Polytunnels can be useful for many small businesses, from smallholdings, farms and nurseries, to other creative endeavours. There are almost as many ways to use a polytunnel as there are polytunnel-based businesses. Most polytunnels are used for growing crops of some description, though others can prove their usefulness in other ways, as versatile covered areas for a range of purposes. If you are one of the many people who have one or more polytunnels and use it or them for business purposes, then this is an article for you. Below, you will find some tips for upscaling a polytunnel-based business:
No matter how large your polytunnel or polytunnels, you will likely have noticed that space is always at a premium. No one ever thinks that they have too much covered outside space! If you want to grow your polytunnel based business, you may simply have to bite the bullet and buy another/ more polytunnel(s). However, before deciding to do so, you should make sure you are using the space you have to best advantage. This could include using polycultures to increase yield in a given area, thinking vertically to increase the space, or using good design and layout to use the space as well as it can be used.
Overheads can often be a barrier to expansion and growth in a small business. You may well find that it can be expensive to heat and/or light your space. One solution for a growing business is to bring power generation in house by investing in a solar power array or other renewable energy generators. While these can be costly in the short term, over time, they can save a fortune, as well as making a growing business more sustainable, so could be the best thing for those looking to upscale their polytunnel based business.
Renewable energy from sunlight or wind are just two of the ways in which you can make the best use of all of the resources at your disposal. If growing crops, creating your own compost and fertilisers from materials on site may offer other ways to make full use of all the resources you have to hand.
Polycultures are just one, obvious example of the benefits of integration. But you can also follow this tip in a wide range of different ways. By integrating different parts of your business you can often streamline processes and make it easier to expand.
Upscaling a business need not mean expanding your current areas of commerce. You can also grow and improve your polytunnel based business by diversifying. You could increase the range of crops you grow, or increase the range of services you offer. Diversity makes for a stronger, more resilient and more sustainable business model.