There's no simple answer to this, but we'll do our best!
We ran a full financial projection on three hypothetical business models to demonstrate not only what you can earn, but how vastly the figures can change depending on your strategy, location, and workflow.
Please note these are illustrative models based on data aggregated from our growers, but not necessarily representative of particular individuals or their businesses.
Former cook that knows his market and capitalizes on warm-weather herbs.
Location: Seattle, WA
Channel: Grocery Supply
Leafy Green Machines: 2
Crop: 50% Basil, 50% Full-head Romaine
Workload: 25–35 hours / week
Years in Business: 2
Business Model: Herbs are very profitable per unit, but do not sell at the same volume as lettuces. So this farmer divides his two LGMs between herbs and lettuces, then partners with local grocery stores to distribute the produce.
Start-up Financing: Andrés put down 34,000 on his LGMs in exchange for a favorable 7% interest rate on a 7-year guaranteed bank loan. He also leases land for $1,200 per month.
First-time farmer, supplementing her income by selling local produce.
Location: Austin, TX
Channel: Direct to Restaurant
Leafy Green Machines: 1
Crop: 100% Full-head Romaine
Workload: 15–20 hours / week
Years in Business: 1
Business Model: Julie grows just a single crop (romaine), and sells all of her produce to one local restaurant, which minimizes both packaging costs and delivery time. In return, she settles for wholesale prices from the buyer.
Start-up Financing: Julie put down $15,000 on her new LGM, and secured a 7-year loan at 9% interest to pay the balance.
Experienced Freight Farmer that works extra hard to maximize the potential of his LGMs.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Channel: Direct to Consumer
Leafy Green Machines: 2
Crop: 10% Basil, 45% Full-head Bibb, 45% Mini-head Butterhead
Workload: 50–60 hours / week
Years in Business: 3
Business Model: Nick engages in time-consuming direct-to-consumer sales activities such as farmers markets, but achieves premium pricing by doing so. Whenever produce is left over, local restaurants are happy to buy it at a modest discount.
Start-up Financing: With $17,000 down, Nick secured a very favorable government loan at 5% interest, and leases commercial land in a low-cost area.
We'd be happy to walk you through the variety of financing options available for brand new Freight Farmers. Just head over to our Financing Page to learn more.