The next step in the pre-business planning process is to begin thinking about the strategic plan for your dairy processing business. This is where you summarize are your thoughts, ideas, and research and make a plan to get started. The first thing you need to do (using the research you’ve already completed) is decide if:

  • You plan to milk heritage breed animals and market the milk to another dairy processor
  • You plan to purchase milk from a dairy farmer using heritage breeds
  • You plan to milk and make products from heritage breeds
  • You decided that you will enjoy products made from heritage breeds, but milking and making dairy products is not right for you, your family or your farm.

Understand that it is ok to decide not to continue.You may want to take some time to discuss your decision with family/friend.

Summarize Project

For those that are planning to either milk and/or make something from the milk of heritage breeds, you can start to make a strategic plan to outline the steps necessary to complete your goal. To start, summarize you project by including:

  • Why you plan to use heritage breeds in dairy processing?
  • Who is involved in the enterprise, and what do they bring to the project?
  • Is this part time or full time?
  • Where is the project going to take place?
  • What do you plan to make?
  • Who do you plan to sell it to?
  • Financial goals? (include production size and profitability)
  • How do you expect to finance the business?
  • What are the facilities like that you have now?

Strategic Plan
This is where you start by listing everything that you need to do. List everything from taking cheesemaking courses, to writing the business plan, to site work on a new buildings, to ordering packaging. As you list these things, write down whether or not they are a short-term (done within a year) or long-term (done within five years) or future (five years or more).

You can be as brief as saying “buy equipment” or as detailed as listing the equipment that you will need. As you start to move along into the business planning phase, you will start to attach dollar figures to some of these tasks. For example, “site work for new building – Short Term $1600 (done by Cousin Bob)”