.

    DocsWizard: Do you have a clause in your contract that requires your permission to take up other work? If you do, then that is the best place to start. If they are well enough to do other work, then it suggests they might be well enough to attend a meeting with you. A meeting to discuss the conflict and your 'confusion' about how their anxiety only affects you, is the right place to begin.

    Gecko001: If he is working for another employer, then get proof and stop his sick pay. He is defrauding you, as far as I can see.

    3. What to do with a new product idea?

    Benjib, General Business

    Benjib has come up with a new product idea which he thinks has great potential, but he’s stuck with what to do next. He’s approached a product design company who think the first step would be to conduct a worldwide patent search, but Benjib doesn’t have the capital to throw at searches or prototypes.

    “Where do I go from here? Basically, I have an idea and no money to do anything with it.”

    Jasondb: Obviously I don’t know your idea, but if it’s in a sensitive industry with powerful competitors it might not get off the ground due to bad business pressure. I’m not saying that is the case, but before you borrow have a think about if you were to get it going, whose profit margins would you impact?

    Mark T Jones: Your chance of getting a bank loan at this stage is zero. Your chance of getting investment without at very least proof of concept is also zero. Being realistic, you are going to have to invest to some kind of prototype stage to get anything rolling. As is often said on here, in idea alone is worth nothing.

    consultant: The most important thing is to ensure you have a product or concept that works. You can do some of the patent work yourself, but too many inventors fall foul of investing all their money into a patent and then not having enough to develop the product or producing a turkey! In many cases, regardless of what you have developed, it is a process that will be registered, not necessarily the whole thing. Research the market, prepare even a basic business plan, know how much money you really need and then look at funding – there are lots of sources at different risks.

    4. The best piece of advice you've ever heard

    Joe Y, General Business

    This is a lovely read to end the week with. Enjoy!

    fisicx: Learn to say no. Walk away from anything that you don't feel comfortable with.

    Mr D: Sleep on it. If a deal or an offer is good enough for that day it will be good enough to be looked at fresh the next day.

    Gecko001: My accountant told me when I started that I should always make sure you have enough capital.

    Mitch3473: The second mouse gets the cheese.

    Webprojectuk: Give the marketplace what it wants. The marketplace doesn’t care about your passions, desires or needs. (I was not told this but had to learn the hard way – in fact I’m still learning every single day.)

    deniser: Keep your costs as low as possible while starting out.

    Prime81: Don't agree to anything you aren't happy about just to accommodate the client. Those are usually the jobs that go wrong or end up being more trouble than they are worth.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone!

  2. Furqan721

    Furqan721 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    51 3
    Thank You for sharing this stuff!
    Posted: May 16, 2018 By: Furqan721 Member since: Feb 26, 2018
  3. Salifuj

    Salifuj UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 1
    After all said and done, not all businesses or websites need to worry about it. Most small businesses will not be affected right?
    Posted: May 30, 2018 By: Salifuj Member since: Oct 7, 2016