This report outlines a very small business of my brother's.
It describes his business, target market, financial plans, and marketing plans. I have tried to keep a neutral opinion
about his opinions as much as possible. I have tried to keep my inputs and thoughts in the conclusion only.
The whole idea of my brother, insert name here, owning a
business started in early March of 1998 when one of the
neighbors jokingly suggested he should raise chickens and
sell them to people. A few days later he realized it could be easily done, and with a profit. From mid-March to
September, he and I raised, and easily sold 600+ chickens,
we only wished we could have raised more. When March
of 1999 rolled around we were contemplating how many
chickens to buy, when the person we bought the chickens
from told us about the possibilities of rabbits. Because
rabbits are a yearlong project, and we knew I would be
leaving in the fall, it became his decision and ultimately his project. He started out with 20 baby doe (females), 3 baby
bucks (males), and a small-borrowed hutch (cage) with all
23 rabbits jammed in tight. His investment in rabbits,
although considerable, was still to be outdone by the ones
in hutches and feed. He essentially spent all profits from
chickens the year before and then some. His project now
consists of 20 mature doe, 3 mature bucks, and
approximately 60 babies. He has taken over a section of a
large barn and turned it into a 30+ hutch rabbitry system
with a circulating automatic watering system., and recently
acquired a large weaning cage.
I asked him how he felt when he was getting started and he
said he didn't like spending all that money but he knew he
would get it all back someday. I then asked him if he was
afraid of competition, or of there not being a big enough
market. He said he knew of nobody else selling rabbit meat
in the area on any scale, and that because rabbit meat is
practically thee healthiest meat, he couldn't see any
problems in the market. He then said that if personal selling fails he can sell them through his "chicken provider" on a
per pound basis.
One thing I have always known about my brother and his
rabbit business is that he is very confident in its success and that even though he knows there will be small problems he
is very sure of overall success.
When I asked him who he sees as his typical customer he
said that first he would talk to people that bought chickens last year, and then possibly put an add in the Kearney Hub
(an area newspaper). He then said that because rabbit
meat is so healthy he saw the health conscience as his
primary customers he also said that because it wouldn't be
real cheap, they would be people with money to spend on
special health food. He didn't have any demographics,
Psychographics, or Geographics, but that he knew there
the supply and that all demand would be his. I asked him if
he saw any reason for his market to shrink, and he said he
didn't see any reason for it not to grow.
Most of the funding for his business came from our chicken
profits, from me (expecting to be paid back plus some) and
from his savings. While he did not have a business plan set
in concrete he had some basic numbers that he thought
would be attainable and some ideas on how to attain them.
He did not receive funding from a bank. Profit margins for
his business are somewhat unpredictable the number of kits
(baby rabbits) a doe has a year can greatly effect the
business. He tries to conservatively figure his profits.
Here I will try to give you a little info on the possible
income of a 20 doe rabbitry. If the average doe has 12 kits
a litter and has a litter every 1 ¾ month or 9 litters a year, then each doe averages 108 babies a year. Take this
number times the number of doe or 20 and you get 2160
babies a year. If each baby weighs 4-6 pounds (we'll use
4) when sold on a per-pound rate you are selling 8640
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