Maple Hill Farm

Julia Beyer came to the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in May of 2010. She is from New Jersey and has a second home, a farm in Wayne County.

She wanted to re-establish a bed & breakfast, establish an organic farm, and offer a “farm experience” to families. She felt her business could be a success because there are a number of summer camps in the area.

We conducted a SWOT analysis on the different business ideas. We discussed resources available to her through the state to assist her with farming and finances. We also suggested that she speak to the Penn State Extension agent about her soil and get suggestions on what to grow and how best to grow her organic crops.

Ms. Beyer had a business plan and we reviewed it for her; gave her recommendations and checked her calculations. Our professional consultant guide was sent to Ms. Beyer since she needed assistance finding a local lawyer.

She attended our “Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” seminar held in Wayne County. She was looking for marketing tips as she prepared for her farm related business to open.

Ms. Beyer was in the middle of a divorce and had a lot of questions about starting her own business and beginning a new chapter in her life.

Her first attempt at raising livestock was not as successful as she had hoped. Her chicken flock was decimated by predators. She was reconsidering farming, and was going to get an off farm job.

The center sent information on tax planning and public relation strategies for small business. The consultant discussed the benefits of getting adequate insurance coverage and the benefits and detractions of hiring employees to manage her farm.

We sent the client information on organic farming and financial resources geared to farmers in Pennsylvania as well as information on Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) gatherings in her county so that she could better network with local farmers. 

During the course of 2011, Ms. Beyer formally established her business and hired a web site designer to help her with promotional activity.

Ms. Beyer recently held her grand opening for her Bed & Breakfast, Maple Hill Farm, on June 24th. She has hired 2 employees and is open for business.