Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Yin and Yang of the Alpaca Business: Great Time to Join the Industry!

Like Dickens wrote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."  In one of my recent blogs, I wrote about looking and focusing on what is going right in my alpaca business.  It seems that with anything positive, there is a less positive trait to it.  Take for example where I live.  The good news is that I live near two highways and there is easy access to my farm and business.  I get a fair amount of drop-in visitors because of my location.  The down side of where I live is that I live near two busy highways and there is more noise and traffic than I'd care for at times.  There is good and not so good with it. 

When new clients ask me how the economy is affecting the alpaca business, I tell them the same thing.  There is good and some not so good things going on.  The good news for new buyers is that there are some great animals out there for less money.  It's a buyers market.  The downside for some of us that have been in business for awhile is that we have a lot more competition to sell our animals and have been dropping our prices to compete with many farms that are going out of business and liquidating their herds.  It has been tough surviving through those multitude of farms liquidating.  But, being positive and staying focused on what is going right, this is such a fantastic and exciting time to be in the alpaca industry.  If you are an entrepreneur and have a creative way of thinking, the alpaca industry is a great place for you.  This is the stage in this industry when small manufacturing and product development is popping up.  People are becoming more aware and loving alpacas.  They are the "in" animal these days.  When I first started in this business, you had to explain what an alpaca was and so many people thought they were emus!  Now I rarely have to tell someone what an alpaca is.  They know.  The education has been wonderful.  The public is starting to appreciate the wonderful fleece of alpaca too.  For many of us, we would love to send our fleeces to someone trying to establish a new niche in the market.  To sell alpacas, we need more people wanting to make more product!  We need more people selling product.  We need more fiber farms.  We need more mills to either make more yarn or make yarn for textile projects.  The list goes on with what is needed.  People WANT to spend money on our alpaca products.  They LOVE them.  But, like many farms out there that are one or two person operations, we need more entrepreneurs to get involved and work with us breeders.  There isn't a nice prescribed road to get these opportunities off the ground, but then that is the fun aspect of doing it.  

I remember when certain stocks went public for the first time and I think back how I wished I had bought shares in those stocks.  I'd have a nice nest egg if I had done so.  This time, I'm in the alpaca industry at the right time.  We are growing and becoming more established out there.  We are in the early stages of becoming a bigger fiber manufacturing resource.  Think how long the wool industry has been around and how well established it is.  It's been around for centuries if not millennia.  The alpaca industry began in the USA in the 1980's!  We are new and we are growing.  If you are looking for an exciting business opportunity to get into, have that entrepreneurial spirit, take a look at the alpaca world.  You don't need to own acreage to become involved in this great industry.  You just need creativity, desire, and some chutzpah to go for it! 

It's a "sign"!  A great time to become involved in the alpaca industry!

1 comment:

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