5 Challenges When Building Your Own Organic Shop Business

Building a business takes a lot of time, patience, daring, and innovation on the part of the entrepreneur. These qualities are magnified when starting an organic shop business, as not only do you have to account for the standard financial concerns faced by all start-ups, but you must confront them while never deviating from your mission of producing natural, safe, healthy products. Therefore, if you are looking into starting your own organic shop business, the following breakdown can help you navigate 5 of the most common challenges entrepreneurs in the industry face.

1. Deciding What to Sell

Demand for organics has been on fire, with spending on organic products eclipsing 5% annual growth in recent years. And with society’s increased attention to sustainability concerns, it is easy to see why. Organic farming relies on natural and biologically-based farming methods that avoid the harmful chemicals and toxic pesticides that have caused concern in large-scale farming over the years.


However, while it is easy to get behind the organic movement, finding the right products to sell can be a challenging task in 2021. While the organic label used to apply only to fruits and vegetables, modern products from alcoholic beverages to goat soap milk, children’s snacks to sunscreen are now popular organic products. Therefore, you can no longer just call your store organic and expect customers to know what they are getting--you must carve out your specific niche in the industry and focus on the products you are most passionate about.

2. Finding Investors

Every small business will likely come to the realization that it has outgrown its humble beginnings. For some, this might take years; for others, the idea itself may be more than their current means can accommodate.


Whatever the case, it is going to take some serious capital for your organic business to reach its goals. More often than not, these capital requirements will extend past your friends and family, and you will need to solicit the funds of angel investors and venture capitalists. While this can be a bit of a scary proposition for a business owner who just wants to sell organic goods, the reality is that seeking outside funding will cause you to assess your business plan from every angle and put together a company that others will believe in--not just those with a vested interest in your personal success.

3. Getting the Right Certifications

You can’t just slap an “organic” label on a package of goat soap and expect customers to believe it is legitimate, given the widespread fraud in the health food industry. To achieve the USDA organic label, the product must be:

●  Overseen by a USDA NOP-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations

●  Produced without excluded or prohibited methods

●  Produced using allowed substances

In addition, if you have any additional areas of green expertise, be sure to go through all of the proper channels for obtaining the certification. For example, if you may also want to get an eco-label in addition to your certified organic label to demonstrate that you promote environmentally safe products and services.

4. Figuring Out How to Distribute Your Products

The shift to hybrid online/in-person commerce has created many challenges for businesses, and your organic shop will be no exception. Customers are going to expect fast and free shipping on their orders, so you will have to come up with innovative ways to meet these demands while securing your profit margins. Some ideas to help in this regard include:

●  Hiring a third-party logistics company to help handle the challenges associated with last mile delivery

●  Encouraging large bundle orders to reduce the cost per unit of product shipped

●  Reusing packaging

5. Handling Growth

Although it seems like getting your organic business off the ground is a daunting enough challenge in and of itself, you must be building your business with an eye toward the future. Some factors to keep in mind include:

●   How can you attract and retain quality employees to handle the increasing needs of the business?

●   How can you ensure the highest quality organic products when rising demand makes it tempting to cut corners?

●   What will you do if another business approaches you about a partnership?

While there are myriad other concerns that could be added to this list, having a preemptive strategy for handling growth can not only help guide your organic business today, but put it in the best possible position to satisfy the ever-growing market in subsequent years.


Be Prepared When Starting an Organic Business

Every business venture comes with a set of challenges, but organic shop businesses have all of the standard challenges and then some. To this effect, deciding what to sell, finding investors, getting the right certifications, laying out a plan for distribution, and handling growth are 5 of the most pertinent challenges when building your own organic shop business.


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