How to Write a Business Plan for Your Poultry Farming Business in Kenya

Poultry products are in high demand – Poultry Business in Kenya is a big business that gives enough meat and eggs for daily consumption of people. Eggs and chicken meat gives the necessary protein that the body needs. There is a popular slogan from the poultry farmers association that goes thus “Eat an egg a day it is good for your daily growth”. To be a poultry farmer means you can be a boss of your own.

The first step you need to take to seize this opportunity is by developing a poultry farming business plan.

What Your Poultry Business Plan Should Look Like

Draw out your effective business plan. Poultry business plan is like a road map leading you to where you are going in you business. It will help you know where you are at any point in time. Hence your business plan should include:

1) Type of Bird you want to concentrate on

Here you choose Chickens (Layers, Kienyeji or Broilers). I choose chicken because that’s what this article focuses on. There are other types of birds that are good for livestock business too, such as Goose, Duck, Turkey, etc.

2) Write down your area of interest

You can’t just be in all aspect of poultry farming in Kenya. You have to choose your area of interest where you would like to concentrate your business. This will ensure high level of focus and professionalism. If you can do two area, no problem.

Below are some of the major Niches in Poultry Farming in Kenya or elsewhere.

  • Layers Breeding which is egg production by Layers
  • Broilers breeding which referrers to the chicken meat production by Broilers
  • Hatchery which has to do with breeding chicken for the purpose of Hatching new chicks
  • Poultry feed which is producing feeds for other poultry farmers

You may choose to Breed Layers and Broilers at a time or one of them. Hatchery is better done independently just like feed production. So, you choose your area of focus

3) Sort out Location

This has a direct effect to your startup cost. A location in a very remote rural area will cost far less than the one close to the urban area. Remote rural area with good road is the ideal location as you will be free from regulatory agencies and drive down the cost of labor too.

As a new person to Livestock business, you don’t want to invest all your capital into buying lands in urban area which may turn out not being used because Government policy is against setting up poultry farm near residential/urban areas for health implication.

4) Investment Capital

With location in mind, you now have clearer idea of the capital required of you. Write down your detailed capital and investment requirements for your poultry farming in Kenya venture and set out to source for it.

Like every other farming projects, the bigger you plan to start, the more investment required. You need to decide on the level of capital investment you are willing to commit into this business before starting.

  • Small scale Chicken Rearing (of about 50 birds) kept in cages at the backyard of your resident will take about Ksh.35,000 to start.
  • A medium scale poultry farming that requires land and housing and other materials in 1 – 2 plots of Land takes about Ksh.250,000 to Ksh.2 Million to start.
  • Large scale or Intensive poultry farming that requires high level of sophistication and more careful planning and professionalism, using advance Livestock farming techniques takes from Ksh.5 Million.

Develop Your Knowledge

The more business management tips and tricks you acquire, the more successful your poultry business will be. Poor business planning, results in poor farming management, and is the main factor that causes the failure of poultry farming, and small businesses in Kenya. Learning about effective management of various areas, such as changing the food or water in the event of fecal contamination can lower the risk of disease.

In case of spillage of water, you can clean the areas, which have greater risk of breeding germs, and can result in your chickens becoming diseased, and potentially dying.

You should fully understand exactly what your chicken should eat. Feeding your chickens a complete and nutritious diet is essential if they are to stay healthy and lay lots of lovely profitable eggs! Chickens will eat almost anything, so, to prevent deficiencies and health problems, a wide range of foods should be offered. A good quality poultry pellet should be the mainstay of their diet. This can be supplemented with grains such as maize, soya cakes, groundnut, worms, insects and any other meat produce you can afford.

Poultry farming in Kenya requires having the right knowledge to be able to the right things to get the right result. It requires hard work and prompt attention to details. Poultry Farming is little capital intensive but if you are starting on a micro scale (Home back yard) where you have a small space at your back yard, it is not. Starting small is the best way to enter and learn the business.

Before you venture into poultry farming business in Kenya, you need to seat back and do proper planning; make sure you have an idea of all the costs involved.

Business plan is a very important part of every business venture and that is why you hear about it very often. Unfortunately, most people who think about starting a business usually don’t consider writing a business plan.

I have read from different business experts about the fact that most start-up entrepreneurs do not write business plan but what I have not read from anyone is why this is so.

Why is it that most people have fear (so to say) about writing a business plan? I know the answer.

You see, there are many myths and lies you probably have heard about the subject of business plan. Some people present business plan as if it was a university thesis or an academic report to be defended before certain professors. Other people think that a business plan has to be 50 pages long and that it must be written in a certain “approved” format.

Well, I am here to tell you that all those opinions are not valid. Because there are some ugly lies around this important business step, most people are “afraid” of doing it.

Why do you need a business plan?

There are three reasons why anyone may need a business plan.

First, if you`re about to start a business and you want to convince certain people to raise capital for you. In this case, you want to use your business plan to “sell” your business idea to the investors so they will be willing to finance your business.

Second, if you want to start a business and you`re willing to be successful. Though you don`t need external investors, you obviously need to grow, to compete and to win the battle of the market place. You need a business plan.

Third, you may need a new business plan because the economic or market situation has make your last plans obsolete. Yes, business plan is not like an academic paper which may stand for many years and still be relevant.

Your projections, plans or tactics are dependent on many factors that are beyond your power and when things change that affect your business (positively or negatively), then your plans also must be re-written.

How long should a business plan be and how many years should it be?

I am sure you know that my answer will not be in agreement with what you have been told before and the reason is because, you see, most people usually see the world we are as a formal world where everything has to be done formally. That`s not true.

The world is not formal and every meaningful thing in the world is informal. Let me explain with an analogy.

If you are chatting with me on facebook or whatsapp, you will be looking at my profile picture and assume that you`re speaking with someone you`re seeing right in the profile picture. But no, the man who you`re seeing wears a good suit while the real me is wearing boxers and a signet.

You think I am formal, but I am not. How long should a business plan be?

Depending on your objective and who will read it. The last business plan I wrote was written on a single sheet of A4 paper. I typed and printed it out.

If you intend to write a business plan for yourself and not to convince any investor, I strongly recommend that you write your business plan in a single sheet of paper or two, worst, three. I know this is a strange advice so let me explain.

You see, human nature loves complexity while simplicity is the only valuable thing. Anything that is too complex will give you stress and then become a burden on you, then you’ll abandon it … making it useless.

If you are planning to write a business plan for your own usefulness, you will have to review it often (or else you won’t even follow it), so tell me, which document is easier to review, a ten pages document or two? What if you want to write a business plan to convince the investors?

Some people will advise you to write 50 pages and some other entrepreneurs might have written 100 pages in the past, but let me tell you the truth, nobody has time to read your thesis except the university professors.

The only people who have so much time are the poor people and I am sure if at all you want to use your business plan to get an investor to finance your business, then you`re talking about someone who is (probably) very busy.

Let me tell you this so you will understand what I am saying here.

Many CVs have been submitted to me by the job seekers in the past and I am sure they would have prepared those CVs thinking, “I will impress the employers”. Well, here comes the sad news … I have never in my life read a CV, I scan through them. I don`t have time, please.

Your business plan is like the CV for the job seekers. How long should it be? Its again depends on who will read it. 10 pages may help you. 15 pages may help you, but when you`re going beyond 20 pages, I am out!

If you forget everything, make sure you don`t forget this… the investors you will give your business plan to really don`t have time.

How many years should it be?

Another area where people miss it. They are writing 5 or 10 years business plan. I laugh. Think about planning for your agribusiness the way you think about goals for your life.

When I first learned about goal setting, I was impressed by that idea and I started by writing 5 and 10 years goals. I was wrong. It never worked. I later started writing one year goal and now I am writing goal for a third of the year (4 months). The reason is simple… you`re a human being like all of us. What you think/plan will happen will not happen the way you plan it.

Any agribusiness plan that is more than one year is actually questionable. That is my opinion. Any other business expert may tell you something different. So what and what should your plan contain? Before answering this question, permit me to cross out a popular lie about business plan.

Most people believe that if your plan is well written, it will win you huge amount of money from the investors. This is like telling a graduate, hey, if you can write your CV very well, you will be employed in a big company. That was then.

I hate certificate and CV and every single time people have submitted them to me, I have asked myself, what can this man/woman render as value for us (as organization)?

Do you think I am the only one with this mindset? Do you think your intending investors will be bought by a super-written plan? Think again.

Most investors will rather judge your five sentences than your 50 pages plans. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write your plan very well. It simply means that you have more to do than just writing a plan. You have to understand in and out, front and back, up and down of your intending agribusiness. In fact, the written plan is nothing but the abstract of what is in your head, or else, you`ll fail in your attempt to convince business partners or investors to help your agribusiness.

Some people believe that business plan is what anyone (an expert) can sit down somewhere and just write for them. A man called me about two months ago and that was what he wanted me to do for him. If I write a “superb” plan for you, will I still be the one to defend it when your investors ask you questions? That is why the first task you have is to understand your agribusiness very well.

Okay, now let me tell you seven things that your business plan should contain. I will not write any complex term or academic jargon here (because I believe the world is not complex)

1) Your business name/title.

This is obvious. Example… Muguku Poultry Farm`s Business Plan

2) Objective/summary.

They call this Executive Summary, but don’t be deceived by this name. It simply means, why you are writing this plan. What do you want to achieve with your plan? If you’re giving it to an investor, what do you want from him? Constructively state your objective here. If you’re giving your plan to someone you want to convince to partner with you, state your objective and if your intention is to get him to finance your agribusiness venture, state that here.

3) Business description

What and what is your agribusiness all about? What is your farming all about? What are the future possibilities and threats in your farm? Describe your intending agribusiness here.

4) Market strategy.

An investor expects you to have been familiar with your product/service and market, as close as you are to your wife. He wants you to convince him of your intending marketing strategies and that is the reason for this face. How do you intend to win a good market share for your produce? This is very important, even if you`re not presenting your plan to any investor.

5) Competitors` analysis.

Here, an investor will want you to convince him that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Some people come up with a formula they call SWOT analysis. It simply means that you should analyses the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, and the Threats in the market place. This will help you to know how to play your agribusiness game and if you`ll be presenting your business plan to an investor, this will encourage him that you actually understand your “enemies” and are able to kill them

6) Your people.

If I want to invest with you, won’t I have interest in knowing who and who will be part of your agribusiness team? That is what you will want to write here. Who will be doing what, who will be handle what and who will be employed later to take care of what? These are the answers you have to provide here.

7) Financial situations and forecasts.

Here you`ll want to write about the financial requirements of your agribusiness, amount on ground now and what and what is needed. Above you have it. A guide that can help you to write a good agribusiness plan. And you see, all I have written here are by no means a “standard formula”.

1 Comment

  1. Simple, precise and straight to the point guide, thanks Fredrick.

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