How to write a business plan for an apples farm?

apples farm business plan

Writing a business plan for an apples farm can be an intimidating task, especially for those just starting.

This in-depth guide is designed to help entrepreneurs like you understand how to create a comprehensive business plan so that you can approach the exercise with method and confidence.

We'll cover: why writing an apples farm business plan is so important - both when starting up, and when running and growing the business - what information you need to include in your plan, how it should be structured, and what tools you can use to get the job done efficiently.

Let's get started!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for an apples farm?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for an apples farm?
  • What goes in the financial forecast for an apples farm?
  • What goes in the written part of an apples farm business plan?
  • What tool can I use to write my apples farm business plan?

Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write an apples farm business plan in the first place.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Running a small business is tough! Economic cycles bring growth and recessions, while the business landscape is ever-changing with new technologies, regulations, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging constantly.

In such a dynamic context, operating a business without a clear roadmap is akin to driving blindfolded: it's risky, to say the least. That's why crafting a business plan for your apples farm is vital to establish a successful and sustainable venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to assess your current position (if you're already in business) and define where you want the business to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your apples farm, you'll have to:

  • Identify the necessary resources (human, equipment, and capital) needed to reach your goals,
  • Determine the pace at which the business needs to progress to meet its objectives as scheduled,
  • Recognize and address the potential risks you may encounter along the way.

Engaging in this process regularly proves advantageous for both startups and established companies. It empowers you to make informed decisions about resource allocation, ensuring the long-term success of your business.

To maintain visibility on future cash flows

Businesses can go for years without making a profit, but they go bust as soon as they run out of cash. That's why "cash is king", and maintaining visibility on your apples farm's future cash flows is critical.

How do I do that? That's simple: you need an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your apples farm business plan already contains a financial forecast (more on that later in this guide), so all you have to do is to keep it up-to-date.

To do this, you need to regularly compare the actual financial performance of your business to what was planned in your financial forecast, and adjust the forecast based on the current trajectory of your business.

Monitoring your apples farm's financial health will enable you to identify potential financial problems (such as an unexpected cash shortfall) early and to put in place corrective measures. It will also allow you to detect and capitalize on potential growth opportunities (higher demand from a given segment of customers for example).

To secure financing

Crafting a comprehensive business plan for your apples farm, whether you're starting up or already established, is paramount when you're seeking financing from banks or investors.

Given how fragile small businesses are, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap in place as well as command and control of your future cash flows before entertaining the idea of funding you.

For banks, the information in your business plan will be used to assess your borrowing capacity - which is defined as the maximum amount of debt your business can afford alongside your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation helps them decide whether to extend credit to your business and under what terms (interest rate, duration, repayment options, collateral, etc.).

Similarly, investors will thoroughly review your plan to determine if their investment can yield an attractive return. They'll be looking for evidence that your apples farm has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you understand the importance of creating a business plan for your apples farm, let's delve into the necessary information needed to craft an effective plan.

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Information needed to create a business plan for an apples farm

You need the right data in order to project sales, investments and costs accurately in the financial forecast of your apples farm business plan.

Below, we'll cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan.

Carrying out market research for an apples farm

Before you begin writing your business plan for an apples farm, conducting market research is a critical step in ensuring precise and realistic financial projections.

Market research grants you valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other crucial factors that can impact the success of your business.

In the course of this research, you may stumble upon trends that could impact your apples farm.

Your market research may reveal that local consumers may be increasingly interested in organic apples, or that they could be interested in a variety of different flavors and colors of apples.

Such market trends play a pivotal role in revenue forecasting, as they provide essential data regarding potential customers' spending habits and preferences.

By integrating these findings into your financial projections, you can provide investors with more accurate information, enabling them to make well-informed decisions about investing in your apples farm.

Developing the sales and marketing plan for an apples farm

Budgeting sales and marketing expenses is essential before creating an apples farm business plan.

A comprehensive sales and marketing plan should provide an accurate projection of what actions need to be implemented to acquire and retain customers, how many people are needed to carry out these initiatives, and how much needs to be spent on promotions, advertising, and other aspects.

This helps ensure that the right amount of resources is allocated to these activities in order to hit the sales and growth objectives forecasted in your business plan.

The staffing and capital expenditure requirements of an apples farm

Whether you are starting or expanding an apples farm, it is important to have a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) in order to ensure the success of the business.

Both the recruitment and investment plans need to be coherent with the timing and level of growth planned in your forecast, and require appropriate funding.

The staffing costs for an apples farm might include wages for farm workers, a farm manager, and an administrative assistant. The equipment costs might include a tractor, farm implements, apple picking ladders, and other supplies necessary for the operation of the farm.

In order to create a realistic financial forecast, you will also need to consider the other operating expenses associated with running the business on a day-to-day basis (insurance, bookkeeping, etc.). 

Once you have all the necessary information to create a business plan for your apples farm, it is time to start creating your financial forecast.

What goes into your apples farm's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your apples farm will enable you to assess the profitability potential of your business in the coming years and how much capital is required to fund the actions planned in the business plan.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a apples farm are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for an apples farm shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.

projected profit and loss statement example in a apples farm business plan

Ideally, your apples farm's P&L statement should show:

  • Healthy growth - above inflation level
  • Improving or stable profit margins
  • Positive net profit

Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established apples farm. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.

The projected balance sheet of your apples farm

Your apples farm's forecasted balance sheet enables the reader of your plan to assess your financial structure, working capital, and investment policy.

It is composed of three types of elements: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: represent what the business owns and uses to produce cash flows. It includes resources such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: represent funds advanced to the business by lenders and other creditors. It includes items such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers), taxes due and loans.
  • Equity: is the combination of what has been invested by the business owners and the cumulative profits and losses generated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). Equity is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of forecasted balance sheet in a apples farm business plan

Your apples farm's balance sheet will usually be analyzed in conjunction with the other financial statements included in your forecast.

Two key points of focus will be:

  • Your apples farm's liquidity: does your business have sufficient cash and short-term assets to pay what it owes over the next 12 months?
  • And its solvency: does your business have the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term?

The cash flow forecast

A projected cash flow statement for an apples farm is used to show how much cash the business is generating or consuming.

cash flow forecast in a apples farm business plan example

The cash flow forecast is usually organized by nature to show three key metrics:

  • The operating cash flow: do the core business activities generate or consume cash?
  • The investing cash flow: how much is the business investing in long-term assets (this is usually compared to the level of fixed assets on the balance sheet to assess whether the business is regularly maintaining and renewing its equipment)?
  • The financing cash flow: is the business raising new financing or repaying financiers (debt repayment, dividends)?

As we discussed earlier, cash is king and keeping an eye on future cash flows an imperative for running a successful business. Therefore, you can expect the reader of your apples farm business plan to pay close attention to your cash flow forecast.

Also, note that it is customary to provide both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts in a business plan - so that the reader can analyze seasonal variation and ensure the apples farm is appropriately funded.

The initial financing plan

The sources and uses table or initial financing plan is a key component of your business plan when starting an apples farm.

It shows where the capital needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be spent (uses).

sources and uses table in a apples farm business plan

This table helps size the investment required to set up the apples farm, and understand how risks will be distributed between the business owners, and the financiers.

The sources and uses table also highlights what the starting cash position will be. This is key for startups as the business needs to have sufficient funding to sustain operations until the break-even point is reached.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what will go into the financial forecast of your apples farm business plan, let's have a look at the written part of the plan.

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The written part of an apples farm business plan

The written part of the business plan is where you will explain what your business does and how it operates, what your target market is, whom you compete against, and what strategy you will put in place to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified.

Having this context is key for the reader to form a view on whether or not they believe that your plan is achievable and the numbers in your forecast realistic.

The written part of an apples farm business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The first section of your apples farm's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.

When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.

Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.

Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your apples farm, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.

2. The presentation of the company

As you build your apples farm business plan, the second section deserves attention as it delves into the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide valuable insights into the legal structure of the business, the identities of the owners, and their respective investments and ownership stakes. This level of transparency is vital, particularly if you're seeking financing, as it clarifies which legal entity will receive the funds and who holds the reins of the business.

Moving to the location part, you'll offer a comprehensive view of the company's premises and articulate why this specific location is strategic for the business, emphasizing factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your apples farm, you may emphasize its potential for growth. The farm may be situated within a populous region with a thriving agricultural industry, providing access to a wide range of resources and expertise. The climate could be well-suited to growing apples, and the area could have a rich history of successful apple farms. Additionally, the region could have easy access to major transportation routes, allowing for efficient distribution and delivery of your apples.

Lastly, you should introduce your esteemed management team. Provide a thorough explanation of each member's role, background, and extensive experience.

It's equally important to highlight any past successes the management team has achieved and underscore the duration they've been working together. This information will instil trust in potential lenders or investors, showcasing the strength and expertise of your leadership team and their ability to deliver the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers. 

For example, your apples farm could offer fresh apples for sale directly from the farm, as well as pre-packed produce for sale in local stores and markets. You could also offer apple-picking experiences and tours of the orchard, allowing customers to learn more about the farming process and experience the joy of gathering their own apples. Finally, you could offer freshly-pressed apple cider, jams, and other apple-based products, giving customers a variety of ways to enjoy the fruits of your farm.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.

4. The market analysis

When you present your market analysis in your apples farm business plan, it's crucial to include detailed information about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any relevant regulations.

The main objective of this section is to help the reader understand the size and attractiveness of the market while demonstrating your solid understanding of the industry.

Begin with the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your apples farm, the key trends in the marketplace, and introducing different customer segments along with their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, focus on your target market, zooming in on the specific customer segments your apples farm aims to serve and explaining how your products and services fulfil their distinct needs.

For example, your target market might include health-conscious consumers. These could include people who are actively trying to improve their health and wellness through a more natural diet. They are likely to be interested in fresh, locally-grown produce, and may be willing to pay a premium price for it.

Then proceed to the competition subsection, where you introduce your main competitors and highlight what sets you apart from them.

Finally, conclude your market analysis with an overview of the key regulations applicable to your apples farm.

5. The strategy section

When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your apples farm, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.

For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.

In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.

Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.

Your apples farm could face a range of risks. For example, it might be affected by extreme weather conditions, such as a particularly cold winter or a prolonged drought. Another risk could come from pests or diseases, which could spread through the crop and reduce the yield. It is important to be aware of the potential risks and be prepared to take mitigating action if necessary.

6. The operations section

The operations of your apples farm must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your apples farm - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

You may have key assets such as land and buildings, or intellectual property such as the farm's logo and branding. The farm could also have proprietary technology such as automated systems for irrigation, fertilization, and crop harvesting. Additionally, the farm might have trade secrets such as unique recipes for their products, or a secret method of pruning or fertilizing the trees.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we discussed earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of what goes into an apples farm business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours efficiently.

What tool should I use to write my apples farm's business plan?

There are two main ways of creating your apples farm business plan:

  • Using specialized business planning software,
  • Hiring a business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your apples farm's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to create an apples farm business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

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Hiring a business plan writer to write your apples farm's business plan

Outsourcing your apples farm business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are experienced in writing business plans and adept at creating financial forecasts without errors. Furthermore, hiring a consultant can save you time and allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

However, hiring business plan writers is expensive as you are paying for the software used by the consultant, plus their time, and their profit margin of course.

From experience, you need to budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders or investors).

You also need to be careful when seeking investment. Investors want their money to be used to grow the business, not spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services (and other consulting services such as legal services) needs to be negligible relative to the amount raised.

The other drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself: you just get the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business plan software - which makes it difficult to maintain the document up to date without hiring the consultant on a retainer.

For these reasons, outsourcing the apples farm business plan to a business plan writer should be considered carefully, weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of hiring outside help.

Ultimately, it may be the right decision for some businesses, while others may find it beneficial to write their business plan using online software.

Why not create your apples farm's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write an apples farm business plan is not advisable. Allow me to explain the reasons.

Firstly, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel or any spreadsheet demands technical expertise in accounting principles and financial modelling. Without a degree in finance and accounting and significant financial modelling experience, it's unlikely that the reader will fully trust your numbers.

Secondly, relying on spreadsheets is inefficient. While it may have been the go-to option in the past, technology has evolved, and software now performs such tasks much faster and more accurately.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Moreover, software offers ease in comparing actuals versus forecasts and maintaining up-to-date forecasts for clear visibility on future cash flows, as we discussed earlier in this guide. Such tasks are cumbersome when using spreadsheets.

Now, let's address the written part of your apples farm business plan. While it may be less prone to errors, using software can significantly boost productivity. Word processors lack instructions and examples for each section of your business plan. They also won't automatically update your numbers when changes occur in your forecast, and they lack automated formatting capabilities.

In summary, while some entrepreneurs may consider Word or Excel for their business plan, it's far from the best or most efficient solution when compared to specialized software.

  • Having an up-to-date business plan is key to maintaining visibility on your future cash flows.
  • A business plan has 2 parts: a financial forecast highlighting the expected growth, profitability and cash generation of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to interpret and assess the quality of the forecast.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this guide helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for an apples farm. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to write a 5 years business plan
  • Business plan myths

Know someone who owns or wants to start an apples farm? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How To Write a Business Plan for Apple Farm in 9 Steps: Checklist

By alex ryzhkov, resources on apple farm.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan

Are you considering starting your own apple farm and want to ensure success? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of writing a business plan for your very own apple farm in nine simple and crucial steps. But first, let's take a look at the state of the apple farming industry and its potential for growth in the US.

The apple farming industry is a thriving sector in the US, with a steady growth rate of 3% per year . As consumers become increasingly conscious about the source and quality of their food, demand for locally-grown produce has soared. In fact, the demand for apples produced on small farms has become so high that it has outpaced the supply. This presents a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs like you to tap into this market and establish a successful apple farm.

Now that we understand the promising prospects of the apple farming industry, let's delve into the nine essential steps to create a comprehensive business plan for your apple farm. By following this checklist, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to build a thriving business that captures the hearts and taste buds of consumers.

Research The Apple Farming Industry

Before starting an apple farm, it is crucial to conduct thorough research on the apple farming industry. Understanding the industry landscape, current trends, challenges, and opportunities will provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions for your business. Here are some key areas to focus on during your research:

  • Apple Varieties: Familiarize yourself with the different varieties of apples that are popular in the market. Learn about their characteristics, taste profiles, and market demand. This knowledge will help you determine which varieties to grow on your farm.
  • Market Demand: Analyze the current demand for apples in the US market. Identify any potential gaps or underserved areas that you can target with your farm's produce.
  • Growing Conditions: Understand the specific conditions required for successful apple cultivation, such as soil types, climate considerations, and pest control methods. This knowledge will help you select the right location for your farm and ensure optimal growing conditions.
  • Industry Regulations: Familiarize yourself with any regulations or certifications specific to apple farming, including food safety protocols, organic certifications, and labeling requirements. Compliance with these regulations is essential for maintaining the quality and integrity of your produce.

Tips for Researching the Apple Farming Industry:

  • Visit local apple farms and observe their operations to gain practical insights into the industry.
  • Attend industry conferences, workshops, and seminars to network with experienced apple growers and industry experts.
  • Read industry publications, research reports, and case studies to stay updated on the latest trends and best practices.

By thoroughly researching the apple farming industry, you will equip yourself with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions and set a strong foundation for your apple farm business.

Identify Your Target Market

Identifying your target market is a crucial step in creating a successful business plan for your apple farm. Your target market is the specific group of customers that you aim to reach and serve with your products or services.

In the case of an apple farm, your target market might include individuals who prioritize fresh, organic, and locally-grown produce. It could also include health-conscious consumers who are seeking out nutritious and sustainable food options. Additionally, families, food enthusiasts, and individuals interested in supporting local agriculture could be part of your target market.

To effectively identify your target market, consider the following:

  • Demographics: Analyze the characteristics of your potential customers, such as age, gender, income level, and geographic location. This will help you understand who your ideal customers are and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Psychographics: Dive deeper into your target market's lifestyle, values, interests, and attitudes towards food and the environment. This information will help you connect with your customers on a deeper level and create targeted messaging that resonates with them.
  • Market Segmentation: Divide your target market into different segments based on their preferences and needs. This will allow you to focus your efforts on specific customer groups, ensuring that you can meet their expectations and stand out from the competition.

Tips for Identifying Your Target Market:

  • Conduct surveys or interviews with potential customers to gather insights and validate your assumptions about their preferences.
  • Look at market research reports and industry data to understand market trends and consumer behavior.
  • Engage with your local community and attend events where your target market is likely to be present. This will give you a firsthand understanding of their needs and interests.
  • Stay updated on current food and health trends to identify emerging customer segments that align with your product offerings.

By clearly defining and understanding your target market, you can tailor your marketing messages, distribution strategies, and product offerings to meet their needs. This will increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining loyal customers for your apple farm.

Conduct Market Analysis

Conducting a thorough market analysis is crucial to understand the dynamics of the apple farming industry and identify potential opportunities and challenges. This step will help you gather valuable insights into market trends, consumer preferences, and competitor strategies.

First, study the apple farming industry to gain a comprehensive understanding of its current state and future prospects. Research industry reports, trade publications, and government data to gather information on market size, growth rates, and key players.

Identify your target market by analyzing consumer demographics, behaviors, and preferences. Determine who your ideal customers are, their purchasing power, and how their preferences align with your products.

Next, analyze the market demand for locally-grown, high-quality produce. Research consumer trends, such as the increasing demand for fresh and sustainable food, and understand how your product offering fulfills these needs.

To effectively assess the competition, compile a list of potential competitors in your target market. Evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning. This analysis will help you identify gaps in the market that your apple farm can fill.

Tips for conducting market analysis:

  • Utilize online resources, such as social media platforms and industry forums, to gather insights directly from consumers and industry professionals.
  • Consider conducting surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and understand consumer preferences and perceptions.
  • Stay updated on the latest industry trends and technological advancements that could impact your apple farm business.
  • Keep an eye on regulatory changes and policies that may affect the apple farming industry.
  • Seek advice from industry experts or consultants to gain additional perspectives and insights.

By conducting a thorough market analysis, you will be equipped with valuable information to make informed decisions about your apple farm business. This step will help you identify market opportunities, understand your target customers, and develop a competitive advantage in the direct-to-consumer sales model.

Assess The Competition

Assessing the competition is a crucial step in developing a successful business plan for your apple farm. Understanding the landscape and dynamics of the market will help you identify potential challenges and opportunities, and allow you to position your farm effectively.

Start by conducting thorough research on existing apple farms in your target area. Identify their size, production capacity, product offerings, pricing strategies, and distribution channels. Look for any gaps or weaknesses that you can leverage to differentiate your farm and gain a competitive edge. It is also important to identify any direct competitors in the direct-to-consumer sales model, such as other farms selling locally-grown produce directly to consumers.

  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors: Consider factors like the quality of their produce, customer service, branding, and marketing tactics.
  • Visit local farmer's markets and retail outlets: Observe the products, pricing, and customer interactions of your competitors to gain insights into their strategies.
  • Talk to local consumers: Conduct surveys or interviews to understand their preferences, expectations, and experiences with existing apple farms.
  • Stay informed about industry trends: Keep track of new developments in apple farming techniques, technologies, and marketing strategies that your competitors may be adopting.

Additionally, it is important to assess indirect competitors, such as large chain supermarkets and grocery stores. Understand their pricing, product range, and marketing strategies. Recognize that while these competitors may offer a wider variety of fruits, your farm can emphasize the unique qualities and benefits of locally-grown, fresh produce to attract consumers who value quality, sustainability, and supporting local businesses.

By thoroughly assessing the competition, you can refine your business strategy and positioning to effectively differentiate yourself in the market. Identifying opportunities to offer superior products, services, or experiences will help you attract and retain customers, and ultimately contribute to the success and growth of your apple farm.

Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition

Identifying your unique selling proposition (USP) is crucial for setting your apple farm apart from the competition and attracting customers. Your USP is what makes your farm different and unique, giving customers a compelling reason to choose your produce over others. Here are a few steps to help you determine your USP:

  • Evaluate your strengths: Assess what sets your apple farm apart from others. It could be the way you grow your apples using sustainable farming practices, the variety of apple breeds you offer, or the educational experiences you provide on the farm.
  • Analyze your target market: Understand the needs, preferences, and values of your target market. Determine what aspects of your farm's offerings are most likely to resonate with them.
  • Research the competition: Study your competitors to identify any gaps in the market that your farm can fill. Look for ways to provide additional value or differentiate your products and experiences.
  • Highlight your unique features: Once you have identified your strengths and analyzed the market, emphasize the unique features of your apple farm in your marketing materials. Focus on the benefits that customers will gain by choosing your farm over others.

Tips for Determining Your Unique Selling Proposition:

  • Focus on what makes your farm special and differentiates it from others.
  • Listen to feedback from customers and use it to identify your strengths.
  • Consider conducting surveys or market research to gain insights into what customers value the most.
  • Stay updated on industry trends and adapt your offerings accordingly.

By determining your unique selling proposition, you will be able to effectively communicate the value of your apple farm to your target market and stand out from the competition. Remember, your USP should be clear, compelling, and align with the needs and desires of your customers.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy is essential for the success of your apple farm business. It not only helps in promoting your brand but also engages customers and drives sales. Here are some important steps to consider when developing your marketing strategy:

  • Identify your target audience: Determine who your ideal customers are by considering factors such as demographics, location, and preferences. This will help you tailor your marketing messages and tactics to effectively reach them.
  • Understand consumer trends and demands: Stay updated with the latest consumer trends and demands in the fresh produce market. This will enable you to position your farm and its produce as a desirable alternative to mass-produced and imported fruits.
  • Highlight your unique selling proposition: Identify what sets your apple farm apart from competitors. Whether it's your sustainable farming practices, premium quality produce, or value-added services, make sure to highlight these unique aspects in your marketing materials and communications.
  • Utilize online and offline marketing channels: Leverage a mix of online and offline marketing channels to reach your target audience effectively. This may include creating a professional website, using social media platforms, attending farmer's markets, engaging in local partnerships, and more.
  • Create engaging content: Develop high-quality content that showcases the story of your apple farm, educates consumers about the benefits of locally-grown produce, and promotes a connection between the farm and the consumer. This could include blog posts, videos, and social media content.
  • Offer incentives and promotions: Entice customers to choose your farm by offering special incentives such as discounts, promotions, or loyalty programs. This encourages repeat purchases and helps in building a loyal customer base.
  • Measure and analyze your marketing efforts: Regularly track and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. This will help you identify what strategies are working well and what areas need improvement. Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, social media analytics, and customer feedback to gauge the impact of your marketing efforts.
  • Collaborate with local businesses or organizations to expand your reach and leverage their customer base.
  • Collect and utilize customer testimonials to build credibility and trust in your brand.
  • Implement targeted advertising campaigns to reach specific customer segments or geographic areas.

Create A Financial Plan

Creating a financial plan is crucial for the success of your apple farm business. It helps you determine the financial viability and profitability of your venture, and ensures that you have a clear understanding of your income, expenses, and potential risks.

Here are some important steps to create a comprehensive financial plan for your apple farm:

  • Evaluate Start-up Costs: Determine the initial investment required to start your apple farm, including land, equipment, infrastructure, and other essential resources.
  • Estimate Expenses: Determine your ongoing expenses such as labor costs, supplies, maintenance, marketing, and any other operational costs. It is crucial to identify all potential costs to have a realistic estimation of your financial obligations.
  • Forecast Revenue: Research the demand for locally-grown apples in your target market and estimate the potential revenue your farm can generate. Take into account factors such as pricing, volume of sales, and seasonal fluctuations.
  • Analyze Profitability: Calculate your projected profit margins and assess the viability of your business. This will help you identify potential areas for improvement and develop strategies to maximize profitability.
  • Consider Financing Options: Determine whether you will self-fund your apple farm or if you require external financing. Explore options such as loans, grants, or partnerships to ensure you have the necessary capital to start and operate your business.
  • Develop a Contingency Plan: Identify potential risks and uncertainties that could impact your financial stability. Create contingency plans to mitigate these risks and ensure the long-term sustainability of your apple farm.
  • Consult with a financial advisor or accountant to ensure accuracy and reliability in your financial planning.
  • Regularly review and update your financial plan as your apple farm business evolves and market conditions change.
  • Establish clear financial goals and objectives to measure your progress and track your financial success.
  • Seek professional guidance to understand tax implications and optimize your financial strategy.

By creating a well-structured and realistic financial plan, you can effectively manage your finances, make informed decisions, and increase the chances of your apple farm's success in the competitive market.

Determine The Resources Needed

When starting an apple farm, it's crucial to determine the resources needed to ensure smooth operations and successful business growth. Here are the key elements to consider:

  • Land: Identify the suitable land size and location for your apple farm. Consider factors like soil quality, accessibility, and proximity to market outlets.
  • Equipment: Acquire the necessary farming tools and machinery for planting, pruning, harvesting, and maintaining the apple orchard. This may include tractors, sprayers, irrigation systems, and storage facilities.
  • Staff: Evaluate the labor needs, including skilled workers for orchard management, packaging, and selling produce. Determine how many employees are required and the associated costs.
  • Seeds and Saplings: Determine the quantity and variety of apple tree seeds or saplings needed to establish or expand your orchard. Consider the cost, quality, and disease resistance of the plants.
  • Supplies and Inputs: Identify the necessary inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and organic materials to ensure healthy orchard growth. Understand and comply with organic farming regulations if applicable.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Allocate resources for promoting your apple farm, including the development of branding materials, packaging, and online marketing campaigns. Consider hiring a professional graphic designer or marketing agency if needed.
  • Financial Capital: Assess your financial requirements and determine the capital needed to cover startup costs, ongoing expenses, and potential emergencies. Explore funding options like loans, grants, or seeking potential investors.

Tips for Determining Resources Needed:

  • Consult experienced apple farmers or agricultural experts to gain insights on resource requirements specific to the apple farming industry.
  • Consider long-term sustainability and scalability while determining the resources needed for your apple farm.
  • Research and compare prices for equipment, seeds, and supplies from different suppliers to make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Regularly review and update your resource allocation to adapt to changing market conditions or unforeseen challenges.

Establish A Timeline

Creating a timeline is an essential step in the business planning process for an apple farm. It allows you to set realistic goals and deadlines, ensuring that your farm operates efficiently and stays on track. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when establishing a timeline for your apple farm:

  • Start by identifying your long-term and short-term goals. Long-term goals may include increasing apple production or expanding your customer base, while short-term goals could involve setting up a website or attending local farmer's markets.
  • Break down your goals into smaller, actionable tasks. This will help you prioritize and allocate resources accordingly. For example, if your goal is to attend farmer's markets, your tasks might include researching potential markets, creating marketing materials, and preparing the necessary permits and licenses.
  • Assign deadlines to each task. Be realistic about the time it will take to complete each task, taking into account factors such as seasonal variations and the availability of resources.
  • Consider any dependencies or interdependencies between tasks. Some tasks may need to be completed before others can begin, so it's important to identify these dependencies to avoid any delays or bottlenecks in your timeline.
  • Regularly review and update your timeline as your business progresses. As new opportunities or challenges arise, you may need to adjust your timeline to accommodate these changes.

Tips for Establishing a Timeline:

  • Be flexible but disciplined: While it's important to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, it's equally crucial to stay disciplined and adhere to your timeline as much as possible.
  • Involve key team members: Collaborate with your team members or any external parties involved in your apple farm business to ensure their input is considered when establishing the timeline.
  • Use project management tools: Consider utilizing project management software or tools to help you streamline and visualize your timeline. This can aid in tracking progress and identifying any potential bottlenecks.

By establishing a comprehensive timeline for your apple farm, you can effectively manage tasks and resources, stay organized, and ultimately work towards achieving your business goals. Regularly reassessing and updating your timeline will allow you to adapt to changing circumstances and ensure the success of your farm in the long run.

In conclusion, creating a successful business plan for an apple farm requires careful research and analysis of the industry, target market, competition, and resources needed. By leveraging the direct-to-consumer sales model, an apple farm can position itself as a trusted source of high-quality, locally-grown produce, catering to the growing demand for fresh and sustainable food. Developing a strong marketing strategy, financial plan, and timeline, while offering unique value-added services, will help the farm build a loyal customer base and elevate its brand in the market.

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Apple Farming: Best Business Plan For Beginners

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Commercial apple farming is a very old business. Apple is a very common fruit and found throughout the world. It is very nutritious and very popular fruit.

Apples are available in in all parts around the globe. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus.

Apple tree originated in Central Asia, where it’s wild ancestor (Malus sieversii) is still found today. And apples actually have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists.

Apple is a very important fruit in many countries. And it has religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian tradition.[ 1 ]

Apple trees are generally large in size if grown from seed. But today, commercial apple producers used to propagate apple cultivars by grafting onto rootstocks (which control the size of the resulting tree).

Today, there are numerous varieties/cultivars of apples available throughout the world. Each of these varieties has especial characteristics. Different varieties are bred for various tastes and uses including cooking, cider production or eating raw.

Apple is actually a deciduous tree, generally standing between 6 and 15 feet tall in commercial cultivation and up to 30 feet in the wild. When cultivated, the size, shape and branch density are determined by rootstock selection and trimming method.

Leaves of the apple trees are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and slightly downy undersides.

Today, apple is among the most popular fruits. Total worldwide production of apples in the year of 2018 was 86 million tones, with China accounting for nearly half of the total. Secondary apple producing countries are United States and Poland.

Table of Contents

Nutrition and Uses of Apples

All parts of the fruit (including skin, but not the seeds) are suitable for human consumption. The core, from stem to bottom, containing the seeds, is usually not eaten and is discarded.

These fruits can be consumed in many different ways: juice, raw in salads, baked in pies, cooked into sauces and spreads like apple butter, and other baked dishes. They are sometimes used as an ingredient in savory foods, such as sausage and stuffing.

apple farming, commercial apple farming, apple farming business, how to start apple farming

Apple is a very nutritious fruit. A raw apple is about 14% carbohydrates, 86% water and negligible content of fat and protein. According to healthline , one medium apple (around 182 grams) offers the following nutrients:

  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Calories: 95
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI

In a word, apples are a good source of fiber and vitamins. They also contain polyphenols, which may have numerous health benefits.

Health Benefits of Apples

Consuming apples daily has many health benefits. You are probably familiar with the common English-language proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Here we are trying to describe about the top advantages of consuming apples.

  • Apples are a very good source of fiber and vitamins. They also contain polyphenols, which may have numerous health benefits.
  • Apples are good source of fiber, so they are filling. You will be hungry less. And thus apples may aid weight loss.
  • Consuming apples regularly promote hearth health in several ways. Apples are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.
  • Eating apples is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is possibly due to their polyphenol antioxidant content.
  • Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Apples have several naturally occurring compounds that may help fight cancer. Observational studies have linked them to a lower risk of cancer and death from cancer.
  • Apples contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to regulate immune responses and protect against asthma.
  • Consuming apples is also beneficial for promoting bone health, because it contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Apples contain compounds that may help protect your stomach lining from injury due to NSAID painkillers.
  • According to animal studies, apple juice may help prevent the decline of neurotransmitters that are involved in memory.
  • In a word, apple is very nutritious and safe for human health. You can consume apples daily.

Advantages of Apple Farming Business

Commercial apple farming is a very old and popular business. It is a very common business in many countries.

There are numerous benefits/advantages of commercial apple farming business. Here we are trying to describe about the top advantages of commercial apple farming business.

  • Commercial apple farming is a very old and popular business. Many people are already doing this business.
  • If you are a beginner, you can learn more about apple farming from existing farmers.
  • Commercial apple production is very profitable, and you will be able to make good profits from this business.
  • You don’t have to worry about the future of this business. Because it is an old and established business.
  • Apple trees are very hardy and grow easily, and it’s very easy to take care of them. You can easily take care of them, even if you are a beginner.
  • Marketing apples is very easy. Because this fruit already has an established market demand and price. So, you don’t have to worry about marketing your products.
  • Commercial apple farming is a profitable business. So, it can be a great employment source for the people. Especially for the unemployed educated people.
  • Capital requirement in commercial apple farming business is relatively less. But you will get profits for many years.
  • Apples are very nutritious and have numerous health benefits. You can enjoy fresh apples if you start your own apple production business.

How to Start Apple Farming Business

Apple trees are very strong and hardy and they generally require less caring, and caring the plants is very easy and simple. You can learn practically from an experienced farmer in your area before starting this business commercially.

apple farming, commercial apple farming, apple farming business, how to start apple farming

You can take good care of the plants even if you are a beginner. Here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating commercial apple farming business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.

Site Selection

You have to select a very good location for starting your apple farming business. Apple plants grow well in loamy soil which is rich in organic matter.

Good drainage system is a must, because apple plants can’t tolerate water logging. pH range of the soil should be between 5.5% and 6.5%.

Although, you can use your existing land if the land meet all the demands listed above.

Prepare Soil

Preparing the soil perfectly before planting is very important for growing apple plants. Do ploughing, cross ploughing of land and then level the land.

And then prepare the land in such way that water stagnation should not occurred in field. Because, apple plants can’t tolerate water logging.

You should add as much organic content as you can while preparing the soil. Adding organic content will help the plants to grow well and produce more.

Climate Requirements For Apple Farming

Apple plants can be grown in right climatic conditions. These plants can be grown at altitudes 1500 to 2700 meter above sea level.[ 2 ]

Temperature during the apple growing season should be around 21°C and 24°C. These trees require between 100 cm to 125 cm of annual rainfall (evenly spread throughout the year).

apple farming, commercial apple farming, apple farming business, how to start apple farming

Too much of rainfall and fog near the fruit maturity period will result in poor fruit quality with improper color development of fruit and fungal spots on the fruit surface. Apple cultivation is not suitable where the high velocity of winds are expected.

Apple Varieties

Currently, there are numerous varieties/cultivars available to choose from. You can choose any variety which grows well in your area. Consult with some existing farmers for better recommendation.

Common and popular cultivars are Alice, Ambrosia, Ananasrenette, Arkansas Black, Aroma, Belle de Boskoop, Bramley, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Cox Pomona, Cripps Pink, Discovery, Egremont Russet, Fuji, Gala, Bloster, Golden Delicous, Goldrenette, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, James Grieve, Jonagold, Lobo, Mclntosh, Pacific Rose, Red Delicious, Shampion, Stark Delicious, SugarBee, Summerred, Tellissaare, Yellow Transparent etc.

Propagation

Commercial propagation of apple plants is done by budding and tongue grafting methods. Purchase the planting material required for apple farming from the registered nurseries.

Purchase Plants

Apple plants are easily available in the areas where the plants grow. You can easily purchase from any of your nearest nurseries.

Today, many nurseries have online presence. So, you can order the plants online.

Apple plants can be planted at anytime. But it is recommended to plant the plants during January and February months.

Average number of plants in an area of one hectare may range from 200 to 1250. Although, stocking density depends on numerous factors.

Stocking density can vary depending on the planting system. 4 different types of planting density are implemented. Such as low, moderate, high and ultra high density.

Generally less than 300 plants per hectare in the less density type, 300-500 plants in moderate density, 500-1300 plants in high density, and more than 1300 plants per hectare in high density type.

Apple plants are very strong and hardy. They generally grow well in less caring and other management. Although, taking additional caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more. Here we are trying to describe more about the caring process in commercial apple farming business.

Fertilizing

Providing the plants with adequate fertilizers is very important for good growth of the plants. Provide adequate organic fertilizers (such as farm yard manure) along with other chemical fertilizers.

The ratio of K, P, and N which is applied in an orchard of optimal fertility is 70:35:70 grams per year age of the tree. Use appropriate application of fertilizer for deficiency of boron, zinc, manganese and calcium.

Irrigation requirement in commercial apple farming is around 115 cm per annum which should be scheduled in 14 to 20 watering/irrigation.

apple farming, commercial apple farming, apple farming business, how to start apple farming

Watering should be provided at an interval of 6 to 10 days during the summer season, and at an interval of 3-4 weeks during the winter season. And at least 8 irrigation are required during the critical period (April to August), after fruit set.

Weeds consume nutrients from the soil, and the plants suffer. So, timely and regular weeding is very important.

Inter-cropping

Inter-cropping is a great way to earn some extras. It also helps to minimize weed problem. Green manuring crops like bean and sunflower can be cultivated in the early years of apple planting in order to increase soil texture and nutrients of the soil.

Mulching helps to retain moisture into the soil. It will also help to reduce the growth of weeds. You can use organic materials as mulch.

Training & Pruning

For getting good growth of the plants and good production, timely training and pruning is very important. The apple plants are trained as per growth habit and vigor of the rootstocks.

The standard apple plants are trained on a modified central leader system to receive proper light. This improves fruit color and also minimizes the effect of heavy snowfall and hail.

Spindle bush system is best suitable for high-density apple planting under mid hill conditions.

Pests & Diseases

As we have mentioned above ‘apple trees are very strong and hardy’. And they are less susceptible to pests, diseases or other problems.

The main pests in apple farming are eriosoma lanigerum, quadraspidiotus perniciosus, thrips rhopalantennalis, pseudoulacaspis sp. etc.

And the main diseases found in apple farming are venturia, inaequilis, phytophthora cactorus, agrobacterium tumefaciens, sclerotium rolfsii, cankers, die-back diseases, etc. You can apply carbendazim, copper oxychloride, mancozeb and other fungicides for controlling the diseases.

Depending on the variety, the apple trees start bearing fruits from the 8th year. Apple productivity goes on increasing from the 8th year to 17th year, and afterward production remains constant up to 30 years.

apple farming, commercial apple farming, apple farming business, how to start apple farming

Lifespan of the apple trees can be extended up to even 40 years depending upon the climatic conditions. Generally the fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe.

Post-Harvesting Tasks

There are many tasks/activities to follow after harvesting apples. Post-harvesting tasks are pre-cooling, grading according to their size and weight, storage, packing and transporting. Do all these activities very carefully.

It’s not possible to tell the exact amount. Because exact number depends on numerous factors. On average, you can expect around 10-12 tonnes per hectare.

Marketing apples is very easy and simple. Apples have very good demand and value throughout the world. You will be able to easily sell your products in the local market.

These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful apple farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

People ask many questions about apple farming. Here we are listing the most common questions about this lucrative business, and trying to answer them. Hope you will find your answer. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

Is apple farming a profitable business?

Yes, commercial production of apple is a very profitable business. You can start this business for making profits.

How to start apple farming business?

Starting commercial apple production business is very easy and simple. You can start this business easily if you follow the steps mentioned below:

  • First of all you have to select a very good location for your farm.
  • Then prepare the soil by adding adequate amount of organic and chemical fertilizers.
  • Choose the right apple variety.
  • Purchase plants.
  • Plant the small plants in your prepared soil.
  • Try to control pests and diseases by using proper medicines.
  • Try to take good care of the plants.

How profitable is apple farming?

Apple farming is a very profitable business. Although, it’s very tough for us to tell the exact amount. Please consult with any existing farmers in your area for having some ideas.

How long will it take to grow an apple?

Generally, apple trees need at least 8 hours of sunlight per day during the growing season. The dwarf apple tree will start bearing fruit 2-3 years after planting. And other standard size trees can take up to 8 years to bear fruit.

Is apple easy to grow?

Yes, growing apple is relatively easy and simple. But the key to successful apple farming is to pick the right spot. All the apple varieties do best in full sun and moist environment in fertile and well-drained soil.

Where do apples grow best?

Apple trees grow best in areas with full access to sun (at lease 6 hours of sunlight daily). These plants grow well in fertile, well-drained soil. Light to medium texured soils are best for apple farming which. Good moisture holding capacity is a plus for these plants.

Which states in India do apple farming?

Major apple producing states in India are Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Arunachal Pradesh etc.

In which season apple is grown in India?

Generally, most of the apples are harvested from September-October. The fruits generally become mature within 130-150 days after the full bloom stage depending upon the variety grown.

What is the best climate for apple trees?

Climates with cold winter, moderate summer and medium to high humidity is considered best for apple trees.

Commercial apple farming is very profitable. But it’s not possible to tell the exact amount. It’s possible to make around or up to $50,000 per acre per year.

How long do apple trees live?

Depends on numerous factors and it’s not possible to tell the exact number. Average lifespan of an apple tree can vary from 50 to 80 years.

How much water do apple trees need?

Generally, the apple trees will require around 20 inches of water during the growing season.

What soil does apple need?

Most of the apple trees grow best on organic content rich soil. These trees prefer well-drained, loam soils having a depth of 45 cm and a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. It will be better if the soil become free from hard substances and water-logged conditions. Compact subsoil or soils with heavy clay is not good for apple trees.

Which apple variety is best?

The Red Delicious is considered as the best variety of apple.

How many kg of apples per tree?

Depends on numerous factors. A smallish bush apple tree may bear 50 kg, and a large standard tree can bear more than 250 kg fruits.

How many apple trees can you plant on 1 acre?

Exact number can vary from place to place. This density can vary from 450 trees per acre to 1,100 trees per acre.

Are apple trees high maintenance?

Yes, like many other fruit trees, the apple trees are also high-maintenance.

Do apples need fertilizer?

Yes, sure! The apple trees are heavy feeders and they require both organic and chemical fertilizers for better growth and production.

Do apple like sun or shade?

Yes, the apple trees like full sun to grow best.

Do apples like cow manure?

Yes, cow manure is good and safe for the apple trees.

Which color apple is best?

Green colored apple is considered best. Because, it is a better source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K as compared to it’s counterpart. Green apples also contain more iron, potassium and protein.

Which apple is most tastiest?

Some of the best-tasting apple varieties are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, Ambrosia, and Cox’s Orange Pippin.

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apple farming business

How to Start Commercial Apple Farming | Information Guide

Apple is an important fruit in commercial trading. And it ranks fourth in the most widely produced fruits in the world after the banana, orange, and grape. Commercial apple farming is hugely profitable when you use a proper farm management system.

However, it demands substantial initial capital investment. And you must have a large area of land for an apple orchard. A 10 acre is a considerable size to have a small-size apple farm.

Related:   How to Start Commercial Rose Farming Business

The scientific name of the apple is Malus Domestica. In addition, this is a deciduous fruit tree in the rose family. Major apple-producing countries are China, the United States of America, Poland, Turkey, Iran, Italy, France, and India. In India, major apple-producing states are Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Tamil Nadu.

In this article, we put information about commercial apple farming methods and techniques for your ready reference.

Table of Contents

Stepwise Information Guide on Starting Apple Farming

Economic importance of apple farming.

Apples are one of the most valuable fruit crops globally. In addition, the demand is increasing day by day. Furthermore, rising income and introducing new varieties are the major reason for it. In addition, there are also growing demands in the apple processing industry. And some of the value-added applications are apple juice, jam, chips, candy, vinegar, and wine.

China leads the world in apple production, harvesting a record 38 million tons in 2012. In addition, there is also an emerging demand for organic apples.

Health Benefits Of Apples

  • First of all, biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. Thus, it reduces tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
  • The consumption of flavonol-rich apples helps to reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23%.
  •  Apples help to reduce your risk for diabetes.
  • The soluble fibres in the apples help to reduce cholesterol.
  • Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system.
  • Finally, we can catch a very popular statement “One apple a day, keeps doctors away.”

Things To Consider In Commercial Apple Farming

  • First of all, ensure that the soil is amenable to apple production.
  • Choosing appropriate varieties for the local climate is crucial.
  • Ensure proper fruit thinning and harvesting techniques.
  • You must adopt a proper plant protection system.
  • Apple farming demands substantial capital investment. So you must arrange that much startup capital to start an apple orchard.
  • Finally, ensure a proper irrigation system for your apple farm.

Best Varieties For Apple Cultivation

There are almost 7500 apple varieties worldwide. However, some of the popular varieties in the USA are Golden Delicious, Cortland, Haralred, Honeycrisp etc. In addition, there are some popular varieties in India. They are M 9, M 26, M7, MM 106, MM 11, Prima, Priscilla, Sir Prize, Jonafree, Florina, Macfree, Nova Easy Grow, Coop 12, Coop 13, etc.

Also, there are some popular hybrid varieties. They are Lal Ambri (Red Delicious x Ambri), Sunehari (Ambri x Golden Delicious), Chaubattia Princess, Chaubattia Anupam (Early Shanburry x Red Delicious), Ambred (Red Delicious x Ambri), Ambrich (Richared x Ambri), Ambroyal (Starking Delicious x Ambri), etc.

Agro-Climatic Condition For Apple Farming

Most apples are relatively cold-hardy. However, a more important factor to consider is when the fruit ripens. In areas with shorter growing seasons, apples that require long growing seasons to ripen are not appropriate. In areas with the shortest season, summer ripening apples may be the only option.

Dry temperate areas are suitable for apple cultivation. The fruits produced in these areas are of high quality with high sugar content and long shelf life.

You will need to have a temperature during the growing season is around 21-240 C. For optimum growth and fruiting, apple trees need 100-125 cm. of annual rainfall. And it requires an even distribution during the growing season.

Excessive rains and fog near the fruit maturity period result in poor fruit quality with improper colour development. Also, may occur in fungal spots on its surface. Areas exposed to the high velocity of winds are not desirable for apple cultivation.

Suitable Soil For Apple Farming

You can grow apple trees in a wide range of soils from medium-textured clays to gravelly sands. Loamy soils, rich in organic matter with pH 5.5 to 6.5 are suitable for apple farming. In addition, the soil must have proper drainage and aeration. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples.

Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil. Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting.

Apple Farming Basic Steps

Soil preparation  for apple farming.

Proper layout and soil preparation are very essential in establishing a new apple orchard. All aim to produce high, early-yielding, top-quality crops. Furthermore, ease of harvesting and management are also key factors you must take into account. Modern systems use higher densities. And normal densities range from 400-2,500 trees/acre.

You can adopt a square or hexagonal system of planting. Dig the planting hole two to three times wider than the root system of the tree and deep enough to just meet the root collar. However, you can mix compost into the back-fill soil.

Irrigation 

You must arrange a proper irrigation system for healthy tree growth. In addition, you must irrigate young trees every 4 – 10 days based on your soil type and temperatures.  Mature trees need deep watering about every 2 weeks during the growing season so that moisture reaches a depth of 2-3 feet. This deep irrigation encourages a well establish deep-rooted tree.

Training & Pruning 

Pruning and training are important for apple orchards. And neglect will result in poor growth and delayed fruiting. Pruning a young tree controls its shape by developing a strong, well-balanced framework of scaffold branches.

Proper pruning of weak and undesirable branches/twigs is necessary after six years of plantation. Furthermore, you must remove unwanted branches.

Heavily pruned trees are more vigorous and require less nitrogen. Some varieties of apple trees are also naturally faster growing and may require no fertilizer to maintain acceptable growth and fruit production. However, over-fertilization actually reduces fruit production and makes trees more susceptible to pest and diseases. Retest soil every 3-4 years to determine what nutrients (if any) you will need to apply to the soil.

Weed Control

Frequent hand pulling and shallow cultivation, no deeper than an inch, controls weeds and minimally disturbs roots. Deeper cultivation disrupts shallow roots and is not recommended for young, establishing trees.

Plant Protection System In Apple Farming

Producing the best fruit requires the control of diseases and insects. However, some of the potential harmful pests and diseases are fire blight and powdery mildew, spider mites, scale, aphids, and codling moths. You must adopt proper plant protection systems for your apple orchards.

Also Read:  Best Cash Crop Farming Business Ideas

Harvesting & Storage In Apple Farming

You must harvest the fruit before it is fully ripe, but after it has had time to mature. This varies according to cultivar and different fruit varieties will often ripen at different times over a three-month period. As the fruit matures, the starch changes to sugar, and the aroma and flavor develop.

Sugars are the major soluble solid in fruit juice and therefore soluble solids are often used as an estimate of sugar content.

Storage conditions are vital to long-term quality and shelf life. Fruit needs to be harvested with minimal bruising, cooled quickly, and kept in controlled atmosphere conditions, so as to avoid any further physiological changes to the fruit.

Furthermore, apples need high relative humidity (90-95%) to minimize moisture loss from fruit. Proper post-harvest management is essential to secure optimum profit from apple farming.

Next What Business Research Team

Next What Business Research Team

The Editorial Staff at NextWhatBusiness is a team of Business Consultants having years of experience in small and medium-scale businesses.

ND Farming

Apple Farming: Best Business Plan For Beginners

Commercial apple farming is a very old and well-known profitable business. Apple is a fruit that is found all over the world. Moreover, it is very nutritious and very popular fruit.

Apples are now available in all countries of the world. The apple tree is now cultivated worldwide and is the most widely grown species of the genus Malus.

The apple tree originated in central Asia. Where today it is wild ancestor (Malus sieversii) is still found today. And apples have actually been grown in |Asia and Europe for thousands of years and were brought to North America by European colonists.

Apple is considered a very important fruit in many countries of the world. Moreover, apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures including the Norse, Greek, and European Christian traditions.

Mainly apple trees grow in size when they grow from seed. But today, commercial apple growers propagate apple varieties by grafting them onto rootstock (meaning which controlling the size of the resulting tree).

There are numerous cultivations of apple currently available all over the world. All these varieties have different special character sties. This is because different varieties are bred for different tastes and uses, including cooking, cider production or raw consumption.

Apple is usually a type of deciduous tree. The plant grows 6 to 15 feet tail in commercial cultivation and up to 30 feet tall in the wild. Apple cultivation method the size, shape and density of branches are determined by rootstock deflection and pruning methods. The leaves of the apple tree are alternately arranged, dark green in color, simple oval with serrated margins and slightly downy.

Apple is one of the popular fruits . Total global apple production in 2014 was 86 million tons, nearly half of China’s total. And secondary apple producing counties are USA and Poland.

Table of Contents

Nutrition And Uses Of Apples

All parts of apple fruit (including the skin, but not the seeds) are fit for human consumption. Its root, below the seeds, is usually not eaten and is discarded.

apple farming, apple fruit, apple cultivation, apple variety, apple farming business, apple farming profit

These fruits can be eaten in many ways. Such as juice, raw in salads, baked in pies, cooked in sauces and spreads like apple butter and other baked goods. They are also sometimes used as an ingredient in savory dishes such as sausages and stuffing.

apple is a very nutritious and popular fruit. That’s because a raw apple contains about 14% carbohydrates, 86% water and fat, and a negligible amount of protein. According to the |Healthline Guide, one medium apple (about 182 grams) provides the following nutrients,

  • Fiber- 4 grams
  • Calories- 95
  • Carbs- 25 grams
  • Vitamin K- 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C- 14% of the RDI
  • Potassium- 6% of the RDI (reference Daily Intake)

So in a world it can be said that apple is a good source of fiber and vitamins. And they also contain polyphenols, which may health benefits.

Health Benefits Of Apples

Eating an apple every day has many health benefits. You are probably familiar with the common English proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Here we are trying to describe about the top benefits of eating apples .

  • Apples are a good source of fiber. Eating this fruit will reduce your appetite. And thus, apples can help in weight loss.
  • Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamins. They also contain polyphenols, which may have many health benefits.
  • Eating apples is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is probably due to their polyphenol antioxidant content.
  • Regular consumption of apples improves hair health is several ways. Apples are also high in soluble fiber. Which helps lower cholesterol.
  • Apples contain several natural compounds that may help fight cancer. Observational studies have linked them to a lower risk of cancer and death from cancer.
  • Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that works well as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Eating apples is also beneficial for improving bone health, as they contain antioxidants and anti- inflammatory compounds.
  • Apples contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Which can help regulate the immune system and prevent asthma.
  • Again according to animal studies, apple juice can help prevent the decline of neurotransmitters involved in memory.
  • Apples contain compounds that help protects your stomach lining from damage caused by NSAID painkillers.

So, in one world it can be said that apple is very nutritious fruit and safe for human health. That’s why you can eat eat apples regularly every day.

Advantages Of Apple Farming Business

At the outset, commercial apple farming is a very old and popular business. It is a very common business in many countries of the world. Moreover, there are many advantages of commercial apple farming business.

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Here we are trying to describe about the top advantages of commercial apple farming business,

  • If you are a new grower, you can learn more about apple growing from existing growers.
  • You don’t have to worry too much about the future of this business. That is because it is an old and established business.
  • Marketing apples is a very simple task. That is because there is already and established market demand and price for this fruit. So, you do not have to worry marketing your product.
  • Commercial apple farming business requires less capital as compared to other businesses. But you will get profit for many years.
  • Commercial apple production is very profitable, and you will be also to make good profit from this business.
  • Apples are very nutritious and have many health benefits. If you start your own apple production business, you can enjoy fresh apples.
  • Apple stress are hardy and easy to grow. Caring for them is very easy. So you can easily take care of them, even if you are a beginner.
  • Commercial apple farming is a very profitable business. Hence, it can be a great source of employment for unemployed people. Especially for the educated unemployed.

How To Start An Apple Farming Business

Since apple trees are very strong and hardly, they generally require little care and tree care is very simple and easy. But before starting this business commercially you can learn the necessary practical from an experienced farmer in your area.

But if you are a beginner then you can definitely take good care of plants. So here we try to describe more information about starting and running a commercial apple farming business from planting, to its maintenance to harvesting and marketing.

Site Selection

The first thing you must keep in mind to start your apple farming business is choosing a very good location. Apple trees grow best in loamy soil which is rich in organic matter. Also good drainage of cultivated land is essential, as apple trees can not tolerate waterlogging.

In this case, the soil pH of the cultivated land should be between 5.5% and 6.5%. However, you can use your exiting land if the land meets all the requirements listed above.

Prepare Soil

Thorough preparation of the soil before planting is very important for the growth of apple trees so cultivate well, cross plow the land and then level the land. And then prepare the land in such a way that waterlogging does not occur in the land.

The reason is that apple trees can not tolerate waterlogging. When preparing the soil you should add as much organic matter as possible. Because adding organic matter will help plants grow better and produce more.

Climate Requirements For Apple Farming

Apple trees grow in the right climate. Hence these plants can be grown at an grow at an altitude of 1500 to 2700 metes above sea level. The temperature during apple growing season should be around 21°C and 24°C. These plants require 100 cm to 125 cm of annual rainfall (evenly spread throughout the year).

However, sometimes excessive rainfall and fog near the fruit ripening period result in the development of improper color of the fruit and fungal spots on the fruit surface. Also apple cultivation is not suitable where high wind speed is expected.

Apple Varieties

Nowadays, there are many varieties/cultivars available to chose from in cultivation. You can choose any variety that grows well in your area. But consult some existing growers for good recommendations.

apple farming, apple fruit, apple cultivation, apple variety, apple farming business, apple farming profit

Among them common and popular cultivars are Alice, ambrisia, Ananasrenette, Arkansas black, Aroma, Belle de Boskoop, Bramley, Cox’s Orange Pippin, C0x Pomona Cripps Pink, Discovery, Egremont Russest, Fuji, Gala, Bloster, Golden Delicous, Goldrenette, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, James Grive, Jonagold, Lobo, Mclntosh, Pacific rose, Red Delicious, Shampion, Stark Delicious, SugarBee, Summerred, Telissaare, Yellow, Transparent etc are very common and popular cultivars.

Propagation

Budding and tongue grafting methods are used for propagation in commercial propagation of apple farming. Purchase the material required for apple farming from the registered nurseries.

Purchase plants

Apple plants are highly available where the plants grow. So, you can purchase very easily from any of your nearest nurseries. Today. There are many online nurseries. So you can order plants online if you want.

You can plant apple plants at anytime. But January and February is the best time for planting apple plants. You can plant 200 to 1250 in a hectare of land.

Stocking density of apple plants depend on many factors, and it can very depending on planting system.

Apple plants caring is vary easy. Because this plants are very hardy and strong. Generally apple plants grow well in less caring and other management. As well as their extra caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more. Now we are describing several processes in commercial apple farming business.

  • Fertilizing
  • Inter-cropping
  • Training and Pruning

Pest & Diseases

Apple trees are very strong and hardy. Therefore they are less susceptible to pets, diseases or other problems. Major pests of apple cultivars are Eriosoma lanigerum, Quadraspidiotus perniciosus, Thrips ropalantenalis, Pseudoulacaspicsp etc.

And the main diseases which are the main obstacles in apple cultivation are Venturia, Inaquilis, Phytophtora cactorus, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Sclerotium rolfsii, Canker, Die-back etc. So, you can apply carbendazim, copper oxychoride, mancozeb and other fungicides to control the disease.

Fruiting of apple trees depends on the variety of this tree. But generally, apple trees start bearing fruit from the 8th years. Its productivity increases from 8th years to the 17th years and thereafter the production remains constants till the 30th years.

Depending on the climatic conditions, the lifespan of an apple tree can be up to 40 years. But usually the fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe.

Marketing apples is not a problem. Because apples have great demand throughout the world. And you will be able to very easily sell your products in the market.

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Apple Production

Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious Apples

Apples may be grown in many parts of the country and lend themselves well to part-time farming operations. The initial investment for apples can be high depending on the production method chosen, land preparation, and initial investment in the trees. A commercial orchard is expected to be productive for at least 20 years, so this investment will be spread over a longer period of time than many crops. Depending on the amount of land devoted to the orchard, production method, and tree size, equipment costs may be held to a minimum. If the orchard is a part of an existing agricultural operation, you may already have much of the needed equipment.

Apple production will require many hours of labor, depending on the size of the orchard. Land preparation and planting will require at least two people. During the summer months, the orchard will require mowing, multiple pesticide applications, and fruit thinning. Depending on the mix of varieties and orchard size, additional labor may be required at harvest time. Although you may be able to accomplish these tasks with family members and local part-time labor, use of hired labor may also be necessary.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, more than 5,000 farms with almost 85,000 acres of apples are located in the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania produces 400 to 500 million pounds of apples per year and ranks fourth in the nation for apple production. The majority of the production is centered in the southcentral part of Pennsylvania (due in large part to the topography of the land), but apples can be found commercially throughout the Commonwealth.

Depending on the apple varieties produced (commonly referred to as "cultivars"), most apples are harvested and marketed from late August through October. If regular cold storage is used, the marketing season can be extended through March. If controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage is available, the marketing season may be extended through July. Apples may be sold directly to consumers (usually through a farmer's market or roadside stand), marketed wholesale to packers, or sold to processors.

Apples marketed wholesale are traditionally sold to a fruit packer or processor. Fruit packers grade and pack apples for the fresh market. Fresh-market apples typically yield a higher return than processed apples. Processors use apples to make apple sauce, apple juice, and a variety of other products. It is recommended that you explore marketing options prior to ordering the trees from the nursery so the cultivars that best fit meet expected demand.

Apples sold through a roadside stand need to be of the highest quality. This will ensure repeat customers from year to year. Roadside marketers generally sell a wide variety of cultivars so the marketing season is not interrupted. Roadside marketing is time consuming, but it can also be very financially rewarding. When direct marketing, you will also need a marketing plan for fruit that cannot be sold as first quality. These alternative markets may include selling apples at different price points and in bulk quantities or using them to make processed apple products like cider, dried apples, or apple butter. Selling processed apple products is a good way to help diversify your product mix and extend the marketing season for your apples. However, there are many regulations and risks involved with food processing activities. If you want to pursue this option, it is better in most situations for you to contract with someone who has the necessary facilities and experience to process your apples for you. For more on marketing, refer to "Fruit and Vegetable Marketing for Small-scale and Part-time Growers." For more on roadside marketing, refer to "Developing a Roadside Market."

Site Selection

The success of any orchard is directly related to planning and preparation. The ideal site for an orchard consists of rolling or sloping land to enhance air drainage during periods of spring frosts. The best site is south facing with a slope of between 4 and 8 percent because operating equipment on steeper slopes may be difficult. Sites with deep, well-drained soils are preferred because shallow, poorly drained soils cause root system problems. Consult a county soil map prior to site selection. Soil maps may be obtained at your county extension office or from USDA's Farm Service Agency.

Another consideration when choosing a site is irrigation. Regardless of the type of irrigation system used, locating the orchard close to a water source will simplify setting up the system and reduce operating expenses. For more information on overhead and drip irrigation for tree fruit production, consult "Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production" and "Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Production."

Land Preparation

The land should be prepared as if planting a traditional field crop. The soil should be plowed and leveled with a disk and harrow. Starting with an even orchard floor will reduce the possibility of standing water and make fruit harvesting and transportation easier. Establishing an orchard in well-prepared soil rather than established sod will also aid in keeping the tree rows and row middles free of broadleaf weeds.

Prior to planting trees, a soil fertility test and nematode survey are recommended. Penn State provides a soil testing service through the Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory for a fee. You can contact the lab by going to its website or calling 814-863-0841. You will want to request a complete nutrient analysis plus organic matter. Nematode testing services are available from the Clemson University . The two tests may be taken at the same time, but the soil samples must be handled differently. Consult the instructions on both kits to ensure accurate results.

The results from the soil test provide recommendations for any soil amendments such as lime and/or fertilizer needed prior to orchard establishment. The best way to add soil amendments for an orchard is to incorporate them into the soil prior to planting trees. The nematode survey is critical before planting to determine if any treatments are needed to eliminate harmful nematodes. Left untreated, nematodes may damage the root system of the trees and can stunt or kill them before they bear fruit. This will result in uneven tree growth and delayed or decreased production.

Ordering Trees

Trees should be purchased from a reputable nursery to ensure they are true to variety and free of disease. Most nurseries also provide a guarantee of survivability; check for this guarantee before ordering trees. The nursery can also offer advice concerning tree and row spacing. In recent years due to a shortage of apple rootstocks, trees may need to be ordered two years in advance.

The size of the mature tree will depend on the cultivar and rootstock of the tree. The rootstock, however, is the dominant factor that controls tree size. Most commercial growers are now utilizing dwarf rootstocks because they are easier to prune and harvest. Another advantage of dwarf rootstocks is their earlier production. They usually produce fruit in the second or third season after planting as compared to five years for the larger trees. Recommended dwarf rootstocks include Malling 9 (M.9, which has many clones of varying vigor), Budagovsky 9 (B.9, known for its cold hardiness), and fire-blight-resistant rootstocks like Geneva 41 (G.41), Geneva 11 (G.11), and Geneva 935 (G.935). Trees planted on dwarfing rootstocks will need to be supported by a trellis or individual posts. Semi-dwarf rootstocks are still available, but they produce a larger tree that comes into bearing later. Some of these rootstocks will benefit from providing tree support, but others do not require it. In order of increasing size they are Malling 26 (M.26), Malling 7 (M.7), and Malling Merton 111 (MM.111). A third alternative is to utilize interstem trees, which have a vigorous rootstock with a dwarfing rootstock grafted onto it, followed by the cultivar. The result is a three-part tree that is slightly smaller than a semi-dwarf tree but does not normally need support. Interstem trees are, however, more expensive than the standard two-part tree.

The apple cultivars you choose to plant will depend largely on how you intend to market your fruit. Most apple growers who sell fruit directly to the consumer will need to choose five to six cultivars that spread their harvest out over a period of time (this also helps spread out the need for harvest labor). Direct retail marketers may also wish to consider specialty or niche markets. For example, there is a growing awareness of heirloom cultivars as a market alternative. Growers who sell their fruit through a packing house or to a processor may only want to plant two or three different cultivars. Recommended fresh-market cultivars for Pennsylvania include Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Red Delicious, with new varieties continuously being developed. It is best to approach the packing house first to see what cultivars they normally sell. The most common processing cultivars planted in Pennsylvania are Golden Delicious and York Imperial. Other cultivars that can be grown for processing include Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Idared, McIntosh, Northern Spy, and Rome Beauty. Not all of these cultivars can be grown in all areas of Pennsylvania. Consult your Penn State Extension county office to determine which cultivars are best suited for your area and if any cultivars are in higher demand for your region.

Certain cultivars of apples are resistant to apple scab. Apple scab is the most serious disease problem in producing apples in Pennsylvania. Using scab-resistant cultivars can reduce the amount of fungicides that need to be applied. Some of the cultivars that are resistant to apple scab include Crimson Crisp, Crimson Topaz, Enterprise, GoldRush, Liberty, and Redfree. People wishing to produce organic apples (which can be very challenging in a humid climate) should consider growing apple-scab-resistant cultivars. Consult your local extension office for additional scab-resistant cultivars.

A more thorough discussion of apple cultivars and rootstocks can be found in the Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide .

Layout and Planting

Regardless of whether you are laying out an orchard on level or sloping land, care should be taken to make the rows as evenly spaced as possible. The distance between the rows should be the same throughout the orchard. Placing stakes in the rows prior to planting will help to ensure the distance between the rows is the same throughout. This should be strived for whether planting in straight rows or on a contour. The maximum size of the tree will determine the distance between the rows and the distance between the trees in the row. The number of trees required per acre for various tree spacings can be found in Table 1.

When planning the orchard, early blooming cultivars that are most susceptible to frost should be placed in areas with the best air drainage. Later blooming and ripening cultivars can be placed lower on hillsides or in areas more prone to frost. If possible, orchard rows should be laid out so they are oriented running north to south to maximize exposure to sunlight. If this is not possible due to slope consideration, position the rows on the contour to facilitate safe spraying and machinery operation.

Pollinizers and Pollination

To ensure adequate pollination in the spring, it is necessary to plant more than one cultivar in the orchard. Apple cultivars are self-unfruitful, which means they will not pollinate themselves and you need to plant at least two different cultivars with overlapping bloom periods. Some cultivars have nonviable pollen, so at least three different cultivars are required. Planting several cultivars will also ensure having fruit to market throughout the harvest season because they mature at different times.

Pollinizers can be placed as solid separate rows (but no more than two to three rows from a cultivar that is to be pollinated) or in the row with other cultivars. If the pollinizers are placed in the rows, use cultivars that look different so that the harvesters do not accidentally pick this fruit along with the main cultivar. Bees generally move down the row, not across rows, when pollinating. By placing pollinizers cultivars in the row, better pollination is possible. Your nursery can recommend cultivars that will pollinize other cultivars.

A large honey bee population is essential for complete pollination and fruit set. One hive per acre is recommended for maximum fruit production. If you do not have your own honey bees, you will need to contact a beekeeper to provide hives. Care must be taken with insecticides applied at flowering because they can adversely affect pollinating insect populations, especially honey bees. Honey production may provide an additional diversification opportunity for orchardists. More information on bees and honey production can be found in "Beekeeping."

In recent years many different insects have been recognized for their role as pollinators. For more information on solitary bees and wild pollinators, go to the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium website .

Production Considerations

In the United States, anyone desiring to purchase restricted-use pesticides is required to have a pesticide applicators license. Even some materials used in organic production now require a license. In Pennsylvania, the licensing procedure is handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Please check with your state regarding these requirements.

Because of the complexity of apple production and the large number of pests and diseases that attack both trees and fruit, this publication cannot cover all necessary production practices and procedures. For more information on the diseases and conditions affecting apples, consult the Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide . This valuable guide describes appropriate cultural and chemical treatments for the control of insects, diseases, and weeds.

Once the fruit has set, thinning of the fruit is required to ensure large, marketable fruit and flowering ("return bloom") in the following year. Thinning may be accomplished chemically and/or by hand. The earlier thinning is completed, the larger the fruit will be at harvest and the better the return bloom for the following year. If chemical thinning is used, follow all label directions for rate and the timing of the applications. If the thinning is completed by hand, begin thinning no later than mid-June. This allows for a natural phenomenon called "June drop" to occur so less time will be required for hand thinning. June drop occurs approximately 3 to 4 weeks after bloom when a small percentage of the apples that did not begin to grow will naturally drop.

Fertilization

Nutritional requirements of apple trees vary through their lifetimes and are influenced by such factors as rootstock, crop load, soil type, and weather conditions. In addition to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, apple trees need adequate levels of calcium, boron, copper, and zinc to maintain the health of the tree and produce quality fruit. After planting, soil tests and leaf analyses are recommended at least once every three years. A leaf analysis is the most accurate way to check if applied soil amendments are being used by the tree. Leaf analysis test kits can be purchased at your Penn State Extension county office or ordered online .

Pruning and Training

There are many different pruning and training systems used in apple production. Your choice of rootstock and tree spacing will have a large impact on the system you use. Common training systems used in Pennsylvania include the central leader system, vertical axe, tall spindle, and various forms of trellising. See Cookbook Guidelines for Apple Training Systems .

Regardless of the system you use, you will need to prune and train the trees annually beginning the year you plant the trees and continue for the life of the orchard. Most pruning is done during late winter before the trees leaf out in the spring. Some growers also prune trees during the summer to increase light penetration into the trees to improve fruit color.

Harvest and Storage

Whether apples are marketed fresh or processed, they are traditionally harvested by hand into large wooden or plastic bins that vary in size from 20 to 25 bushels each. Extreme care must be taken not to bruise or damage the fruit during the harvest process because this reduces quality and storability and will reduce the returns realized from the sale of the apples.

Even if some family labor is used for harvest, outside labor may be necessary to harvest the crop in a timely manner. If you use hired labor, you are required to follow all laws and regulations concerning hired labor. More information concerning hired labor can be found in the Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide , " Starting or Diversifying an Agricultural Business," and "Agricultural Business Insurance."

There are two methods of storing apples. The first is regular cold storage, which involves refrigerating apples at 30 to 36°F. Water is traditionally used to increase humidity to slow loss of moisture from the apples. The second method used is controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage, which requires removing oxygen from a sealed, refrigerated room and adding carbon dioxide to slow the maturation process. Apples stored in CA storage can be held until June or July before use.

There is a plant growth regulator called SmartFresh® that can help to extend the storage life of the fruit. It works by delaying the development of ethylene, a naturally occurring plant hormone that speeds ripening. Shortly after harvest the fruit is "gassed" in an enclosed container for 24 hours. This can extend the storage life of the fruit for several months beyond what can normally be achieved through regular cold storage.

Environmental Impacts

In the normal course of operations, farmers handle pesticides and other chemicals, may have manure to collect and spread, and use equipment to prepare fields and harvest crops. Any of these routine on-farm activities can be a potential source of surface water or groundwater pollution. Because of this possibility, you must understand the regulations to follow concerning the proper handling and application of chemicals and the disposal and transport of waste. Depending on the watershed where your farm is located, there may be additional environmental regulations regarding erosion control, pesticide leaching, and nutrient runoff. Contact your soil and water conservation district, extension office, zoning board, state departments of agriculture and environmental protection, and local governing authorities to determine what regulations may pertain to your operation.

Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary programs that you may wish to consider for your operation. The idea behind these programs is to ensure a safer food system by reducing the chances for foodborne illnesses resulting from contaminated products reaching consumers. Also, several major food distribution chains are beginning to require GAP- and GHP-certified products from their producers. These programs set standards for worker hygiene, use of manure, and water supply quality.

These practices require an inspection from a designated third party and there are fees associated with the inspection. Prior to an inspection, you will need to develop and implement a food safety plan and designate someone in your operation to oversee this plan. You will need to have any water supply used by your workers or for crop irrigation and pesticide application checked at least twice each year. A checklist of the questions to be asked during the inspection can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/fv/gapghp.htm. For more information about GAP and GHP, contact your local extension office or your state's department of agriculture.

  • Risk Management

You should carefully consider how to manage risk on your farm. First, you should insure your facilities and equipment. This may be accomplished by consulting your insurance agent or broker. It is especially important to have adequate levels of property, vehicle, and liability insurance. You will also need workers compensation insurance if you have any employees. You may also want to consider your needs for life and health insurance and whether or not you need coverage for business interruption or employee dishonesty. For more on agricultural business insurance, see "Agricultural Business Insurance."

Second, check to see if there are multi-peril crop insurance programs available for your farm enterprises. There are crop insurance programs designed to help farmers manage both yield risk and revenue shortfalls. Apple production involves large initial investments and can be very risky; weather-related crop losses are common and crop prices can be highly variable. Individual crop insurance policies for apples (if available in your county) or a Whole Farm Revenue Protection policy can help you reduce these risks. Coverage for apples is based on the actual production history (APH) of your operation; you can select between 50 and 75 percent of your APH yield to protect and you can insure your crop as either fresh market or processing. You may also want to consider the use of a separate hail insurance policy to better protect against this type of often very localized damage. Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on your farm under one insurance policy. You can buy WFRP alone or with other buy-up level (additional) federal crop insurance policies. Coverage levels range from 50 to 85 percent of your expected revenue or whole farm historic average revenue (based on your 1040-F information), whichever is lower. For more information concerning crop insurance, contact a crop insurance agent or check the Penn State Extension website.

Finally, the USDA Farm Service Agency has a program called the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) that is designed to provide a minimal level of yield risk protection for producers of commercial agricultural products that don't have multi-peril crop insurance coverage. NAP is designed to reduce financial losses when natural disasters cause catastrophic reduction in production. NAP coverage is available through your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. The application fee for this program may be waived for eligible limited-resource farmers.

Sample Budget

Included in this web page are links to four sample fresh-market apple budgets--one for land preparation, one for planting a medium-density orchard, one for planting a high-density orchard, and one for fresh market mature production. The budgets summarize the receipts, costs, and net returns at various stages of an apple enterprise. The sample budgets should help ensure that all costs and receipts are included in your calculations. Costs and returns are often difficult to estimate in budget preparation because they are numerous and variable. Therefore, you should think of these budgets as approximations and make appropriate adjustments in the "Your Estimate" column to reflect your specific production and resource situation. More information on the use of crop budgets can be found in " Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making."

You can make changes to the interactive PDF budget files for this publication by inputting your own prices and quantities in the green outlined cells for any item. The cells outlined in red automatically calculate your revised totals based on the changes you made to the cells outlined in green. You will need to click on and add your own estimated price and quantity information to all of the green outlined cells to complete your customized budget. When you are done, you can print the budget using the green Print Form button at the bottom of the form. You can use the red Clear Form button to clear all the information from your budget when you are finished.

Sample Budget Worksheets

  • Land Preparation Budget
  • Medium-density Planting Budget
  • High-density Planting Budget
  • Fresh Market Mature Production Budget

Initial Resource Requirements

Land: 1 acre

  • Land preparation: 27 hours
  • Planting: 25 hours
  • Production labor (scouting, thinning, pruning, spraying, and mowing harvest labor): 48 hours
  • Equipment: $20,000 to $30,000
  • Land preparation and planting: $12,00 to $13,000 per acre
  • Production years: $4,000 to $5,000 per acre
  • Tractor (45 horsepower minimum)
  • Airblast orchard sprayer
  • Herbicide sprayer
  • Rotary mower
  • Tillage equipment
  • Containers (bulk bins, bushel crates, boxes)
  • Pruning equipment
  • Harvesting equipment

For More Information

Publications.

Bradford, H., and L. Tukey. Dwarfed Fruit Trees for Orchard, Garden, and Home: With Special Reference to the Control of Tree Size and Fruiting in Commercial Fruit Production . Ithaca: Cornell University, 1978.

Dunn, J. W., J. W. Berry, L. F. Kime, R. M. Harsh, and J. K. Harper. "Developing a Roadside Farm Market." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2006.

Dunn, J. W., J. K. Harper, and L. F. Kime. "Fruit and Vegetable Marketing for Small-scale and Part-time Growers." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2009.

Ferree, D. C., and I. J. Warrington, eds. Apples: Botany, Production, and Uses. Cambridge, Mass.: CABI Publishing, 2003.

Harper, J. K., S. Cornelisse, and L. F. Kime. "Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2013.

Jackson, D., et al., eds. Temperate and Subtropical Fruit Production. 3rd ed. Cambridge, Mass.: CABI Publishing, 2011.

Kime, L. F., J. A. Adamik, E. E. Gantz, and J. K. Harper. " Agricultural Business Insurance." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2004.

Kime, L. F., S. A. Roth, and J. K. Harper. "Starting or Diversifying and Agricultural Business." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2004.

Krawczyk, G., ed. Penn State Tree Fruit Production Guide . University Park: Penn State Extension, 2016.

Lamont, W. J. Jr., J. K. Harper, A. R. Jarrett, M. D. Orzolek, R. M. Crassweller, K. Demchak, and G. L. Greaser. "Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2001.

Lamont, W. J. Jr., M. J. Orzolek, J. K. Harper, L. F. Kime, and A. R. Jarrett. "Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Production." University Park: Penn State Extension, 2012.

Salunkhe, D. K., ed., and Kadam, S. S. Handbook of Fruit Science and Technology: Production, Composition, Storage, and Processing (Food Science and Technology, No. 70) . New York: Marcel Dekker, 1995.

Schlabach, D. R. Backyard Fruit Production. Revised edition. Walnut Creek, Ohio: Carlisle Press, 2001.

Sommerville, W. Pruning and Training Fruit Trees (Practical Horticulture). Woburn, Mass.: Butterworth- Heinemann, 1997.

Associations

Many states have horticultural societies or fruit growers associations. Many of these may be found through the following sources.

American Society for Horticulture Science 1018 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314

International Fruit Tree Organization 16020 Swingley Ridge Rd., Suite 300 Chesterfield, MO 63017

North American Fruit Explorers 1716 Apples Road Chapin, IL 62628

State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania 697 Mountain Road Orrtanna, PA 17353

  • Grower's Guide to Organic Apples
  • ID-137: Total Quality Assurance: Apple Production: Best Management Practices
  • Apples:Organic Production Guide
  • University of Vermont Virtual Orchard
  • Virtual Orchard

Prepared by Robert M. Crassweller, professor of horticulture; Lynn F. Kime, extension associate in agricultural economics; and Jayson K. Harper, professor of agricultural economics.

This publication was developed by the Small-scale and Part-time Farming Project at Penn State with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Extension Service.

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

  • Farm Management
  • Production Economics

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How To Start Profitable Apple Orchard In 5 Simple Steps

  • Updated 02/19/2022

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Do you live in a world where apples grow, but don’t have an apple orchard? Do you want to start a small business in the area you live?

According to fruit growers magazine , The apple industry generates $78.8 billion in annual revenue: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.1% over the last twelve-year period.

So how do you successfully start an apple orchard to get healthy apples and profits?

Let’s start by finding out why you need an apple orchard.

Why Start an Apple Orchard?

An apple orchard is the intentional planting of apple trees for fruit production. There are many reasons to start an orchard. Here are the main for you to start:

apple orchard .jpg

  • Profitable – Earn Income
  • Supply of fresh apple fruit.
  • Reduce heating and cooling costs
  • Reduce pollution
  • Take up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen
  •  Provide habitat for wildlife
  •  Hold water
  •  Reduce soil erosion.

Steps to Start an Apple Orchard

Here are 5 simple steps to starting your orchard. These steps will ensure that your new orchard is well planned and profitable.

1.  Research the Market

The first thing to do is research about growing apples. You will want to look at many things among them:

  • Costs of Owning your Orchard:  This will help you the size of the orchard you are going to run. This recommended size for a commercial orchard is at least 10 Acres. A 10-acre will allow you to use equipment and implement an ongoing orchard program
  • Potential Buyers of your produce: You need to know if people will buy what you grow, how much it will cost to produce and how to market your fruit to potential buyers.
  • Location of your orchard : and do some research about the mark
  • Get To Know Your Local Apple Growers: Check with local growers and learn about their setup and costs. Attend harvest festivals and talk with as many growers as possible about how they operate their orchards.
  • Determine The Best Orchard Type:  There are many ways to set up an apple orchard. Some growers plant traditional rows while others plant on hillsides using mounds or contour rows. If your land is sloped, consider planting on contour rows so water will drain away from the trees properly and not collect against the trunk.

2.  Plan Your Orchard

Apple orchards are a long-term investment and it is important to plan thoroughly before you begin. You should Create:

  • Create a business plan. This is to help map out your goals and determine what sort of return you can expect from your orchard.
  • Plan for start-up costs such as establishment cost per acre covering land preparation, planting, and maintaining. Expected establishment cost of $4,000 to 5,000 per acre
  • The kind of equipment you’ll need to grow your harvest.

Next, plan the layout of your apple orchard. You want to make sure that you place your trees at a sensible distance apart so that they will grow healthily.

The most important thing to remember when planting an orchard is to plan for the future. Decide where you want to plant your trees and how many. Take into consideration the sunlight and soil that each tree requires, as well as what type of fruit you want to grow.

apple tree

3.  Build Your Orchard

Now that you’ve researched and planned, it’s time to start building. Start by planting some trees. Pick your apple trees and plant them in rows. You can easily find nursery stock for $1-$2 each.  

You will want 4 rows of apple trees. After a while, the trees will start growing apples and they will need to be harvested. With proper care, the trees should be ready for picking in 2-3 years when their canopy reaches 8′ (approx).

Making a profit growing apples in can be done only with intense management from:

  • Variety selection
  • Controlling pests

If you are an apple grower, you must be willing to learn and keep up with current production practices.

4.  Protect Your Orchard from Harsh Weather

Growing an orchard takes time, money, and effort. To have a successful orchard you must start to protect yourself from hail and harsh winds. Begin by building a hail protection system in your orchard.

Hail protection netting is a knitted net to protect your apple orchard from hail and violent hailstorms . Besides hails, they  

  • Protect against insects
  • Reduce sudden temperature
  • Protect against changes and wind gusts
  • Improve the efficiency of water use
  • Provide shade protection

Hail  netting comes in 4 types  namely:

leno hail netting

  • Leno weave hail netting
  • Quad crossover canopy
  • Raschel Triangle netting

You can spread the cost of netting if the price is too high. Plan on netting tiny percentages of your blocks each year, starting with the most precious. As a result, you will save money on the expense of replanting your apple trees because you will not have to do so as frequently if they are covered by hail netting.

5.  Harvest Your Apple Orchard and Market Your Fruit

Harvest the apples when they’re ripe. You can tell this by gently shaking the branch. If the apples are ripe, they will shake loose from the tree with ease. If there is no give, then the fruit is not ready to be picked. The texture of a ripe apple will also feel softer than an unripe apple.

Harvesting apples is done by hand because mechanical means damage the fruit’s skin and leave it bruised. Bruised apples spoil faster and look unappetizing when being sold in stores. However, if you do not have enough time to harvest your crop by hand, you can use a pulley system and bucket or net to catch the fruit as it drops from the tree.

There are lots of ways to start making money with an apple orchard. You can sell your fruit:

  • Wholesale to grocery stores, roadside stands, and juice companies.
  • Retail at farmers’ markets and farm stands.
  • Take advantage of the growing popularity of fruit programs and sell shares in your orchard. Some orchards
  •  Have pick-your-own opportunities for individuals, families, or groups.

Starting an apple orchard is not necessarily simple and it certainly requires a lot of planning. But as with most things in life, there is a caveat: you need to be willing to work hard and put in the hours to make it successful. You can then capitalize on the growing apple market.

Apples can be taken care of by using high-quality netting. To help you find the ideal netting products for apple orchards , Please contact a trustworthy netting provider for more details and recommendations at [email protected]

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Tree Farming Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

tree farm business plan

Tree Farming Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their tree farming companies.

If you’re unfamiliar with creating a tree farming business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.

In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a tree farming business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your tree farming business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a tree farming business or grow your existing tree farming company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your tree farming business to improve your chances of success. Your tree farming business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Tree Farming Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a tree farming business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for tree farming companies.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

How to write a business plan for a tree farm.

If you want to start a tree farming business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The guide below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your tree farming business plan.

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of tree farming business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a tree farming business that you would like to grow, or are you operating an established tree farm that you would like to sell?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.

  • Give a brief overview of the tree farming industry.
  • Discuss the type of tree farming business you are operating.
  • Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
  • Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
  • Offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Overview

In your company overview, you will detail the type of tree farming business you are operating.

For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of tree farming businesses:

  • Christmas tree farm: This type of business grows and sells trees for Christmas such as various types of pine and fir trees.
  • Fruit tree farm: This type of business grows fruit-bearing trees such as apple, orange, or peach trees and sells the fruit produced.
  • Lumber or timberwood tree farm: This type of business grows trees to be cut into timber or lumber to be processed or used for construction of buildings or furniture. Trees for this type of farm include walnut, birch, and cherry.

In addition to explaining the type of tree farming business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of customers served, the number of trees planted, and reaching $X amount in revenue, etc.
  • Your legal business Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the tree farming industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the tree farming industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.

The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your tree farming business plan:

  • How big is the tree farming industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your tree farming business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your tree farming business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of tree farming business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Finish Your Tree Farming Business Plan in 1 Day!

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other tree farming businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. Depending on the type of tree farm you operate, this can include other types of fruit tree farmers, retailers of artificial Christmas trees, or producers of alternative building materials like plastics and recycled fibers. You need to mention such competition as well.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What type of tree farming business are they?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you make it easier for customers to acquire your products and services?
  • Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a tree farming business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of tree farming company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you sell fruit, lumber, or Christmas trees?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your plan, you are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the site of your tree farming company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your tree farming business located in a rural area, close to the highway, or in a suburbs? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your tree farming marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
  • Reach out to websites
  • Distribute flyers
  • Engage in email marketing
  • Advertise on social media platforms
  • Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your tree farming business, including meeting with potential customers, scheduling employees, sending invoices to customers and collecting payments, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to acquire your Xth customer, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your tree farming business to a new region.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your tree farming business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing tree farming businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a tree farming business or successfully running a small lumber company.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.

Income Statement

An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you grow 100 apple trees, and will each tree produce 250 apples per year? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets

Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your tree farming business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement

Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a tree farming business:

  • Cost of equipment and supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include photos of your tree farm or a list of harvesting equipment you own.  

Writing a business plan for your tree farming business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will understand the tree farming industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful tree farming business.  

Tree Farming Business Plan Template FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my tree farming business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your tree farming business plan.

How Do You Start a Tree Farming Business?

Starting a tree farming business is easy with these 14 steps:

  • Choose the Name for Your Tree Farming Business
  • Create Your Tree Farming Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Tree Farming Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Tree Farming Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Tree Farming Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Tree Farming Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Tree Farming Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Tree Farming Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Tree Farming Business
  • Open for Business

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Tree Farming business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to learn about Growthink’s business plan writing services .

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template For Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

ProfitableVenture

Fruit Farm Business Plan [Sample Template]

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business Plans » Agriculture Sector

Are you about starting a fruit farming business? If YES, here is a complete sample fruit farming business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE .

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a fruit farming business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample fruit farming marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for fruit farming companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Fruit farming is a profitable business that has evolved over the years from small scale – backyard gardens to a global industry in all countries where it’s carried out. Countries in the Caribbean, South America, North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa are known to be in the forefront when it comes to cultivating different species of fruits.

If you are considering starting a fruit farm business, the good news is that you can’t get it wrong because fruits are consumed by almost everybody and all over the globe.

Starting a fruit farm comes with its challenges, but that does not rule out the fact that it is indeed a profitable business venture. An aspiring entrepreneur can either choose to start a fruit farm on a small scale or on a large scale depending on their financial status.

So, if you have decided to go into fruit farming, then you should ensure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and market survey.

Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your own fruit farming business. Here is a sample fruit farming business plan template that can guide you to come up with yours within record time.

A Sample Fruit Farming Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

Fruit farmers grow a wide variety of fruits in open fields and in greenhouses. Some fruit farmers also grow a variety of vegetables and other crops.

If you are a close observer of the industry, you will agree that the fruit farming industry is anticipated to increase due to increasing consumer health consciousness, which has led to increasing demand for fresh produce. While per capita fruit and vegetable consumption has remained stable over in recent time, the price of fruits especially organic fruits have increased as consumers demand premium, fresh fruits.

So also, the number of both small and large farms has been increasing. Small, local farms are benefiting from the organic, local movement, while large, commercial farms are improving labor efficiency. Going forward, players in the fruit farming industry will continue to increase revenue generation for their business.

The Fruit Farming industry is indeed a fast – growing industry and pretty much active in all countries of the world. As a matter of fact, The Netherlands has some of the largest greenhouses where fruits are cultivated in the world. That is the scale of food production in the country so much so that in year 2000 alone, greenhouses occupied about 10,526 hectares, or 0.25 percent of the total land area.

The Netherlands has an estimate of 4,000 greenhouse establishments that operate over 9,000 hectares of greenhouses and they employ about 150,000 workers, producing €7.2 billion worth of vegetables, fruit, plants, and flowers, some 80 percent of which are exported.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 76,459 registered and licensed fruit farms scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 317,590 and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $26 billion annually. The industry is projected to enjoy 2.5 percent annual growth.

As a matter of fact, with the recent advancement in technology, farmers can now comfortably grow varieties of fruits in a country where such crops can hardly survive and in places where there are few farm lands, people can make use of the rooftop (basement) of their houses to cultivate certain fruits even for commercial purposes.

Lastly, with fruit farming it will pay you not to only cultivate fruits and sell them for consumption in farm markets to retailers and consumers.

You can as well start a complimentary business like fruit processing plant; producing and packaging juices et al. The bottom line is that if you have enough farm land and you are interested in maximizing the business, you are sure going to make huge profits.

2. Executive Summary

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is a registered and licensed commercial farm with a fruit plantation that will be based in the outskirts of Providence, Rhodes Island – United States. We have done our detailed market research and feasibility studies and we were able to secure 25 hectares of land to start our fruit farm.

We will always leverage on both open field and greenhouse farming to cultivate a wide species of fruits hence we will construct a structure with walls and roof made essentially of transparent material in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown.

At Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC we will be involved in the cultivation of different species of fruits. In the nearest future, hopefully within the first five years of officially running Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC, we will start our fruits processing and packaging plant and also start exporting our fruits and juices to other parts of the world.

This is why aside from the fact that we’ve secured the required farm land and most of the farming equipment and machines, we have also hired some key employees who are currently undergoing training so as to be able to fit into the ideal picture of the 21 st century fruit farming workforce that we want to build.

We are in the fruit farming business because we want to leverage on the vast opportunities available in the agriculture industry, to contribute our quota in growing the U.S. economy, in national food production, raw materials production for industries, to export agriculture produce from the United States to other countries and over and above to make profit.

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is well positioned to become one of the leading fruit farms in the United States of America, which is why we have been able to source for the best hands and machines to run the business with. We have put processes and strategies in place that will help us employ best practices when it comes to fruits farming and juice processing and packaging as required by the regulating bodies in the United States of America.

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is a private registered commercial farm that is owned by Johnson Jael and his immediate family members. The company will be fully managed by the owner – Johnson Jael and his immediate family members at least for a period of time.

3. Our Products and Services

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is a commercial farm that will be involved in cultivating various species of fruits via greenhouse farming model and land farming for both the United States’ market and the global market. We are in business to produce fruits in commercial quantities.

We will also ensure that we operate a standard juice processing and packaging plant as part of our complimentary business.

We are in this line of business to make profit, and we will ensure that we do all that is allowed by the law of the United States of America to achieve our business goals and objectives. These are the areas we will concentrate on in our fruit farms. If need arises we will definitely add more agriculture produce to our list;

  • Cultivation of fruits such as; Banana, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Plum, Mango, Apple, Cucumber, Dragon Fruit, Oranges, Grapes, Limes, Avocado and a host of other fruits
  • Juice processing and packaging
  • Greenhouse construction, consultancy and advisory services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our Vision is to become one of the leading fruit farms not just in the United States of America but also on the global stage.
  • Our mission statement as a commercial farm is to go into full – time cultivation of fruits that will not only be consumed in the United States of America, but also exported to other parts of the world. We want our processed fruits (juices) to flood the nooks and crannies of the United States and other countries of the world.

Our Business Structure

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is a commercial fruit farm that intends starting small in the outskirt of Providence – Rhodes Island, but hopes to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading commercial fruit farms in the commercial farming industry both in the United States and on a global stage.

We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hire the best hands in and around Providence – Rhodes Island.

At Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, dedicated, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more as agreed by the management of the farm. In view of the above, Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Operating Officer

General Farm Manager

Administrator/Accountant

Crop (Fruits) Cultivation Manager/Supervisor

Fruits (Juices) Processing and Packaging Plant Manager/Supervisor

  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions.
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Provides direction for the business
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all farm activities across the various sections
  • Supervises other section managers
  • Ensures compliance during project executions (especially in the construction of greenhouses)
  • Provides advice on the management of farming activities across all sections
  • Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
  • Uses IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of the growth of crops
  • Responsible for overseeing the accounting, costing and sale of farm produce after harvest
  • Ensures that farming goals are achieved, the most efficient resources (manpower, equipment, tools and chemicals et al) are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied. Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily farming activities across the various farming sections
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Accountable for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company
  • Responsible for the cultivation of fruits such as; Banana, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Plum, Mango, Apple, Cucumber, Dragon Fruits, Oranges, Grapes, Limes, Avocado and a host of other fruits
  • Supervises other workers within the department
  • Works closely with the General Manager to achieve the organizations’ goals and objectives
  • Responsible for managing the fruits (juices) processing and packaging section of the business

Sales and Marketing Officer

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for increasing sales
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the farm

Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer

  • Welcomes guests and clients to the farm by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
  • Receives parcels / documents for Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC
  • Distributes mails in Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC
  • Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager

6. SWOT Analysis

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC does not intend to launch out with trial and error hence the need to conduct a proper SWOT analysis. We know that if we get it right from the onset, we would have succeeded in creating the foundation that will help us build a standard fruit farm that will favorably compete with leading commercial fruit farms in the United States of America.

We are quite aware that there are several fruit farms all over Providence – Rhodes Island and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in the commercial farming industry to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC;

Our strength as a fruit farm is the fact that we have healthy relationships with major players in the agriculture industry; both suppliers and buyers within and outside of the United States. We have some of the latest farming machines, tools and equipment that will help us cultivate fruits in commercial quantities with less stress.

Aside from our relationships (network) and equipment, we can confidently boast that we have some the most experienced hands in the fruits cum greenhouse commercial farming line of business under our payroll.

Our weakness could be that we are a new fruit farm in the United States; it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from international markets in the already saturated and highly competitive commercial farming industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to promote our business the way we would want to.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities that are available to us cannot be quantified, we know that everybody on planet earth eat fruits. So also changes in consumer preferences have led supermarkets and other retail outlets to demand fresh fruits all year-round. We are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry.

The number of small local farms and larger commercial farms has been growing. Increasing imports of fresh produce will slightly constrain demand for vegetables and fruits. Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn.

Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new fruit farm or commercial green farm in the same location where our target market exists and who may want to adopt same business model like us.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you are conversant with rising technology and scientific development in the industry, you will quite agree that vegetable and fruit farming via greenhouse farming model is at the front burner. Greenhouse commercial farming is rapidly gaining entrance in our world today. Greenhouse farming gives room for greater control over the growing environment of various crops.

Dependent upon the technicality and specification of a greenhouse design, some of the important factors which may be controlled include temperature, levels of light and shade, irrigation, fertilizer application, and atmospheric humidity et al.

Basically, Greenhouses are used to overcome shortcomings in the growing qualities of a piece of land, such as a short growing season or poor light levels. In essence, they are designed to improve food production in marginal environments.

If you are a close observer of the trends in the fruits farming industry, you will agree that the fruit industry is anticipated to increase due to increasing consumer health consciousness, which has led to increasing demand for fresh produce.

While per capita fruit and vegetable consumption has remained stable in recent time, the price of organic cultivated fruits has increased as consumers demand premium, fresh fruits.

So also, the number of both small and large farms has been increasing. Small, local farms are benefiting from the organic, local movement, while large, commercial farms are improving labor efficiency. Going forward, players in the fruits farming industry will continue to increase revenue generation for their business.

8. Our Target Market

Naturally, the target market of fruit farm produce and also those who benefit from the business value chain is all encompassing; it is far – reaching. Every household consumes produce from fruit farms howbeit different types and species of fruits. A fruit farmer should be able to sell his or her farm produce to as many people as possible.

We will ensure that we position our business to attract consumers of fresh fruits and juices not just in the United States of America alone but also other parts of the world which is why we will be exporting some of our fruits either in raw form or processed form to other countries of the world.

Our Competitive Advantage

It is easier to find entrepreneur flocking towards an industry that is known to generate consistent income which is why there are more commercial farmers in the United States of America and of course in most parts of the world.

Statistics has it that there were 2.2 million farms in the United States of America, covering an area of 922 million acres. These goes to show that there are an appreciable number of farmers in the United States of America but that does not mean that there is stiff competition in the industry.

As a matter of fact, entrepreneurs are encouraged by the government to embrace commercial farming because part of the success of any nation is her ability to cultivate her own food and also export to other nations of the world.

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is fully aware that there are competitions when it comes to selling fruit, which is why we decided to carry out thorough research so as to know how to take advantage of the available market in the United States.

We have done our homework and we have been able to highlight some factors that will give us competitive advantage in the marketplace; some of the factors are effective and reliable farming processes that can help us sell our produce at competitive prices, good network and excellent relationship management.

Our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team of hardworking and highly proficient farmers and scientists, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in the fruit farming industry.

Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected team, we have some of the latest farm machines and equipment and we will be guided by best practices in the industry.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is in the fruit farming line of business for the purpose of maximizing profits hence we have decided to explore all the available opportunities within the industry to achieve our corporate goals and objectives.

We are not going to rely only on the sale of our farm produce to generate income for the business. Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC;

  • Cultivation of fruits such as; Banana, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Plum, Mango, Apple, Cucumber, Dragon Fruits, Oranges, Grapes, Limes, Avocado and a host of other fruits

10. Sales Forecast

From the survey conducted, we discovered that the sales generated by fruit farms across the United States depend on the size of the farm, and the nature of the fruit farm (greenhouse fruit farms or land cultivation of fruits).

We have perfected our sales and marketing strategies and we are quite optimistic that we will meet or even surpass our set sales target of generating enough income from our first year of operation and build the business from survival to sustainability.

We have been able to examine the fruit farming industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some workable assumptions as well with respect to the nature of fruit farm that we run.

Below are the projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of running Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC.

  • First Fiscal Year: $230,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $500,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $850,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown that can impact negatively on household spending, natural disasters, and unfavorable government policies . Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are quite aware that the reason why some fruits farms hardly make good profits is their inability to sell off their farm produce as at when due. In view of that, we decided to set up a standard fruit juice processing plant to help us

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to stake holders in the agriculture industry, companies that rely on fresh fruits for their raw materials, supermarkets, grocery stores et al.
  • Advertise our business and agriculture produce in agro – allied and food related magazines and websites
  • List our juice farms on yellow page ads
  • Attend related agriculture and food expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage in direct marketing
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Any business that wants to grow beyond the corner of the street or the city they are operating from must be willing to utilize every available means to advertise and promote the business. We intend growing our business which is why we have perfected plans to build our brand. Below are the platforms we will leverage on to boost our fruit brand and to promote and advertise our business;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our business
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Providence – Rhodes Island
  • Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact corporate organizations and residents in our target areas by calling them up and informing them of Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC and the farm produce we sell
  • List our fruits farms in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our fruits farms in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and trucks are well branded with our company logo

12. Our Pricing Strategy

One of the easiest means of penetrating the market and acquiring loads of customers is to sell our fruits at competitive prices hence we will do all we can to ensure that the prices of our fruits and juices are going to be what other commercial farmers would look towards beating.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for farm produces purchase without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

When it comes to calculating the cost of starting a fruit farm with a standard greenhouse farm, there are some key factors that should serve as a guide. The most important expense is the construction of the greenhouse. Below are some of the basic areas we will spend our startup capital when setting up our fruit farm;

  • The total fee for incorporating the business in United States of America – $750.
  • The total cost for payment of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $9,400
  • The amount needed to acquire / lease a farm land – $50,000
  • The amount required for preparing the farm land – $70,000
  • The cost for acquiring the required working tools and equipment / machines / fencing et al – $10,000
  • The amount required for purchase of the first set of fruits seedlings et al – $50,000
  • The amount required to set up a standard fruit juice processing plant within the farm facility – $ 100,000
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost of launching an official website – Fruit Farm Business Plan
  • The amount required for payment of workers for a period of 3 months – $100,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,000

Going by the report from detailed research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need an average of $500,000 to start a standard fruit farm with a fruit juice processing plant in the United States of America. The nature of fruit farms does not require an office space, most people that run fruit farms operate directly from their farms; but we have decided to open a small liaison office; a place where administrative jobs will be carried out.

Generating Startup for Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC

No matter how fantastic your business idea might be, if you don’t have the required money to finance the business, the business might not become a reality. Finance is a very important factor when it comes to starting a fruit farm. Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is a family business that will be owned and managed by Johnson Jael and his immediate family members.

They are the sole financiers of the firm, but may likely welcome other partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources. These are the areas where we intend sourcing for fund for Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $400,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to sell our farm produce a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Carroty Cliff® Fruit Farms, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of farm land in the outskirt of Providence – Rhodes Island (preparing the farm land inclusive): Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Startup Capital generation: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Building/construction of greenhouse and hothouse facility: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed fruits cultivating tools, machines and equipment and construction of fruit juice processing plant: Completed
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Farm land Treatment, Health and Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry (agriculture farm produce merchants, transporters/haulage and suppliers of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides): Completed

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Planting Apple Trees and Harvesting Apples

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Fall means apple harvest time! See our tips on harvesting apples—as well as caring for apple trees, apple tree problems, and everything about planting and growing juicy apples in the home garden! 

About Apples

Apple trees aren’t just for people with acres upon acres of land. Even in a small space, you can plant a hedge of dwarf apple trees or an apple espalier and yield a successful crop. Spring planting is recommended in central and northern areas. Fall planting can also be successful, but only in areas where autumn and winter weather is generally more mild and moist.

Where Do Apples Grow?

However, climate considerations are very important for growing apples. As a general rule, if an apple tree is called “hardy,” it grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 5. If termed “long-season,” apple quality will be best in Zones 5 to 8. Check your zone here.

Tree tags don’t always tell you where the variety grows best, but many catalogs do. Also,  check with your local Cooperative Extension Service  for a recommendation specific to your area. Each variety has a number of chill hours needed to set fruit (i.e., the amount of time temperatures are between 32 and 45 degrees F). The farther north you go, the more chill hours an apple variety needs to avoid late spring freeze problems. Check tree tags for chill hour information or ask the seller.

Can You Grow Apple Trees From Seed?

A common question is whether it’s possible to simply plant the seed of a variety that you like rather than buy a young tree. While it’s certainly possible to grow an apple tree from a seed, the apple tree you get probably won’t be the kind you hoped for!

Apple seeds are genetically different from their parent tree, which means that things like tree size, hardiness, and fruit quality will differ (and will usually be poorer). So, if you plant a Honeycrisp seed, you won’t end up with Honeycrisp apples. Plus, it can take 8-10 years for an apple seedling to grow big enough to produce apples, so you may end up waiting a while!

Nevertheless, growing an apple seedling can still be a fun experiment.

Here’s how to plant apple seeds:

Apple seeds need to be exposed to cool, moist conditions before they are ready to germinate and grow. Sow them outdoors 1/2 inch deep in the fall, and the natural seasonal cycle will take care of the seed’s chilling needs for you. Alternatively, place the seeds in moistened sand in a plastic container and keep the container in the fridge for 3 to 4 months. Then, sow them outdoors 1/2 inch deep once the threat of frost has passed. Once the seedling emerges, be sure to keep it well-watered and protected from pests.

Apples Need Pest Control

Also, it’s important to recognize that there are many diseases and fruit pests that attack apples, so it’s rare for this fruit to be grown without any type of pesticides. Growing apples organically is much more difficult in the East Coast than the West due to incidence of fungal diseases and types of pests that aren’t even present in the West. It will take much research and persistence to grow apples if you wish to avoid any type of spraying program.

Apple Trees Need Friends

Most apples need pollen from another apple tree to produce fruit. This is called cross-pollination. This second tree must be a different cultivar but also one that will flower at the same time. The presence of bees will be very important; poor pollination can reduce the number of fruit and cause misshapen fruit; some orchards rent or maintain bee hives for good pollination. Overusing broad-spectrum insecticides can reduce the number of bees. 

apple-blossoms-4136856_1920_full_width.jpg

How to Espalier: Fruit Trees in Small Spaces

Unusual fruit and fruit trees to grow, how to make a pollinator garden, when to plant apple trees.

  • Bare-root apple trees should be planted in the early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.
  • Container-grown apple trees can be planted throughout the growing season as long as they are given enough water.

Selecting a Site

  • As with most fruit, apple trees produce best when grown in full sun, which means six or more hours of direct summer sunlight daily. 
  • Apple trees need well-drained soil, but should be able to retain some moisture. Light- to medium-textured soils are best. Fruit trees struggle in heavy clay soil; poorly drained soil leads to root rot disease.
  • Plant fruit in a location with good air circulation so leaves dry quickly after a rainfall or irrigation (or the tree risks fungal leaf diseases).
  • Make sure the tree will not be planted in a “frost pocket” where cold air settles in low-lying areas. Choose a higher site with a slip if possible so that cold air will flow away from the trees.
  • Do not plant trees near wooded areas or other trees. 
  • The ideal soil pH is 6.0 to 6.5, but a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0 is acceptable. Take a soil test prior to planting your apple trees. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can instruct you.

Planting the Tree

  • Before planting, remove all weeds and the grass in a 4-foot diameter circle. 
  • After you purchase the tree, protect it from injury, drying out, freezing, or overheating. If the roots have dried out, soak them in water about 24 hours before planting.
  • Tree spacing is influenced by the rootstock, soil fertility, and pruning. Seedlings or full-size trees should be planted about 15 to 18 feet apart in a row. A dwarfing rootstock might be 4 to 8 feet apart in a row. Of course, apple trees require cross-pollination; a different cultivar that blooms at the same time must be planted within 2,000 feet (preferably, nearer).
  • Dig a hole approximately twice the diameter of the root system and 2 feet deep. Place some of the loose soil back into the hole and loosen the soil on the walls of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the soil. Spread the tree roots on the loose soil, making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Continue to replace the soil around the roots. As you begin to cover the roots, firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets.
  • Do not add fertilizer at planting time, as the roots can be “burned”. Fill the remainder of the hole with the loose soil, and press the soil down well.
  • Most apple trees are grafted. The graft union should be at least 4 inches above the soil line so that roots do not emerge from the scion. The graft union (where the scion is attached to the rootstock) can be recognized by the swelling at the junction. 
  • Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so you should provide a support system for your hedge. You can grow your trees against a fence, or you can provide free-standing support in the form of a trellis.

See our video to learn how to plant a bare-rooted fruit tree .

  • Water young trees regularly, especially those on semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstocks, to ensure that the root system becomes well established.
  • Refresh mulch periodically, but pull it away from the trunk so that it doesn’t rot. This also helps to prevent rodents from nesting in it over the winter and chewing on the tree’s bark.
  • Apple trees require initial training to nurture a strong frame of branches so the trees can carry heavy apple crops. Dwarf plants must be supported with posts or trellis and trained to a central leader system. Standard (and sem-dwarf) trees should also be trained to a modified leader.
  • Pest control measures will be an important part of care. Correct timing is critical to avoid harming the bees and affecting pollination. When used, pesticides are applied at a specific stage of flower and fruit development, not according to the calendar. It’s important to research your variety and climate to know which pests are most likely to be a problem, which will allow you to apply the right controls at the right time.
  • If you wish to avoid pesticides, it is possible, though apple trees are one of the most pest-susceptible fruits. For example, you can place paper bags around each apple of your tree, though this takes some time and labor. There are also organic pesticides.

Pruning Apple Trees

Pruning slows a young tree’s overall growth and can delay fruiting, so don’t be in a hurry to prune, other than removing misplaced, broken, or dead branches. There are several techniques to direct growth without heavy pruning. For example:

  • Rub off misplaced buds before they grow into misplaced branches.
  • Bend a stem down almost horizontally for a few weeks to slow growth and promote branches and fruiting. Tie down with strings to stakes in the ground or to lower branches.

Prune yearly to maintain size and form once your apple tree has filled in and is bearing fruit. Pruning reduces disease by letting in more light and air. Large trees may need more pruning (and a ladder!). 

  • Prune your mature tree when it is dormant. Completely cut away overly vigorous, upright stems (most common high up in the tree).
  • Remove weak twigs (which often hang from the undersides of limbs.
  • Shorten stems that become too droopy, especially those low in the tree.
  • After about ten years, fruiting spurs (stubby branches that elongate only about a half-inch per year) become overcrowded and decrepit. Cut away some of them and shorten others.
  • When a whole limb of fruiting spurs declines with age, cut it back to make room for a younger replacement.

Thinning Apples

  • Apples are often grown without any thinning other than what nature provides in the annual spring drop.
  • However, to avoid potential disease and insect problems, it’s helpful to thin after the natural fruit drop (about 4 to 6 weeks after bloom) to one fruit per cluster, or about 6 to 8 inches between fruit.
  • This seems hard, but this practice evens out production, prevents a heavy crop from breaking limbs, and ensures better-tasting, larger fruit crop.
  • Soon after fruit-set, remove the smallest fruits or damaged ones, leaving about four inches between those that remain.

Choose the Right Varieties

  • Look for disease-resistant trees, such as ‘Liberty’, ‘Jonafree’, ‘Macfree’, and ‘Williams Pride’, which will give you the ability to grow organic fruit or to use fewer chemicals. Maintenance is easier, too.
  • You need to choose a rootstock. All apple trees sold have 2 parts: a “rootstock” or foundation and a “scion” or top portion which determines the fruit variety. A rootstock can be “seedling” or “standard” (which produces a full-size tree) or it can be “dwarfing” or “size-controlling” (which produces a smaller tree for easier care and harvest).  
  • For dwarf trees, make sure that the rootstock is specified. A Bud 9 is a common, hardy tree that’s easy to train for USDA Climate Zones 3 to 5. The M9 is probably the most widely planted rootstock, though it could die in frigid winters.
  • Buy dormant, bare-root, 1-year-old nursery trees with good root systems. Dwarfs and semi-dwarfs will bear in 3 to 4 years, yielding 1 to 2 bushels per year. Standard-size trees will bear in 5 to 8 years, yielding 4 to 5 bushels of apples per year.
  • The variety of apple selected should be based on fruit characteristics, bloom time, and pollen compatibility. Consult a local nursery to see which trees are potential cross-pollinators in your area. For best results, include a ‘Grimes Golden’, ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Red Delicious’, or ‘Winter Banana’ in your planting. These varieties are known pollinators. Crabapple trees can also be used as pollinators if they bloom at the same time as the desired variety. Nursery catalogs will provide pollination charts.
  • Most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety; this requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another so that the bees can pollinate. (There are actually some self-pollinating apple tree varieties if you are really short on space. However, even these apple trees will bear more fruit if cross-pollinated.)

Also, consider how you will use your apples: Do you love to bake apple pies? Or, perhaps you just want apples that taste far better than what you could buy in a grocery store. See Best Apples for Baking for more information.

  • A young dwarf tree produces about 1 1/2 bushels of fruit—and even less when the tree is part of an apple hedge. So, if you’re interested in baking lots of ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ apple pies, you’ll need to plant several trees of that variety to get enough fruit.
  • If you have no particular culinary goal, try planting one of each different variety that ripen over the entire harvest season. Then you can enjoy regular apple tastings and still have enough fruit on hand for a “mess” of cooked apples.
  • Seek out the advice of local orchardists about the varieties that will do well in your area. Do the bulk of your planning from an easy chair, with a half-dozen nursery catalogs in your lap!

Harvest patiently. After all this pruning and caring, be sure to harvest your apples at their peak of perfection.

  • Pluck your apples when their background color is no longer green.
  • The stem should part readily from the branch when the fruit is cupped in the palm of your hand and given a slight twist around, then up (do not yank on the apple).
  • Different apple varieties mature at different times, so the harvest season can stretch from August to October.
  • If the apple is overripe and soft, use for cooking!

Storing Apples

  • Only store mid or late season apples. Early season varieties don’t keep and are best eaten soon after picking. Mid season varieties should keep for a few weeks, while late season varieties will stay in good condition for anywhere up to five months in a root cellar. Apples destined for storage must be perfect, with no bruises or blemishes that could provide entry points for rot.
  • Store apples by wrapping up individual fruits in newspaper or tissue paper. Place the wrapped apples onto trays that allow air to circulate. You can also store them unwrapped, but the fruits should not touch. Different varieties store for different lengths of time, so keep them separate and eat those that won’t store as long first.
  • The ideal store is somewhere cool, dark, and well-ventilated. Most garages and sheds are ideal, while attics and basements should be avoided due to either excessive heat, lack of ventilation, or low humidity. Check stored apples regularly and remove any that are going soft, brown, or rotting.

Check out this video to learn more about how to harvest and store apples. 

Gardening Products

  • March 11 is Johnny Appleseed Day, celebrating John Chapman, legendary American pioneer and folk hero who planted apple trees across the American Frontier.
  • Did you know that apples and aged cheeses can reduce tooth plaque? (Eat them together!)
  • A bad woman can’t make good applesauce . –proverb
  • Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Find the answer and learn more about the health benefits of apples, apple cider, and cider vinegar .
  • This fall, try your hand at making an apple head , or try one of our Top 10 Apple Recipes !

Apples are prone to insects and diseases—including apple maggots, plum curculios, green fruit worms, and codling moths. Many gardeners who swear off pesticides find they need to find, at minimum, an acceptable annual spray treatment for a decent crop.

One idea to avoid pesticides is to select disease-resistant varieties such as ‘ Prima ’, ‘ Priscilla ’, ‘ Liberty ’, and ‘ Freedom ’. They do not require spraying for apple scab, cedar-apple rust, and other common diseases, while most other varieties require periodic spraying every spring and summer after planting. Check with your extension service to find approved pest prevention programs for your area.

You can also try an anti-insect oil, found at garden stores. Spray it in the spring when your apple trees are in the tight cluster stage: after the leaves have unfolded from the fruiting cluster, but before the buds begin to show pink.

Other pests, such as scales, mites, and aphids, should be controlled by natural parasite and predator populations if you haven’t used a lot of sprays. 

The apple maggot can be trapped simply enough by hanging one or two round, softball-size balls—painted red and coated with sticky “Tangle-Trap”—from a branch in June through the summer. Reapply the sticky goo a time or two, as necessary.

Keep deer at bay with repellents, fencing, or deer-resistant plants ; deter mice and rabbits with wire-mesh cylinders around the base of the tree.

To keep insects away from apple trees, make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture into a wide-mouthed plastic jug. Hang the jug, uncovered, in your apple tree.

Fend off diseases by raking apple leaves, burying them beneath mulch, or grinding them with a lawnmower at season’s end

  • You can freeze apples by stewing washed chunks with a dash of water until they soften. Once ready, sieve and pour the stewed apples into containers, leaving a small space at the top as they will expand slightly when frozen, and pop into the freezer.
  • You can also cut your fruits into thin slices then dry them out in a dehydrator to make a deliciously chewy and healthy snack.
  • Planning to bake or cook your apples into an apple pie or meal?  See our chart on the best baking and cooking apples in North America .

“Baked apples have an excellent effect upon the whole physical system, feeding the brain as well as adding to the flesh, and keeping the blood pure; also preventing constipation and correcting a tendency to acidity, which produces rheumatism and neuralgia.” – The 1898 Old Farmer’s Almanac

About The Author

Catherine boeckmann.

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My apples tree got small black insect on the back of the leaves white cotton covered the stem all apples filled, What I have to use to help three

Correct link to the Hardiness Map https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov

I have three apple trees, no blossom, no fruit for a few years now.

One tree if very old the others are three years. What can I do for them.

Young apple trees do not flower or produce fruit in the early stages of their lives. Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties typically do not flower and bear fruit for 3 to 5 years, while standard size apple trees may not produce flowers/fruit for 5 to 10 years. It is important to follow a pruning regimen in late winter/early spring to avoid overcrowding. For pollination purposes, two cultivars are needed within 50 to 100 feet.

As for your older tree, it may take a few years of careful pruning to bring it back. You first want to remove a few larger branches to increase light and air flow, as well as any branches that are diseased or broken. Just remember not to prune too much to avoid the tree putting too much energy into growing new branches. And again, pruning in late winter/early spring is best.

Seems they produce about every other year. Has anyone else experienced this?

My wife and I live in Central California and are looking to plant apple trees in our backyard. The problem is, we don't have a lot of flat space to do so. Our backyard has a sloping hill that holds up a retaining wall and the flat space at the top of the hill is only about 2'-3' wide, which happens to be the width of the stainless steel tubs we've been looking at.

We bought a house in Long Beach, CA with an apple tree. The tree grows healthy and produces apples, but they have not been very firm and crispy, and tend to have brown inside of them. How can I tell what kind of tree I have and what I should do to improve the fruit?

Wish we could help but we don’t have enough information to figure this one out. Our best advice it to take pictures and bring them to a local nursery, one that carries fruit trees, if possible. Good luck with this!

i bught 5 trees apple pear cherry plum and cooking apple 3 years ago i got small apples from 1 but one of the trees low growing and branches are spreading out wide and not gowing high have you any ideer what this tree could be never got any flouwers from it i am lost do not know what it is can you help me find out thank you cheers joe burke

I have a apple tree in my backyard and I want to know where to place a apple catcher i'm building, thanks!

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The Old Farmer's Store

MorningChores

Growing Apple Trees: The Complete Guide to Plant, Grow, & Harvest Apples

apple tree business plan

Growing apples is so rewarding because the trees are delightful to have in the yard, with their delicate, fragrant spring blossoms, and you can use the fruits in tons of different ways. Whether you crave the citrusy zing of cider  or juice , or you can’t live without smooth, creamy applesauce , there’s an endless number of ways to eat them. You can also use the fruit to make vinegar, which isn’t only useful around the house , but healthy for you as well.

Apples have been grown domestically for the past 8,000 years. They originated in Eastern Europe where they quickly spread, and were common in Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations before making the leap to North America.

Now they dominate the world, and new types have been developed to grow in most climates, which is good, because choosing the right variety is an important step in growing apples. Some apples are better for storing, others best fresh, and some are ideal for making cider. Some varieties need cool weather, and some can tolerate a bit of heat. Thanks to their popularity, there’s the perfect one out there for anyone.

In this article, we’re going to look at how to plant and care for your apple trees, with a focus on organic growing.

apple tree business plan

Can I Grow Apples Organically?

First, let me assure you that YES! It’s possible to grow apples organically. The fruit has a reputation for being hard to grow – period. And many agriculturists will tell you its impossible to grow apples without using chemicals and conforming to a ridged spray schedule.

Don’t listen to them. You can grow healthy, quality apples using good management strategies and some helpful aids from mother nature.

Apple Varieties

Apple fruits in a basket

There are hundreds of apple varieties to choose from. Check out our eight favorite varieties if you are looking for apples that are all-around superstars.

If you want to grow apple trees for cider, try:

  • Stayman’s Winesap
  • Crimson Crisp
  • Roxbury Russet

For applesauce and canning, try:

  • Golden Delicious

If you’re interested in baking and cooking, pick:

  • Granny Smith
  • Newton Pippin
  • Rome Beauty

The best apples for warm climates include:

  • Mollies Delicious
  • Dixie Red Delight

The best apples for colder areas (zone 3 and 4) are:

  • Candy crisp
  • Cortland Apple
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin
  • September Wonder Fuji

Plan for Pollination

Apple blossoms on a growing apple tree

Apple trees require cross-pollination with another tree. When choosing your plants, pick two of the same type, or two that flower at the same time. You can check an apple pollination chart if you need help.

How to Plant Apples

When to plant.

Plant trees when temperatures are cool. Avoid planting during a hard frost, but otherwise, you can put them in the ground during mid-fall or early winter. You can also plant in spring as soon as the ground can be worked.

Getting it in the Ground

Soak the tree’s roots for a few hours before planting. Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the diameter of your plant’s roots and at least 2 feet deep. The bigger the hole, the happier your tree will be.

Sun Requirements

Apples require full sun, at least 8 hours per day.

Soil Requirements

Growing apples successfully requires fertile soil. Do a soil test before planting to be sure that your trees will have what they need. Apples need a pH range between 6.0-7.0.

Amend your soil with peat moss, compost, and bonemeal before putting your tree in the ground to give it a healthy foundation.

Apples need an average of 15 feet between trees, depending on the variety. Dwarf trees are best off with 10 feet between trees, and a standard size tree needs closer to 20 feet.

Pollinators

Without pollinators you won’t get any apples, so plan to put your trees near an area where bees and butterflies visit.

How to Care for Apples

Nutrient management.

Nutrient management practices are the steps you will follow to provide your apples with rich, healthy soil to grow in. This is different from fertilizing. Fertilizing is a short, concentrated dose of nutrients. Nutrient management is a long term solution.

In the first three years of an apple growth, it is important to encourage good root growth. This will help the tree get established and develop a network of healthy roots that will feed the tree and help it be productive.

Feeding Young Trees

Place a ring of 2-inch thick compost around your trees every year. Keep the compost 6-inches away from the trunk. You don’t have to worry about digging it in. Let the soil microbes do the job for you.

If your soil is low in phosphorus and/or calcium sprinkle a pound of bone meal around each tree along with the compost.

On top of the compost, you can place a thick (4-inch) layer of mulch such as straw or wood chips. This will help keep weeds from growing around your trees. Keep the mulch 6-inches away from the trunk.

Cover Crops

Cover crops let you add nitrogen and other nutrients to your orchard. They also look attractive and help you keep down on the mowing.

Clover is probably the most popular cover crop for orchards. Clover adds nitrogen to the soil, helps with erosion and is high-quality food for livestock.

Apples need 2-inches of water per week when they are young. Keep the soil lightly moist as trees get older, but avoid letting it get waterlogged.

Livestock in the Orchard

Chicken run in an apple orchard

Image via Fox Run

Some livestock species are helpful in the orchard, and some are not. Livestock can be part of your long term nutrient management solution.

Geese and ducks are helpful in the garden. Both are grazing birds but will also readily eat grubs and other pests. Chickens are also good pest controllers for the orchard. They will scratch at the soil, which will aerate and mix in the minerals on the surface.

Sheep can do mowing work and add fertilizers. Sheep are grazers and are not interested in nibbling on your trees. They will eat the grass, weeds and cover crop and keep everything nicely trimmed. Rotating your sheep in and out of the orchard as needed will keep the sheep from overgrazing or getting sick from the rich grasses.

Goats cannot be trusted in an orchard due to their mischievous nature and the fact that they are browsers. They will climb on your apple trees for a nice snack of twigs, buds, and fruit.

I’ve heard that well-behaved horses can be allowed in orchards. This makes me laugh out loud. My rescue horse Rocket does have access to the orchard area, and he has used a tree or two as a rubbing post.

For the most part, Rocket does not pull the fruit off the trees although I do put some temporary fencing up in fall to make sure of that. One benefit is his manure. I rake it so that it’s along the drip line of the tree.

Pruning Your Apple Trees

Pruning growing apple trees

Pruning your apple trees can be a bit intimidating. After all, what if you damage your tree or set back its growth?  Remember that it’s better to prune a little than not at all. Pruning lets in more light and air which will help your tree be more productive.

Rest assured as long as you follow some basic principles all will be well.

Pruning is best done in late winter while your tree is still dormant. The exception to this is older trees which need a heavier pruning to get them back on track. These trees do better with a summer pruning.

Pruning Equipment

Good pruning equipment is essential. You pruners and pruning saw should be sharp and easy to hold. Take  care of your tools,  so they’re ready when you are.

  • Hand pruners are best to remove small branches and twigs.
  • Loppers  have longer handles and give you more strength for pruning larger branches.
  • A Saw  is necessary when pruning larger limbs of three or more inches in diameter.
  • Pole Pruners is a saw that is attached to a long pole so that you can reach branches above your head.

What to Prune:

  • Dead or diseased branches.
  • Waterspouts, which are those lower branches growing off the trunk.
  • Branches that grow inward towards the trunk or are cutting in front of others

How to Prune

Make your cut above the branch collar. The branch collar is the wrinkled bark where the tree and branch intersect.

After the third year of growth, you want to start shaping your tree. Apples grow best in a central leader style. This means they will have a main trunk with branches that come up at a 45-degree angle.

If you feel overwhelmed, watch a YouTube video or two to help you visualize the pruning process. Peaceful Valley has a great video for pruning young trees . The Organic Gardener has a great video on pruning an older tree that has been neglected.

Thinning Fruit

Once your tree becomes productive, it may be necessary to thin the fruit. Crowding can result in smaller apples or disease. Thinning also helps prevent the branch from breaking because of the weight of the apples.

Thin the fruit, so that they’re 6-inches apart on the branches.

Apple Problems and Solutions

The best way to prevent diseases and pests is to keep a neat and tidy orchard. Utilize pruning to remove diseased limbs so that they do not contaminate the rest of the tree. Pick up and dispose (or feed to livestock) any fruit that either has a disease or is harboring pests.

Fruit rotting on the ground

Apple scab is one of the most serious apple problems in North America. It is caused by a fungus Venturia inaequalis and affects the leaves and fruit. Severe cases can totally defoliate a tree. It produces scabs and malformed fruit that’s still edible but often small.

Rake up the fallen leaves and burn them. Pruning also helps maintain air circulation which helps control fungal diseases.

I spray with kelp in late spring when my apples are developing fruits. Kelp is high in minerals and helps the trees to fight off disease and aids in fruit development. I also like Michael Phillips’ Holistic Spray Recipe .

In extensive cases, you may need to spray with potassium bicarbonate fungicides .

Codling Moth

The larvae of the codling moth are 1-inch worms that burrow into growing apples. The adult codling moth lays her egg on the top of the apple. When the larvae hatch they burrow into the fruit. You may not realize you have a problem until your experience apple drop.

After dropping, the worm crawls out of the apple, goes to the tree and finds a hiding place. There it spins a cocoon so that it can start the process all over again.

apple tree business plan

By Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

Keep an eye out in spring for the emergence of the adult moths. You can fill a half gallon milk jug with the following lure formula and hang it in your apple trees. Cut a hole in the side for the moths to enter.

  • One cup apple cider vinegar
  • One-third cup dark molasses
  • One-eighth teaspoon ammonia
  • Two cups water

Birds like chickens and woodpeckers love the larvae, as do Trichogramma wasps. You can also use organic sprays such as Monterey Insect Spray to control codling moth.

Aphids are a potential problem for young trees. Encourage predators like lady beetles and lacewings in your orchard. Spray trees with a blast of water to knock the insects loose and rake up debris.

If your young tree has a massive infestation, spray it with an organic spray containing peppermint and rosemary oil.

Apple Maggot

The apple maggot eats the fruit on your growing apple tree. You’ll notice dimpling on your fruit, and you’ll see the damage when you cut an apple open.

To control, clean up around your trees and don’t let fruit rot on the ground. Place sticky traps in your tree and use a spray containing kaolin clay.

Apple Bud Moth

The larvae of the apple bud moth feed on the underside of apple leaves and roll leaves to form a shelter. They also nibble on fruits and create canal-like channels on the surface.

You can control this in a similar way to the codling moth.

Apple Tree Borer

Apple tree borer

This insect bores into the trunk and branches of growing apple trees. You’ll see sawdust debris on your tree and tunnels that may appear sunken and darker than the surrounding area.

Healthy trees are usually able to withstand the borer, so keep your orchard in good condition. If you have an infestation, you can dig out the larvae and whitewash the trunk to discourage new infestations.

The invasive gypsy moth eats the leaves, flowers, and fruits on growing apple trees. Birds like to eat the caterpillars, as do mice and squirrels, so encourage them to visit your garden. Wasps and flies will also attack the eggs of the gypsy moth.

Prevent them from taking hold in your orchard by scraping and boiling any egg masses you find. You’ll often find eggs in wood piles, wheel wells in cars, and stone walls.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetle

This pretty beetle attacks apples in the summer, feeding on leaves and fruits. You can spray young trees with neem oil and handpick the beetles off.

Beneficial nematodes can help you prevent next year’s infestation, and you can use traps as long as you have a place far away from your trees to place the trap.

Leafhoppers pierce leaves and suck out the nutrients. You’ll see white or yellow stippling on your tree leaves. This harms the tree because it reduces photosynthesis. Usually, healthy trees won’t show extensive damage, but young trees can be susceptible.

The Anagrus mymarid wasp is an effective biological control.

Mites pierce apple leaves and cause bronzing and eventual death. Predators like  Neoseiulus fallacis  (Phytoseiidae),  Agistemus fleschneri  (Stigmaeidae) and  Zetzellia mali  (Stigmaeidae) can be effective against mites.

If you have an extreme infestation, you can apply an organic miticide.

As the name implies, this fungus causes apples to turn black and rot. Keep fallen fruit and other debris away from your orchard and remove any infected branches during the winter. You’ll see red cankers on branches. Once you’ve removed the branch, destroy it rather than putting it in your compost to avoid spreading it.

Crown and Collar Rot

If you see discolored leaves, dying twigs and buds that are slow to break, or you see brown, slimy girdling on your tree trunk, you might have crown and collar rot.

You can buy resistant varieties and avoid planting in poorly drained areas. If you see girding on your tree, remove the soil from the base of the tree to expose the area. This can often stop the disease from progressing.

Sooty Blotch and Flyspeck

Sooty blotch and flyspeck are fungi usually found in areas with high humidity and temps between 65-80°F. These two diseases often go hand in hand. You can still eat apples covered in sooty blotch by scraping and washing off the fungus. Keep trees well pruned and fruits thinned out to help avoid it from taking hold in your orchard.

Fire Blight

Fire blight is a bacteria that attacks blossoms and branches of growing apple trees. If fire blight is common in your area, pick resistant varieties, and use a low-nitrogen fertilizer on your grees and only fertilize if your soil is deficient. Keep weeds, fallen fruit, and other debris away from your orchard. Prune off infected branches.

Companions for Apples

Since apples rely on pollinators, it’s smart to plant your trees near plants that attract them.

The best companions for apples are:

Worst Companions:

Harvesting and Storing Apples

Growing apple trees in an orchard ready for harvest

Apple trees take a few years before they will produce fruit. Generally, you can expect to start snacking in 2 to 5 years. The fruit is ready when it’s no longer green and hard, but the ripe color will vary depending on the variety – and some varieties assume their mature color before they’re ripe.

The timing will depend on the variety as well. Some apples ripen in late summer and others in late fall, or anything in between. The most sure-fire way to know if your tree is ready is to wait until the approximate maturity date according to type and then pick and cut into a fruit.

Organic apples in a basket

Let’s talk about what your apples will look like. Organically raised apples are not going to look like the perfect fruit in the grocery store. That fruit is full of chemical pesticides and covered in a wax coating so that it appeals to shoppers. It’s less healthy than homegrown fruit.

Pluck apples from the tree leaving the stem intact. Leave frozen apples on the tree until they have thawed before harvesting. Use apples that have frozen faster than you would use apples that haven’t frozen because they don’t last as long.

Store them in a cool, dry area that is lower than 45°F. You can store most apples for up to 6 months at this temp. Toss out or separate any damaged apples because they will cause other apples to ripen faster.

Apple drink in a pitcher with apples around it

Now for the fun part: using those apples. If you can’t use them up in recipes, drinks and around the house, keep in mind that apples  store well in a root cellar.

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Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

Affordable tree removal service in Marietta, Ga

How to Grow an Apple Tree in Marietta Georgia

May 23, 2019 by Marietta Tree Service

Apple tree planting and harvest in Marietta Ga

So you want free apples for life? It’s as simple as planting a tree, but there are some things you must know before trying to grow an apple tree in your backyard.

Growing apple trees may seem easy, and it is when you know how to acclimate them and care for them as they mature. By using simple care techniques, you’ll be harvesting homegrown apples before you know it.

toddsmariettatreeservices.com gathered information on how to acclimate, plant, and care for apple trees until they begin to bear fruit.

Apple Trees from Seeds, Seedlings, or Saplings

If you want to grow and harvest your favorite apples, your first decisions are which species of apple and in what phase of growth to start. The following will help you decide:

Starting from Seeds – If you can create and maintain a controlled environment for seeds to sprout and flourish in, it is the longest but most engaging way to grow your apple trees.

Planting fertile apple tree seeds

Eating an apple and retrieving the seeds from the core may seem like a logical way to get started, but store-bought hybrid apples typically do not have viable seeds or seeds that will grow true to the species. Your best bet is to visit your local nursery or the plant and garden section of your local home improvement store for viable, fertile seeds.

Starting from Seedlings – Seedlings are a great way to start growing a tree. However, they are still fragile and require a controlled environment for the first few months of growth. Seedlings should be allowed to acclimate to their new environment for 5 to 10 days before being transplanted to a larger container.

Apple tree seedling growing in container

Once seedlings “get a feel” for their new location, they tend to grow fairly rapidly. However, seedlings will require several transplants before finally moving them outside for acclimation and to their permanent location.

Starting from Saplings – This is perhaps the easiest way to grow your apple tree. Besides circumventing all of the care and precaution needed for seeds and saplings, saplings are almost ready to be planted in their permanent location.

Saplings should be acclimated to the outside environment by leaving them in partial shade for 3 to 4 hours daily, for 7 to 10 days. Once a sapling has been acclimated, it can be transplanted to its permanent outside location.

Planted apple tree sapling in Marietta Ga

Apple Tree Needs

Before planting your apple tree in its permanent location in late winter or early spring, read toddsmariettatreeservices.com/expert-shares-5-important-tree-planting-tips/ , then consider these specific apple tree requirements:

Sun Requirements – For best growth and fruiting, your apple tree should get full sunlight (this is 6 or more hours of direct summertime sunlight daily).

Spacing Requirements – Regular apple trees require 25 to 30 feet between trees; semi-dwarf apple trees need 15 to 20 feet, and the dwarf species can be spaced 10 to 15 feet apart.

Regular sized mature apple tree spacing 30 feet between trees

Soil Requirements – Apple trees can thrive in soils ranging from medium textured clays to gravelly sands. However, the healthiest trees and best crops are found on well-drained fertile sandy soils and loams.

Apples do best in neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH between 7.0 and 5.8. You can amend the pH level in acidic soil by incorporating lime before transplanting.

Crown rot ( Phytophthora cactorum ) is a common issue in poorly drained soil. Apple tree rooting is typically shallow, and wet soils tend to restrict root development. This subsequently results in poor anchorage and reduced extraction of nutrients for tree development.

Watering Requirements – Although apples contain high water content, apple trees do not need daily heavy watering. However, you should adjust your watering schedule to avoid dry soil and drought stress to your trees.

Water your trees in the early morning, or if your schedule doesn’t permit it, early evening watering will help your apple trees thrive.

Your watering schedule should increase in frequency as your apple trees begin to bear fruit, and return to normal after the harvesting period.

Pruning Requirements – Prune your apple trees in late winter, while the trees are in a state of dormancy. Remove any downward growing branches and dead or diseased branches; also remove any suckers growing from the base of the tree or within the root spread.

Suckers growing from tree trunk and roots

As pruning stimulates new growth, only emergency pruning (diseased branches, weather damage, etc.) should take place in late summer or fall. Any growth late in the season will not have time to harden in preparation for winter months dormancy and will die.

Pollination Requirements – On average, newly planted apple trees require 2 to 5 years to establish, mature, and bloom. Some species take 5 to 10 years to bloom and bear fruit. Like all fruit trees, pollination is required for apple trees to bear fruit.

Unless the species is self-fertile (Anna, Golden Dorsett, Gordon, etc.), cross-pollination is required. However, self-fertile species bear more heavy crops when cross-pollinated.

Proper pollination occurs when trees of different varieties bloom at the same time. Trees of the same variety won’t get the job done.

If you only have room for one apple tree and natural cross-pollination isn’t possible, you can purchase apple pollen from a local nursery and pollinate the tree by hand (be sure that the species are compatible for best results).

Watch this video to learn more about apple tree pollination.

Growing Apple Trees

With all the free apples after your first harvest, will you make apple pies, apple fritters, or apple sauce? By following these simple planting and care techniques, your apple trees will thrive and provide free apples for years to come.

In this article, you discovered how to acclimate your saplings, planting requirements, and care tips to give your apple trees their best chance to mature, thrive, and bear fruit.

It’s not enough to just plant an apple tree and hope it does well. For your apple tree to thrive, you must be knowledgable and pay attention to a host of easy to learn factors.

Sources: https://www.yara.us/crop-nutrition/apple/agronomic-principles/ http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C740&title=Home%20Garden%20Apples https://www.allotment-garden.org/fruit/apples-growing/

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Apple Trees

Malus domestica, commonly known as apple, are grown all over the world and come in 7500 varieties with 2500 of those varieties being grown in the US. However, only 100 varieties are commercially cultivated in the United States. Apples come in all shades of red, green, and yellow and are a member of the Rose family. The fruits are fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free, making them an excellent and healthy snack choice. One medium sized apple contains around 5 grams of fiber with only 80 calories. They also contain a fair amount of malic acid, which is used in teeth whitening products to remove stains. When left at room temperature, apples can ripen up to 10 times faster than if they were refrigerated. Be sure that you do not peel your apple as two thirds of the fiber and most of the antioxidants are found in the skin. Over half of the apples produced in the United States, from green apples to red, are found in the state of Washington. The average person consumes around 65 apples a year. Apples are the United States' second most valuable fruit crop grown in the United States. The first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York in 1730.

The following page shows our stunning collection of apple trees for sale- including apple specialty trees, southern apple trees and standard apple trees. We offer a huge selection to suit a whole range of climates and environments for customers who buy fruit trees online . We make the possibility of having a home orchard a reality. Think of the many uses of delicious, healthy and flavorful apple fruit that your new trees will provide every year. The apple fruit from your tree can be stored for later and used in cooking all kinds of delicious dishes and desserts.

Your Plant Hardiness Zone determines what plants will most likely grow and thrive at your location.

Please refer to the map below to find your zone.

Zone map

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Apple-Specialty Trees

3-in-1 Apple Tree

3-in-1 Apple Tree

Starting at $89.95 Zones: 5-8

4-in-1 Apple Tree

4-in-1 Apple Tree

Starting at $119.95 Zones: 5-8

Apple Seedlings

Apple Seedlings

Starting at $4.95 Zones: 4-9

Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Starting at $34.95 Zones: 5-8

Standard Apple Trees

Arkansas Black Apple Tree

Arkansas Black Apple Tree

Starting at $12.95 Zones: 4-7

Braeburn Apple Tree

Braeburn Apple Tree

Starting at $12.95 Zones: 4-8

Cortland Apple Tree

Cortland Apple Tree

Fuji Apple Tree

Fuji Apple Tree

Starting at $12.95 Zones: 6-9

Gala Apple Tree

Gala Apple Tree

Golden Delicious Apple Tree

Golden Delicious Apple Tree

Starting at $14.95 Zones: 4-8

Granny Smith Apple Tree

Granny Smith Apple Tree

Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Jonathan Apple Tree

Jonathan Apple Tree

Starting at $12.95 Zones: 3-7

McIntosh Apple Tree

McIntosh Apple Tree

Newtown Pippin Apple Tree

Newtown Pippin Apple Tree

Starting at $12.95 Zones: 5-8

Northern Spy Apple Tree

Northern Spy Apple Tree

Pink Lady® Apple Tree

Pink Lady® Apple Tree

Red Delicious Apple Tree

Red Delicious Apple Tree

Red Gravenstein Apple Tree

Red Gravenstein Apple Tree

Red Rome Beauty Apple Tree

Red Rome Beauty Apple Tree

Sierra Beauty Apple Tree

Sierra Beauty Apple Tree

Winesap Apple Tree

Winesap Apple Tree

Southern apple trees.

Anna Apple Tree

Anna Apple Tree

Starting at $19.95 Zones: 6-9

Dorsett Golden Apple Tree

Dorsett Golden Apple Tree

Ein Shemer Apple Tree

Ein Shemer Apple Tree

At Willis Orchard Company it has been our ongoing commitment to always offer the finest selection of apple trees for sale. In our experience, the planting, caring for and harvesting of apple trees offers a host of benefits - something that those who have never done it can only imagine. We are lovers of the outdoors - of what nature can supply to us and how, through the tending of the things that we grow, we can reap great rewards, personal satisfaction and growth.

Nutritional Value - Apples from apple trees of all varieties offers a wealth of nutritional value; that can't be disputed. Imagine the value of having all that nutrition right in your backyard, right at your fingertips? The availability of apples on this level could very well change your day to day eating habits and, as a result, your health.

Economical Value - If you've been to the grocery store lately, you know the prices that are garnered for fruits of all kinds. It can be downright unaffordable to eat healthy in this day and age. With the planting of our own apple trees, you free yourself from the economic stress associated with eating well.

Chemical-Free - When you buy your apples from a store, you have no way of knowing what pesticides or other chemicals they were treated with or exposed to throughout their journey to your kitchen. When you grow your own apple trees, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your fruits are completely and totally chemical free. Not only that, you grew these apples yourself!

Feeling of Accomplishment - Theres nothing that can adequately explain the feeling of self-accomplishment that comes with being able to walk right outside your door and pick your own apple right from your own apple tree. There is a feeling of deep satisfaction that comes with picking a clean, fresh apple off a tree and eating it. Join in the fun and plant your own home orchard today!

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Apple Business Strategy: Plans that made it a Multi-Trillion dollar Company

Apple Business Strategy: Plans that made it a Multi-Trillion dollar Company

The study was first published on September 27, 2021, and then updated on September 18, 2023.

This strategy teardown compiles the ideas, innovations, technological research, partnerships, and, most importantly, the strategies responsible for Apple’s growth to such heights.  

However, before we move forward, here is a small intro about Apple.

On Friday, June 30, 2023, Apple became the first company in history to reach a $3 trillion market valuation. It stays ahead by half a trillion dollars from the second most-valued company on the planet- Microsoft. Apple is now the most profitable technology corporation in the world. 

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple on the 1st of April 1976, bringing creativity to the table through their rendition of a personal computer. Apple is one of the world’s most popular and recognized labels. The company has experienced unparalleled revenue growth, from just $8 billion in 2004 to over $274B last year . This is more when compared to other technology giants out there today, such as Google ($181B) and Microsoft ($143B).

Apple’s growth could primarily be attributed to its business strategy. By combining its designing capabilities, hardware expertise, software prowess, and strategic acquisitions , the company has built an ecosystem that a user doesn’t want to leave. 

Vertical integration is another main reason that distinguishes Apple from the competition. It has reaped enormous benefits from the vertical model. It has always built, controlled, and manufactured all of its hardware and software. This inherent benefit assists the corporation in achieving a higher degree of synergy between its hardware and applications. Even the apps are tightly controlled to follow Apple policies. The company also increased its spending on the cost of sales and product R&D to $26,251 billion, which was less than 18% of its total expenditure.

“We have fierce competition at the developer side and the customer side. It’s so competitive, I would describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

Apple’s business strategy consists of the following four elements:

  • Focus on product design and functionality
  • Strengthening Apple’s ecosystem
  • Improving consumer service experience
  • Reducing the business’s reliance on iPhone sales

As for the product and service categories, Apple Inc. includes iPhone, Mac, iPad, Wearables, Home and Accessories, and Services like iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Maps, etc.

This study explores Apple’s business strategy that will help you acquire some basic principles that could be applied to any kind of business, even yours. So, if you’d like the entire analysis in PDF form that you can download and save for later reading (or sharing with your friends), just fill out the form below, and we’ll deliver it right to your inbox.

Now, let’s dive deep into the reasons behind Apple’s success.

Table of Contents

History of Apple

These products and strategies helped apple win before the launch of the iphone..

While the iMac sparked Apple’s rebirth in 1998, the introduction of the iPod in Oct 2001 sent the company to the top of the world’s most valuable companies list. 

“With the iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.” We all know digital music players used to exist before the iPod, but as we know, Apple’s marketing is phenomenal at positioning its products.

The iPod was introduced as a part of Apple’s digital hub strategy . The iPod had unparalleled marketing and promotional exposure. Apple introduced a new kind of digital music player with the iPod, allowing users to carry their complete music library in their pocket and listen to it on the move.  

The device’s original edition was released with 5GB and 10GB capacities , beginning at just under £300. The iPod was a spectacular success, increasing Apple’s overall revenue from $1.9 billion in Q1 of 2000 to $3.2 billion in the same quarter of 2001. 

After dropping the price of the 5GB iPod to $299 in July 2002 and expanding compatibility to Windows, the iPod became the best-selling digital music player in history until smartphones came along. 

By 2004, it had established a strong market leadership position in the worldwide digital music player sector. Apple spent a lot of money advertising the iPod . The advertising, which featured shadows dancing to the rhythms of their iPods, could be found in print, on television, and on billboards. In a relatively short period, Apple established an iconic image for the iPod that drew both young and old people. The iPod period, which began in 2001, ended in 2014.   

With the introduction of iTunes in 2001, Apple opened up a vast new market sector in digital music, which it has now controlled for more than a decade. Customers worldwide flocked to iTunes because of the incredible value it provided, and music companies and artists benefited as well. Furthermore, Apple safeguarded recording companies by developing copyright protection that was not inconvenient for customers. While the company has dominated this blue ocean for more than a decade, as new online businesses entered the market, the issue for Apple has been to maintain its sights on the expanding mainstream market rather than competitive benchmarking or high-end niche marketing.

As iTunes’ success developed, so did its content offerings – one of the most important aspects of Apple’s digital domination was how it adapted what it learned from selling music to TV shows, movies, and, eventually, applications. The company created and employed a distribution strategy as well as a usage model to continue adding media to the three prongs of its ecosystem.  

Steve Jobs introduced the initial 15-inch MacBook Pro , Apple’s thinnest, quickest, and lightest notebook to date, in 2006. The MacBook was a tremendous hit with buyers, and it was one of the reasons that Mac sales were rising three times faster than PC sales.

The Apple TV , which debuted in March 2007, was praised for its attractive interface, painless setup, and overall ease of use – all of which marked a significant shift from prior network-based home entertainment systems. Almost a year later, the hardware remained the same, but a free software upgrade essentially gave the device a makeover. Apple subsequently reduced the price of the 40GB model to $229, while the 160GB model was reduced to $329. 

Apple’s award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife, and professional apps continued to set the industry standard for innovation. It was also at the forefront of the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, as well as its innovative iPhone entry into the mobile phone industry. 

In 2007, Apple entered the mobile market with the iPhone , which was widely praised for its unique design, touch-screen capabilities, and lack of a conventional keyboard.  

Apple market cap from 2000 till 2023

Apple Market Cap as of June 2023 – source

Apple’s Product Strategies After the Launch of the iPhone

After the launch of the first-generation iPhone, the company’s product strategy was very clear, i.e., ‘ Design a high-end smartphone in which the user experience is more important than making a slew of features available.’  

The iPhone was not the first smartphone to have a mobile Web, email, and touch-screen user interface, but it was intended to have a better experience than most smartphones. Another strategy was to have superior technology, which included the mobile operating system and the thousands of mobile applications available via the App Store. 

Before the launch of the iPhone, the annual revenue of Apple — in the year 2006 — was $19.3 billion, which increased to $24.4 billion in 2007 and $37.4 billion in 2008. And since 2008, iPhones have been Apple’s main source of revenue.

The launch became one of the most anticipated technological product launches in Apple’s history, owing to the company’s masterful media build-up. After the launch of the iPhone on January 9, 2007, the share price of Apple’s stock boosted and doubled to a value of $179.40 on January 9, 2008. The iPhone was described as a mix between its iconic iPod music player and a mobile phone programmed to browse the Internet.

Apple Inc. used the strong reputation of the Apple brand and the success of the iPod to penetrate the competitive cell phone market, a move that may have posed a possible challenge to the company as other firms launched smartphones with strong music storage and playback capabilities.

During the iPhone’s two-year growth phase, Jobs launched a campaign to secure a wireless company as the iPhone’s exclusive carrier. Customers who purchased an iPhone were forced to sign a two-year wireless deal with AT&T Inc. to make calls or access the phone’s other capabilities. Apple had even struck agreements with Viacom, Disney, Google, and Yahoo, all of which were carefully chosen to add internet applications to the iPhone.

Apple chose a promotion and delivery policy in European countries that were similar to its strategy in the United States. In France, it offered France Telecom’s smartphone affiliate, Orange, to be the sole carrier. Even in the United Kingdom, Telefonica’s telecom division, O2, was chosen as the sole cellular provider for iPhone customers with a two-year contract.

Apple developed a clear overall marketing strategy for the iPhone and successfully managed every aspect of the iPhone’s launch. Despite some shortcomings and pitfalls, the company was able to create a one-of-a-kind package for tech-savvy buyers interested in a hybrid mobile phone-music player and make those customers aware of the device through well-managed marketing campaigns and positive advertising. Both of these efforts significantly increased Apple’s stock price and solidified its status as a pioneer in consumer electronic gadgetry.

After the launch of the iPhone, the company adopted the strategy of patenting everything it does. The vigorous patenting helped shield Apple from competitors working on related technologies. It also provided Apple with a legal arm for the future. 

One of Apple’s attorneys explained, “We basically tried to patent everything … And we tried to patent it as many different ways as we could, even the stuff we weren’t 100% sure would go in a product.”  

Apple, too, has been chasing and implementing its design patents, endangering the whole technology industry. It has adopted a policy of patenting any tiny recognizable bit of its merchandise, including design patents, which protect a product’s ornamental appearance rather than its usable components. 

Presently, out of the total revenue of Apple Inc., the maximum revenue is generated from the sales of the iPhone. The iPhone sales continue to be the most significant contributor to their total revenue, routinely averaging over 50%! We’ll discuss their annual revenue breakdown further down in this article.

Now that we have covered the strategic aspects let’s look at the company’s financial information, growth and revenue numbers for the last few years, and its projected growth going forward.  

What does Apple’s Financial Growth look like?

Growth projection and market-related factors.

The revenue of Apple is expected to grow by 9.66% over 10 years under a realistic growth profile. Capital expenditure is estimated to be valued at $11 billion from 2024 to 2026 and $9 billion from 2027 to 2031. Also, over the 10-year forecast period, Apple’s earnings per share (EPS) is expected to increase by 10.68% . 

Apple Revenue Forecast 2023 - 2031

Growth would continue for Apple over the next 10 years, and while substantial risks do exist, they may be efficiently monitored by early warnings and evaluations. 

The following are some of the market-related factors that influence Apple’s growth projections:

  • Due to increased demand, the Mac and iPad will flourish in the coming decade.
  • High customer satisfaction scores with Apple’s products, 82/100 (2020 survey by MBLM).
  • The App Store gives several benefits to users, such as privacy, curated quality applications, protection from malware and malicious scams, etc.
  • Home and Accessories, Wearables, and Services provide opportunities for several decades.
  • The future launch of new products, namely the Apple Car, AR/VR headset, and AR smart glasses.
  • Increased anticipation for future iPhone models.

Revenue of the Last 5 Years (in $ Billion)

Apple’s annual revenue in fiscal year 2022 was $394.32 Billion, an 8% growth over the previous year. It’s less impressive than the 33% jump from 2020 to 2021, but a positive trend regardless. Here’s the breakdown of Apple’s revenue in the last five years across their most notable business lines.

apples-revenue-over-the-last-five-years

Apple’s iPhone sales revenue grew by 7% from 2021 and approximately 40% compared to 2020. Mac and services, like Apple Music and Apple TV, saw higher growth in 2021-2022, up nearly 14% year-over-year. 

Between September 2021 and 2022, iPhone sales accounted for a whopping 52% of the company’s total revenue! You can find more details in the 3-year revenue breakdown below.

Revenue Breakdown (Section-Wise) of the Last 3 Years

The last three annual reports of Apple suggest that the iPhone category had the highest revenue amongst all the categories of Apple. The breakdown of revenue for the last 3 years is listed below:  

  • Apple currently has 2 billion active devices globally.
  • Apple’s net expenditures in 2022 were $295.5 billion, leaving them a hefty $99.8 billion profit.
  • The company’s new iPhone models released during the fourth quarter of 2021 were a massive success.
  • Mac sales netted approximately $5 billion more than fiscal year 2021. Their new Mac Studio with the Apple M1 Max chip may have attracted people looking for powerful desk workstation upgrades.
  • iPad Pro sales decreased from 2021 to 2022, leading to a relatively small reduction in revenue. This is likely because no other iPad lineup was noticeably refreshed during this period with notable features, except for integrating the M1 chip. In addition, Apple had said during this period that it had faced supply issues with the ‌iPad‌, which may have impacted sales.

The corporation has been vigorously investing in Research and Development, ensuring an increased revenue stream. Let’s now have a look at the R&D strategy of Apple and the tech areas in which the company is increasingly investing.  

What does Apple’s R&D investment strategy look like?

The tech giant has vigorously invested in Research and Development, ensuring an increased revenue stream. We observed that Apple continuously increases its R&D budget each year, with 2022 closing in at $26.2 billion, increasing by about $4 billion from 2021.

How much has Apple invested in R&D in the Past 3 Years (in $ Billion)?

apples-rd-investment-in-past-3-yrs-new-2023

  • In 2020, several patents revealed that Apple focuses on wearables, fitness, and health innovations. Various wearable patents indicated that the company could target AirPods with biometric sensors, Apple Watch with UV tracking, motion recognition for AR/VR applications, machine learning experiments to allow autonomous driving, and incorporation of various existing devices with a vehicle.
  • In 2021, they launched several noteworthy products. Perhaps the most disruptive of them was AirTag. These item trackers have quickly become so popular that Apple sold 20 million units within eight months of launch! Now, analysts claim Apple is projected to sell 55 million AirTags by the end of this year.
  • In 2022, they introduced the Apple Watch Ultra to their product line. It’s their flagship wearable device with several top-tier features like a titanium build, two times brighter display, and a dual-frequency GPS system, among other things. Driven by this model, the Apple Watch accounted for 34.1% of total smartwatch shipments in 2022 and 60% of the revenue for the global market.

Which Tech Areas is Apple focusing its R&D on?

Apple Inc. had invested in further expanding  its research and development centers globally. The company had invested over half a billion dollars in research development centers in China alone. The company also concentrated on R&D centers in the United Kingdom, owing to their increasing emphasis on creating unique innovations to underpin its product designs, including A-series processors, W-series wireless chips, unique manufacturing, materials experience, speech recognition, machine intelligence, and many more.

These are the key areas where the company focuses its innovation efforts the most.  

Apple invests heavily in developing new hardware for its products. Their most recent and notable advancement has been with their M-series processors for computers to supplement their excellent A-series mobile chips. These have smashed benchmarks worldwide, delivering chart-topping performance and power efficiencies never seen before. They make some of the best pro-grade displays , too.

Apple’s software development efforts include creating new operating systems for their products, new applications, and services. All their software products are designed and optimized for their ecosystem, allowing seamless inter-device connectivity. This interconnected approach to innovation can be seen throughout their designs, like on this expansive 358-page patent they filed for the first iPhone’s multi-touch capability .

Artificial Intelligence

Apple also invests in artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve its products and services. They’ve made numerous acquisitions to enhance their in-house AI capabilities, which we will discuss further in this article. Their advanced machine learning algorithms enable many features, ranging from FaceID’s fundamental security to fun AR Animojis on Facetime calls.

Healthcare Technology

Apple has been expanding its focus on healthcare , developing health-related features for its devices, such as the Apple Watch. Alongside regular customers, Apple wishes to be the go-to choice among doctors and healthcare professionals as well. They’ve partnered with healthcare providers like Geisinger and Ochsner to provide a seamless way for doctors and patients to connect. Their CEO, Tim Cook, has often made it clear that healthcare is one of Apple’s top priorities as a business sector.

Augmented/Virtual Reality

Spatial computing is one of Apple’s lesser-known yet rapidly developing departments. Our research suggests that Apple has been working on an AR and VR-capable wearable device for nearly 16 years!

“The products that are in R&D, there is quite a bit of investment in there for products and services that are not currently shipping or derivations of what is currently shipping…You can look at the growth rate and conclude that there’s a lot of stuff that we’re doing beyond the current products.”   – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.

Which Core Innovation Areas Is Apple Majorly Focusing on?

For the tenth year in a row, Forbes magazine ranked the company as the most valuable brand in the world in 2020. Apple took second place in 2023, around $2 billion shy of Amazon in brand value. Nonetheless, Apple has risen to become the world’s largest company by market capitalization, not by attempting to become the largest smartphone provider but by becoming the most beloved. Apple, more than any other tech company, has always prioritized the end-user experience over anything else, not just the speed, storage capacity, or other technical specifications of its products.

Apple’s innovations are often incremental, with the company adapting its design expertise to the most recent consumer tech trends. Apple did not invent the MP3 player or the smartphone, but it went on to dominate both devices by emphasizing design, user experience, and brand cachet. The company has aggressively increased the domains where the Apple experience is part of daily life during the last ten years. 

Apple guarantees that the universe of Apple-mediated behaviors continues to grow by encouraging app developers while strictly enforcing rules. By reinventing product form factor and function, from computing in a user’s pocket to managing home electronics to reminding the calorie count or parking spot — all of these experiences are connected, integrated, and packaged in a single accessible ecosystem of complimentary items. 

Moreover, Apple has focused on innovation outside the core by developing the infrastructure required to support this ecosystem safely and frictionlessly (Apple Pay secure payments or biometric facial recognition since the iPhone X). 

We have mentioned before that Apple vigorously patented everything it did. After looking at the wide array of domains on which Apple works, it becomes important to examine the kind of patent portfolio Apple has accumulated over the years. 

What does Apple Patent Portfolio look like?

A company’s patent portfolio provides us with another set of lenses to find the core areas it has been focusing on for quite some time and what it plans to launch next. Let’s take a deep dive. 

apples-patent-portfolio

Source: Insights;Gate by GreyB

With 72000+ patents (24000+ patent families) in its entire portfolio, Apple is one of the top patent filing companies in the world. It has more than 55000 patents that are still active. 

Looking at the filing trend, you can see the year 2007 saw a sharp increase. It was the same year they launched the iPhone. One can conclude that the iPhone is one of the reasons Apple invested heavily in securing its technologies. 

Apple Patent Filing Trend

The Apple vs Samsung lawsuit is still one of the largest patent infringement lawsuits that happened in the tech industry. And that further pushed the consumer electronic gadgetry pioneer to invest more in patents. (See the growth in 2012)

One of the reasons for this growth is Apple’s consideration to secure its tech in more countries. As Apple is gaining more and more global markets, it is securing its patents in more and more jurisdictions. 

Apple patent filing worldwide

The US is the home market for Apple, so, naturally, the company has the most patents in the US. China is a crucial market for smartphone makers now more than ever. China has become more patent aware thus most of the big companies are trying to secure more and more technologies/patents in the country. Apple being one of the biggest technology companies, it makes sense that it has secured thousands of patents in China. 

Apple technology areas

The huge portfolio of Apple is categorized into 16 different technologies that the company uses for its products/services or future products. 

Being a smartphone manufacturer makes Apple research heavily in the Telecom sector, which is also crucial for companies, especially when 5G is on the doorstep. 

Another interesting figure is of Apple’s design patents. The company focuses greatly on the design part, and the patent count is proof of how valuable product designs are for Apple. 

Apple hasn’t made any public announcements yet on their Autonomous Vehicle front, but the AR/VR space is where we had a long-awaited announcement in June 2023 – their Vision Pro headset. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the upcoming sections.

Moving forward, let’s go through Apple’s expertise in various sections.

What are the products and services responsible for Apple’s growth?

Design and functionality.

Apple’s competitive advantages include software control, hardware control, retail strategy, product differentiation, and, most importantly, Steve Jobs’ strategic decision-making. Since its foundation, the company has introduced simple-to-use computers to the market so that people would not face any issues while using Apple goods. Apple used both horizontal and vertical integration. It depended on its designs and refused to let third-party access to its hardware. Apple employed superior software, which aided it in increasing its market share. The company also provided a comprehensive desktop solution with hardware, software, and other components. Apple has always used typical designs for its products. 

Apple has over 4,000 design patents in its portfolio, which is a big number.

Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc., a computing and consumer electronics giant, is one of the world’s most recognizable and famous brands, with hundreds of its retail shops. A globally leading consumer electronics developer with key products including the iPhone, which runs Apple’s IOS operating system, personal computers (Macs), and tablet computers (iPads), all of which utilize Apple’s exclusive operating systems. Other notable products include the Apple Watch, AirPod, Homepod smart speakers, Apple TV streaming device, Beats headphones, and iPod Touch music player.

The company’s product strategy results in extremely high-quality products. It’s known as the “great product” strategy. 

Apple refuses to join the bandwagon other gadget makers employ by maintaining high-quality standards. The “great product” strategy emphasizes quality over quantity as well. 

While other manufacturers’ strategies include releasing items one after the other quickly and having such a diverse product mix, Apple opted to stick to what it does well.  

Smartphones (iPhones)

Since 2008, the iPhone has been Apple’s most valuable product and its primary source of income. Although Apple has expanded its product range with the Watch, AirPods, and services, the iPhone still accounts for 50% of its income. The company’s extensive relations with China, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are one of the key bear arguments. 

Most of Apple’s products are manufactured in China. While Apple has been expanding production into other countries, recent estimates suggest that 95% of the total iPhone supply still comes from China. Apple also has manufacturing facilities and assembly lines in other countries, such as the United States, Ireland, and Brazil.

Three of the company’s aforementioned contract partners, all of whom are situated in Taiwan, made relocation news in the summer of 2020:

  • Foxconn began producing the iPhone 11 in India in July 2020 and had invested $1 billion in the nation.
  • Pegatron established a subsidiary in India. 

The demographic of iPhone users changes a little each year. Here are some of the latest statistics on iPhone users:

  • 51% of iPhone users are female, while males make up the remaining 49%
  • The  16 – 34 age group has the highest number of iPhone users
  • 35% of iPhone owners also have an Apple Watch
  • The  average income  of iPhone users in the US is  85,000 USD

Its main competitors in the worldwide smartphone industry are Samsung and Huawei, with the business following the other two with a share of 13.5 % in the most recent quarter. 

In the second quarter of 2023, Apple’s global market share for the iPhone was 17%, while Samsung’s, Xiaomi’s, and Oppo’s market shares were 20%, 12%, and 10%, respectively. The company sold 845.3 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2023, while Samsung sold 53.5 million handsets. Xiaomi and Oppo, respectively, sold 33.2 million and 28 million units.

Smartphone market share global Q2 2023

Apple’s iPhone is the market leader due to excellent hardware and software integration and control over both sides of the equation. Any Android app will lag in terms of speed and performance when compared to an iPhone app.

In 2021, Apple spent an additional $45 million on Corning, which manufactures the glass used in the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. In May 2021, the company announced a $410 million grant to II-VI, which develops the technology for the iPhone’s Face ID and Portrait mode. 

With over 1 billion iPhones in use, Apple is the doorway to the most valuable clients in the mobile industry. In 2021, Apple has updated its iPhone software and allows consumers to choose whether they want to be followed for targeted adverts. 

Even though both iOS and Android have millions of apps in their app stores, developers still prefer the iPhone as the launch platform of choice for the latest new apps. Mario Run, for example, was released for iOS in December 2016 and Android in March 2017. Instagram for Android was released two years later for the iPhone.

The iPhone 15 lineup in 2023 builds upon the foundations set by the 14 series with additional features like USB-C replacing the lightning port, the dynamic island-inspired design on the 15 and 15 Plus, and the newer A17 Pro chip on the “Pro” models. Apple says the A17 Pro is the industry’s first chip to feature a 3-nanometer fabrication process.

And thankfully, the rumors about the USB ports being locked behind the MFi authentication layer were false. 

Smart Speakers (HomePod)

smart-speaker-sales-in-q1-of-2022

HomePod has experienced limited success in the Smart Speakers market. Apple trailed Amazon and Google in terms of unit sales . However , the release of the HomePod Mini has made significant advances, enabling Apple to double its share in the smart speaker market in 2021. According to survey results from Statista Consumer Insights, Amazon remains the clear market leader in the smart speaker segment in the United States. Apple took third place among the global smart speaker sellers as of Q1 2022.

Apple’s HomePod is the best-sounding wireless smart speaker today, and it can be operated by speech using the in-house virtual assistant, Siri. However, the HomePod is only worth considering if the owner possesses an iPhone and subscribes to Apple Music. In March 2021, Apple announced the discontinuation of the original Homepod after 4 years and indicated its focus on the mini Homepod it released last year.

Laptop & PC (MacBook and Mac)

Despite Apple’s shift in priority from PC to mobile, the Mac has remained a key component of the company’s product lineup. The company has maintained a core group of devices throughout the decade: the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, and iMac. Even after modifications and new models, its core has remained popular among many professional clients. 

apple tree business plan

In 2022, Apple had a 9.8% market share, following market leaders Lenovo, which had a 24.1% market share, HP Inc., which had a 19.4% market share, and Dell, which had a 17.5% market share.

When a customer purchases a Mac, that purchase is a philosophy as much as it is a piece of computer technology. The hardware and software are produced by the same corporation, and the laptops share an aesthetic sensibility with Apple phones and tablets. 

Macs are popular among music producers due to Apple’s high-end Logic Pro software and the user-friendly GarageBand program, both of which are free. Apple acquired Emagic, a music production software, on July 1, 2002, for $30 million as the foundation for these two apps.

In addition, other Apple-exclusive media software like Final Cut Pro and Pixelmator could convince photo and video editors to switch to Mac OS.

Apple Watch

Since its debut in 2015, Apple Watch has dominated the smartwatch industry, with a market share of 40% in Q4 2020 . 

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple Watch shipments increased by 19% between 2019 and 2020, reaching 33.9 million units in 2020. In Q4 2020, Apple Watch Series 6 and SE delivered 12.9 million devices. Further, markets such as India saw strong demand for Apple Watch Series 3 and 6 in 2020, with a growth of 144.3% in overall Apple wearable devices shipments. 

Apple dominated the market in 2022 with a 30% share, followed by Samsung at 10.1% and Huawei at 6.9%, among others.

SmartWatch Market Share in 2022

The same trends are also reflected in Q1 of 2023 , where Apple is leading the market with a 26% share and Samsung at 9%.

The Apple Watch is the greatest smartwatch on any platform in terms of appearance, message handling, activity tracking, app choices, and battery life. The Apple Watch is water resistant to 50 meters, making it ideal for swimming and surfing. The Sleep app monitors the user’s sleeping habits and assists in creating a plan and bedtime routine to accomplish sleep goals.  Apple is, in fact, making strides in the Healthcare sector with its Apple watch.

Read Now: Apple in Healthcare: Top MedTech Acquisitions and How Can You Gain an Edge over it?

AirPod and AirPod Max

Apple’s AirPods have grown into a significant business for the company, with 114 million sold by 2020. A commodity that many saw as an expensive accessory has become common, with nearly every phone maker selling their own ‘hearable’ to compete with Apple. Apple was ahead of the pack in Q2 of 2022, holding 27.8% of the total market share. Samsung and Xiaomi followed up with 9.3% and 5.3% respectively.

market-share-of-true-wireless-earphones-in-q2-2022

Further, Apple released AirPod Max, Bluetooth over-ear headphones, in Dec 2020 with a price tag of $549. While Analysts estimated that AirPod Max won’t boost Apple sales because of a niche market, some expect that it could boost AirPod sales because of Apple’s Goldilocks strategy.

Cybart forecasts that Apple’s wearables segment will generate $30 billion in revenue by 2021, including the Watch, AirPods, and select Beats headphones.

The five reasons why Apple built a strong wearables business are mentioned below:

  • Early adopter: One of Apple’s guiding principles is to make technology more personal, and it began investing in wearables, including its silicon processors, in the early 2010s.
  • Other corporations gambled on voice: Because few Large Tech businesses had Apple’s hardware competence, they bet big on voice (example: Amazon’s Echo) as the future computing paradigm. It appeared to be a bad gamble.
  • Design expertise: People must desire to wear wearables, which requires design skills. Apple has a track record (and aptitude) for designing devices that consumers want to show off as much for its aesthetic as it does for its computational capabilities.
  • Advantage of the supply chain: Wearable technology is built on top of smartphone components. Apple has been able to capitalize on lessons learned and partnerships formed through the iPhone production process.
  • Advantage of the ecosystem: Apple’s entry-level AirPods and Watch were around $200. Because the wearables effectively share computational power with the iPhone, it achieved these pricing thresholds.

According to Cybart, Apple’s wearables segment will likely reach $50 billion in the following year if present trends continue. 

Apple Silicon (Chipsets, Processors)

Apple announced that it would switch from Intel chipsets to its own Apple Silicon processors based on ARM in 2020. In keeping with this, the business released a new M1 processor as well as three products powered by it — the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. A survey from market analysis firm TrendForce suggested that M1-powered Mac machines represented around 0.8% of overall laptop sales in 2020, months after the products became available for purchase. 

In terms of operating systems, Windows was the global leader in the laptop industry. However, due to the strong expansion of Chromebooks in 2020, Windows’ market share would fall below 80% for the first time in history. Windows is unlikely to regain lost market share immediately since its fall is predicted to continue. TrendForce predicts that the market shares of Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS will each settle at around 70-75%, 20-15%, and less than 10%, respectively. 

In 2020, Apple is anticipated to launch the first MacBook to utilize its silicon processor rather than Intel’s, allowing all its key product lines to run on the same architecture.

When considering Apple’s most notable purchases, two stand out:

  • In 1997, NeXT Software was purchased for $404 million. The acquisition of Steve Jobs’ post-Apple venture, which featured the forerunner to iOS, returned Jobs to the firm he created.
  • Beats for $3 billion in 2014: Apple’s largest acquisition was Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s headphone firm, which laid the framework for Apple Music.
  • However, a third (and extremely significant) transaction set Apple’s mobile product roadmap: the $278 million acquisition of P.A. Semi in 2008.

According to tech analyst Ben Thompson, P.A., Semi gained the expertise and intellectual property (IP) “that would underpin (Apple’s) A-series of processors, which have powered every iPad and iPhone since 2010.” 

Apple introduced the Apple TV in March 2007. And much to everyone’s surprise, it was not an actual TV set but rather a box to offer services using the software. It was praised for its attractive interface, painless setup, and overall ease of use – all of which marked a significant shift from prior network-based home entertainment systems. 

The hardware remained the same almost a year later, but a free software upgrade essentially gave the device a makeover. Apple subsequently reduced the price of the 40GB model to $229, while the 160GB model was reduced to $329.

People still wonder why Apple never made an actual TV like Samsung or Sony. There are multiple reasons why Apple didn’t enter the TV manufacturing business even with enough expertise.

First, this industry’s margin is very thin, and Apple always focuses on making profits. Second, unlike smartphones or other consumer electronics, there isn’t much design to make it unique. You can find many identical TV designs from different companies. Third, Apple can provide a good user experience through its software, so it went for a box to provide better UX in any TV. 

appletv

Source: Apple

The box design remained the same throughout the years, but they made multiple changes to its remote. 

The iPod was one of the most successful products ever created by Apple. It was a little device that let users listen to music on the go. However, it is now 2021, and despite having Apple Music on iPhones and even being accessible on Android and even smart TVs, Apple continues to offer the iPod Touch . One of the main reasons is that it is not an iPhone and is suitable for children. 

ipod

Further, iPod Touch uses iOS with the same inbuilt software. It’s basically an iPhone without cellular network connectivity. The user can play games, surf the internet using Wi-Fi, and can send messages using a web browser. 

It is Apple’s tactic to prime the iPod users to turn into iPhone users when they choose to buy a smartphone. By using the iPod for 2 or 3 years, most users would want to choose an iPhone over other smartphone brands.

As the iPod is a part of the Apple ecosystem, it helps users remain in it even when they want to upgrade a device. 

AirTag, a compact and elegantly designed device that helps keep track of and find the stuff that matters most with Apple’s Find My app, was announced in April 2021 . AirTag, whether connected to a handbag, keys, backpack, or other objects, connects to the enormous, worldwide Find My network and can assist in recovering a misplaced item, keeping location data private and anonymous using end-to-end encryption. 

“We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives.” – Kaiann Drance, Vice President of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing of Apple

Dongles link headphones to charging connections, computers to TVs or card readers, etc. Dongles are a major business nowadays since it’s difficult to conduct many routine computer chores without them. This is owing, in large part, to Apple, which, in 2016, eliminated the headphone jack from the iPhone range and shifted nearly completely to USB-C connectors on its Macs. The newest iPhone isn’t the only Apple gadget that requires an array of dongles to function properly. 

A dongle is necessary to connect a MacBook Air to an Ethernet wire. A dongle is also required if the user wants to add a second screen to the computer or import images from an SD card. A USB to USB-C adaptor is required even if users put a flash drive directly into the MacBook. 

This causes users to accept the dongle as an integral part of their lives, allowing Apple to establish a sizable market for dongles. Apple, Belkin, and other accessory firms have established a massive market for these dongles, which Facts and Factors estimates will be worth more than $25 billion by 2027.

It is unknown how much Apple’s revenue is from Dongles, but considering the user base’s preferences and Apple’s dongle prices, it could be more than a billion dollars. 

Now, let’s move on to the core of all these products- Software.

For over four decades, Apple has been a Silicon Valley trendsetter. Apple’s competitors have widely imitated the Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Apple’s success may be attributed in large part to the company’s obsessive attention to the user experience. The iPod first debuted in 2001, followed by the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010. Consequently, Apple earned about $40 billion in earnings in its fiscal year 2014. Apple is a design-focused corporation that prefers to create all aspects of a product — hardware, software, and internet services — in-house. 

Apple II computers were sold until 1993, when they were phased out in favor of Macintosh computers. Around 5 million Apple II computers were sold in total. The first Macintosh had significant limits. However, later versions were more powerful. In 1987, Apple introduced color to the Macintosh with the Macintosh II. The groundbreaking graphical interface of the Mac immediately drew several imitators. Apple debuted the iPod music player in 2001. More crucially, the iPod was compatible with iTunes, Apple’s jukebox software for the Mac, making it simple for users to transfer music from CDs to their iPods. Apple, too, capitalized on the iPhone’s popularity in 2010 by releasing the iPad, a tablet computer built on the same software. 

Operating Systems

Both Mac OS X and iOS originated from Darwin, an older Apple operating system based on BSD UNIX. iOS is a proprietary mobile operating system owned by Apple that can only be loaded on Apple devices. 

Apple’s iOS is a closed ecosystem, which implies that Apple creates both the operating system and the hardware, and no other corporation utilizes either of them to integrate with their services. It gives Apple an advantage over Android regarding hardware and software synchronization. In the case of Android, however, the hardware is manufactured by companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek (rather than Google), and the manufacturers create their own flavor that runs on top of Android. In addition, Apple allows users to offer 3D touch inputs with mini menu selections. The iOS devices are set up to detect pressure sensitivity on the screen and allow various input choices based on it. 

As of July 2023, Android occupies 70.9% of the mobile OS market, followed by Apple’s iOS at 28.36%.

The Mac OS was released in 1984 to power Apple’s Macintosh series of personal computers (PCs). The Macintosh heralded the age of graphical user interface (GUI) systems, inspiring Microsoft Corporation to create its own GUI, the Windows operating system.  

The interface is the most noticeable variation between Windows and Mac operating systems. macOS is perceived to be more basic, streamlined, and elegant, but Windows is considered to be more sophisticated and feature-rich, with more customization choices. 

The design styles for Mac and PC are vastly different. Whereas macOS has smooth edges and a consistent application across all apps, Windows has jagged edges and a UI that frequently changes across programs. As Apple has complete control over hardware and software, new security enhancements can be implemented on macOS. Similarly, Apple has a simple and comprehensive AppleCare service in place to assist consumers with any hardware issues. Newer Apple products have Touch ID functionality by default for system access, further protecting devices from fraudulent logins. 

Microsoft Windows has a 77.74% market share for desktop operating systems (OS) as of July 2020. Apple’s macOS has grown in popularity over the years but is still a minor player in the desktop OS industry. Linux, the third most popular desktop operating system, has a tiny but constant market share. As of May 2021, OS X had a market share of 15.87% , while Windows had a market share of 73.54%, and Linux had a market share of 2.38%.

The WatchOS app experience differs from app experiences on other platforms in several ways. For example, because the Apple Watch is meant to be worn, the UI is tailored to wearers and provides a lightweight, responsive, and highly personalized experience. People commonly utilize the related experiences of a WatchOS app such as Apple complications, notifications, and Siri interactions — more than they use the app itself. 

The latest WatchOS 9 update reflects Apple’s goals in healthcare and personalization. Users can now see more information about their workouts on the screen. Turning the Digital Crown reveals metrics like Activity rings, Heart Rate Zones, Power, and Elevation. 

In healthcare, Apple has been at work for years, acquiring medtech startups and using its patented technology to strengthen its WatchOS ecosystem. For instance, most of the sleep-tracking technology on Apple Watch likely came from startups like Beddit, which Apple acquired in 2017. Through the acquisition, Apple also got rights to Beddit’s patents on crucial health features, such as a system for determining sleep quality and applying a pressure sensor .

Read More Here: Apple in Healthcare: top MedTech acquisitions and how can you gain an edge over it?

Apple devices are well-known for linking users to content. This sense of connection is anticipated from Apple TV, although it is not a product that the user can physically grasp or touch. Apple TV is a one-of-a-kind platform with unique specifications . TvOS apps can provide incredible experiences with great visual quality thanks to 4K resolution, Dolby Vision, and HDR10, as well as immersive sound thanks to Dolby Atmos. Furthermore, the Siri Remote provides access to three-axis gyro data, allowing users to build even more immersive gaming and interactive experiences.  

Tizen is the largest TV streaming platform globally among smart TVs in use, with a market share of around 13% as of the end of 2020, followed by LG’s WebOS with 6.4% market shares, Sony PlayStation, Roku TV OS, and Amazon’s Fire OS tied for third place. Apple TvOS had a market share of 2.7% as of 2020. 

Smart TV Streaming Device Market Share Worldwide As Of 2020 (%)

smart-tv-streaming-device-market-share-worldwide-as-of-2020

Apple’s machine learning teams are conducting cutting-edge research in machine learning and artificial intelligence. The team employs machine learning to educate their devices to comprehend the environment in the same way that humans do. Apple did a research study to investigate the feasibility of inferring accessibility for mobile apps from their display pixels.

Using a dataset of manually collected and annotated iPhone app screens, they trained a robust, quick, memory-efficient on-device model to recognize UI components. Due to this research, Apple launched the Screen Recognition function, which combines machine learning and computer vision to recognize and present material readable by VoiceOver for apps that would otherwise be inaccessible. 

Even in May 2021, Apple Inc. hired Samy Bengio , a former prominent Google AI scientist. The hiring will lead to the establishment of a new AI research team within Apple, led by John Giannandrea. Bengio pioneered the “deep learning” methods that underpin today’s AI systems for processing photos, audio, and other data types. 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are now present in almost every aspect of the iPhone.

“I think that Apple has always stood for that intersection of creativity and technology. And I think that when you’re thinking about building smart experiences, having vertical integration, all the way down from the applications, to the frameworks, to the silicon, is really essential… I think it’s a journey, and I think that this is the future of the computing devices that we have, is that they are smart, and that, that smart sort of disappears.”  – John Giannandrea, Senior Vice President for Machine Learning and AI Strategy at Apple

Apple has made a practice of crediting machine learning with boosting specific functions in the iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad, but it seldom goes into much detail. 

Apple has taken a more subtle and astute approach to AI. Apple hinted at various AI and ML-powered improvements and enhancements in its June 2020 announcements for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

  • The Apple Watch utilizes machine learning to identify motions and detect sleep. Users only need to wear the Apple Watch to bed, and it will track their sleep.
  • The new handwashing functionality on the Apple Watch, which utilizes AI to detect when one is scrubbing the mitts and starts a countdown, is one of the greatest examples of Apple’s approach.
  • One of the features in iOS that allow the iPhone to listen for things like doorbells, sirens, dogs barking, or babies crying is sound alerts. AI excels at picture recognition tasks, and recognizing both Chinese and English characters is an accurate model. 
  • Apple HomeKit, a smart home solution, allows customers to use their smartphones to control and interact with connected gadgets. Users can utilize the HomeKit framework to provide a means for users to configure accessories and define actions to control them. Users may even bundle actions together and use Siri to initiate them.
  • In iOS 14, Apple included a translation app. The app’s purpose is to provide translations from one language to another. Because of the inbuilt on-device machine learning, the Translate app works offline. The program includes various beneficial features while learning a new language and seeking to communicate with someone who speaks an anonymous language.
  • Handwriting recognition is a difficult challenge for AI because the more natural a task is for humans, the more difficult it is for AI. In the most recent iPadOS update, when users draw anything with the Apple Pencil, the iPad can recognize their handwriting and, using Scribble, transform it into written text. It works in the same way that most machine learning does.

Artificial intelligence and its subset, machine learning, are being employed to improve the user experience in various Apple gadgets.

Comparison with Google, Amazon, Microsoft

Google paid $400 million for a DeepMind startup in 2014. This company provides various AI-powered solutions, ranging from picture and speech recognition to human simulation in video games. Google employs AI in various mundane tasks, including Gmail reply suggestions and sophisticated search algorithms. In addition, the business just released TensorFlow, a machine learning technology that is open to use by any developer. 

Google also has Google Assistant, which assists users in doing daily chores more effectively and timely. It is supported by a wide range of devices (Sonos speakers, Samsung smart TVs, and Philips Hue) and is one of the most extensively used AI solutions today. Duplex is an AI-powered voice that assists users in scheduling business appointments using Google Assistant. The most recent PAIR initiative from Google in AI is worth mentioning. PAIR is an acronym that stands for People + AI Research and attempts to make working with AI as pleasurable and helpful as possible.

When consumers think about Amazon in AI, the first thing that comes to mind is Alexa. This is another virtual assistant that can set alarms, send alerts, and communicate by speech and is supported by Amazon Echo Dot speakers. 

Amazon has lately launched the Alexa Shopping functionality. Customers may now use Alexa to place orders on Amazon. The assistant may add things to the basket, delete them, track their progress, and alert customers when they are delivered. Voice shopping reached $40 million by 2020; Amazon made a very smart move.

Microsoft Research AI is a Microsoft-founded organization dedicated to AI research and development. Since the corporation currently uses AI in its processes (Skype chatbots, data analysis, interaction with Cortana, and so on), it’s no surprise that it further intends to increase the usage of AI. 

Aside from that, Microsoft has been releasing AI-powered products through its Azure cloud computing service and working on AI integration into Office 365. By 2018, Microsoft bought five artificial intelligence (AI) technology firms. Microsoft’s most recent purchase was XOXCO, a software product design and development firm.

Apple has Siri, one of the world’s most popular virtual assistants. Siri was initially developed as an app and released on the Apple app store by Nuance Communications, Inc. in February 2010. Apple acquired it two months later, on April 27, 2010, for approximately $200 million. Siri was then introduced with the launch of iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011. 

It offers face recognition, which is entertaining to experiment with and improves security. Furthermore, Apple employs AI to identify fraud and improve battery usage, appearing to be an equal competitor.

Apple does not spend as heavily on AI as Google or Amazon. Second, it takes a fairly local approach, with its CreateML framework only operating on iOS devices, whereas most businesses train their ML models in the cloud. 

investment-made-by-companies-in-artificial-intelligence-in-2018

Since 2006, Google has invested over $3.9 billion in AI in disclosed transactions. There have been several organizations that have invested money in acquiring AI startups up till 2018. Some of these businesses are Amazon ($871 M), Apple ($786 M), and Microsoft ($690 M). 

Acquisitions Related to AI

According to a report from GlobalData, Apple acquired around 25 artificial intelligence firms between 2016 to 2020. The various acquisitions that Apple made include: 

  • Emotient (Jan 2016)

Emotient, a San Diego business developing artificial intelligence technology that scans facial expressions to determine emotions, was bought by Apple. Apple did not specify the details of the acquisition in the report.

  • Flyby Media (Jan 2016)

Apple acquired Flyby Media, an augmented reality business that created technology that lets mobile phones “see” the world around them. Apple has been interested in virtual reality for several years. The purchase occurred shortly after Apple announced the hiring of a prominent AR/VR specialist, Doug Bowman. Apple may have been working on technology that will someday find its way to the iPhone, similar to Google’s Project Tango, which delivers computer vision to mobile devices.

  • Gliimpse (August 2016)

Gliimpse, a health data firm, was purchased by Apple for around $200 million. Gliimpse allowed users to import their medical information into a single virtual environment. Apple’s incorporation of Gliimpse into its existing products appeared to be more evident, given that the business has been working on health-related software for some years now. It was simple to see how Gliimpse, with its structured data centered on individuals, would be useful in products such as HealthKit, ResearchKit, and CareKit. Thus opening a gateway for Apple in the healthcare sector .

  • Turi (August 2016)

Turi, a machine learning and artificial intelligence business, was purchased by Apple for more than $200 million. The acquisition is part of Apple’s bigger push into artificial intelligence and machine learning. Apple’s ambitions for Turi’s technology are unknown, but the corporation has been expanding its Siri personal assistant and associated technologies to make a larger push into artificial intelligence.

  • Tuplejump (September 2016)

Tuplejump, a machine learning team based in India and the United States, was bought by Apple. The acquisition was motivated by Apple’s interest in “FiloDB,” an open-source project developed by Tuplejump to quickly apply machine learning ideas and analytics to enormous volumes of complicated data as it came in.

  • RealFace (February 2017)

Apple has spent $2 million acquiring the Israeli company RealFace, a cybersecurity and machine learning business focusing on face recognition technologies. RealFace’s software employs exclusive IP in the realm of “frictionless face recognition,” which enables quick learning from facial traits.

  • DeskConnect (March 2017)

DeskConnect, the start-up behind Workflow, was acquired by Apple. Workflow is similar to Automator, an Apple utility tool that comes with macOS Sierra but has no iOS counterpart. DeskConnect’s namesake cross-platform file-transfer tool was discontinued last month. Apple’s AirDrop, Handoff, and Universal Clipboard, among other services, were recommended by the firm.

  • Lattice Data (May 2017)

Apple invested $200 million in acquiring Lattice Data, an AI firm. By acquiring Lattice Data, Apple was prepared to expand into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Around 20 engineers also joined Apple.

  • SensoMotoric Instruments (June 2017)

SensoMotoric Instruments, a German provider of eye-tracking eyewear and systems, was acquired by Apple. SensoMotoric has created eye-tracking technology for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, which monitors the wearer’s gaze and aids in the reduction of motion sickness, a major side effect of VR. Apple revealed a prototype set of “smart glasses” that would link to an iPhone and show the wearer “pictures and other information.”

  • Regaind (September 2017)

Regaind, a French firm, was bought by Apple. Regaind had been working on a machine vision API for analyzing photo content. Apple used this technique to improve the Memories tab in the Photos app. iOS builds albums depending on events, location, and other factors. Using Regaind, iOS may search for aesthetically similar photographs, display the best image as cover art, and generate a recap movie with the finest photographs. Apple has integrated Regaind technology with the new Face ID sensor in the iPhone X, for example, to enhance animoji facial expressions.

  • Pop Up Archive (December 2017)

Pop Up Archive, an Oakland-based online platform focused on developing tools to transcribe, organize, and search audio recordings, was bought by Apple. Apple, the long-dominating hands-off curator of the podcast world, has bought a technology aimed at boosting the knowability and sortability of the hundreds of thousands of broadcasts delivered via its Apple Podcast platform.

  • Spektral (October 2018)

Apple invested over $30 million in Spektral, a computer vision business in Denmark that has worked on segmentation technology. Spektral’s initial application may have been the rather outdated world of school photos and the most prominent contribution Spektral might make to Apple’s photographic industry.

  • Asaii (October 2018)

Apple invested less than $100 million in Asaii, a music analytics start-up focused on discovering new and rising musicians. The acquisition comes as Spotify, Apple Songs’s major competitor, expands its reach beyond conventional popular performers and supports unsigned musicians, who may now submit their music straight to the service.

  • Silk Labs (November 2018)

Silk Labs, a firm focused on developing on-device machine learning software, had been acquired by Apple. The purchase perfectly fit Apple’s privacy-focused approach to artificial intelligence. Apple followed a similar approach to AI development, distinguishing itself from competitors such as Google, which collects large volumes of user data and analyses it on the cloud.

  • PullString (February 2019)

PullString was acquired by Apple for around $30 million. It is a big indication of Apple’s plan to make Siri creation easier for iOS developers. The acquisition also provides Apple with extensive domain experience in the areas of voice app development, voice app designer and developer requirements, and the complexities of both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

  • Laserlike (March 2019)

Laserlike, a machine learning start-up, has been bought by Apple. Laserlike uses machine learning to collect massive amounts of data from the web and then give user-specific findings via an eponymous app. The transaction was made for an unknown purpose, according to Apple. Laserlike’s team may be trying to improve Siri’s long-struggling capacity to retrieve relevant information from the web.

  • Lighthouse AI (March 2019)

Apple purchased Lighthouse’s patents for AI-powered home security cameras (eight patents and patent applications). Even the Lighthouse’s Co-Founders, along with about 20 employees, had joined Apple. Apple’s current emphasis on AI-driven home security systems is part of a broader tech industry embrace of so-called smart or connected homes, which include a large number of AI-driven and machine-to-machine gadgets.

  • Drive.ai (June 2019)

Apple bought Drive.ai in June 2019. As a consequence of the agreement, hundreds of Drive.ai developers joined the tech giant’s top-secret Project Titan. Apple bought the company’s assets, including its self-driving vehicles.

  • Spectral Edge (December 2019)

Apple invested an unknown sum in another UK start-up, Spectral Edge, in an apparent move to strengthen the iPhone camera. Spectral Edge created Phusion, a computer photography approach that employs infrared light that is invisible to the human eye to sharpen and restore color in smartphone images.

  • Xnor.ai (January 2020)

Apple acquired Xnor.ai, a Seattle business specializing in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence solutions. The transaction was completed for around $200 million. According to the agreement, Xnor’s AI-enabled picture identification technologies might become standard capabilities in future iPhones and cameras.

  • Voysis (April 2020)

Apple Inc. acquired Voysis, an Irish artificial intelligence firm, in April 2020 for an undisclosed amount. Voysis’ technology, which includes a platform that adds vocal interactions to digital shops, might be used to improve the understanding of what consumers say by Apple’s Siri speech assistant.

  • Inductiv Inc. (May 2020)

Apple Inc. acquired Inductiv Inc., a machine-learning firm situated in Ontario, Canada. Inductiv created technology that employs artificial intelligence to automate the job of detecting and repairing data problems. This technology will be used by Apple in a variety of products and improve Siri data.

  • Subverse Corp.(Scout FM) (September 2020)

Apple Inc. acquired Subverse Corp. (Scout FM), a start-up that makes listening to podcasts more like tuning into radio stations, to strengthen its service in the face of increasing competition from Spotify. While other podcast applications, such as Apple’s, allow users to select an individual podcast to listen to, Scout FM established podcast stations on various themes. Scout FM was popular among Apple device owners and could be linked with CarPlay. This interface shows on compatible car screens when an iPhone is connected, and Apple’s Siri digital assistant.

  • Vilynx (October 2020)

Apple Inc. invested $50 million in acquiring the artificial intelligence and vision firm Vilynx Inc. Vilynx technology might be adapted to Siri and Apple’s general search operations.

Apple Services

Apple has been working on different services to increase revenue, especially when iPhone sales are declining since 2018. Apple knew that it was bound to happen, so the company made several tactics to boost its revenue. One is simply to increase the price. 

Apple iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Macbook average prices have seen growth that helped Apple consistently increase its revenue. But that tactic was a short-term plan and Apple Couldn’t rely on it for the long term. That’s where Apple services come into the picture. 

Apple has introduced several services in the past 6 to 7 years, such as Apple Pay, App Store, Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Podcasts, Apple Fitness+, etc. 

Apple generated $53.7 Billion in 2020 through its services, which accounted for 19% of total revenue. Surely, the number will keep growing in the coming years as Apple has a solid user base and is making the services a part of their ecosystem, which will help in user experience. 

iMessage is Apple’s instant messaging service for iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. iMessage, which debuted with iOS 5 in 2011, allows users to share messages, photographs, stickers, and other content between any Apple devices through the Internet. iMessage is exclusively available on Apple devices. That implies users won’t be able to send an iMessage to their Android contacts. Apple prioritizes privacy, which is why everything users transmit as an iMessage is encrypted from beginning to end. This implies that no one can intercept or read it except the person to whom it was sent, even Apple. In reality, even if they have a smartphone, they cannot force their way into a user’s iMessages. No, not without a user passcode. Apple has been chastised by the US government for this same reason, since it cannot, even if it wanted to, expose iMessages. 

Apple’s FaceTime is a video chat application. FaceTime was built by Apple on an open standard, which implies that it may be utilized across a variety of platforms and that other manufacturers may exploit FaceTime’s protocol. But instead, FaceTime was only available to customers of Apple products until recently. With the release of iOS 15, FaceTime is coming out of the Apple closet. The software giant is making it possible for people who have Android phones and Windows laptops to hop on FaceTime calls — no iPhone required (well not really tho).

Before you jump to search the FaceTime app on the play store, here’s the catch- you won’t find it. Users will be able to join a FaceTime call on their Android and Windows devices using a link, so long as the person scheduling or starting the call has an Apple device and an Apple account. It now has a market share of less than 0.01%. Zoom is the market leader in this industry, with a 39.66% market share followed by GoToWebinar with a 20.64% market share, and Cisco Webex with a 16.48% market share. 

Apple Maps and Google Maps have transformed the way we locate destinations, discover local businesses, and share directions with friends. Both serve the same objective, although their navigation tools and interfaces differ slightly . Google Maps, which debuted in 2005, has been the leading mobile mapping service since the smartphone’s inception. Apple acquired Placebase on July 7, 2009, to build its own Maps application for iPhone and iPad. This app didn’t come until 2012 and was stuck with technical challenges for years.

With the introduction of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, Apple gained a foothold. Apple Maps was upgraded to exclude third-party navigation data in favor of new data obtained exclusively by Apple. The new maps are significantly more precise and accurate, thanks to millions of miles driven in camera- and LiDAR-equipped automobiles, new high-resolution satellite photos, Apple staffers canvassing areas on foot with radar modules strapped to their backs, and plenty of aerial photography. 

Apple included routes for bicycles, routing for electric cars, congestion zones, and Guides for discovering the finest locations to visit in cities around the world in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Apple Maps is only available on Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. It’s incorporated into all Apple-branded products, including Macs. It is not available on devices that are not part of the Apple ecosystem. 

market-share-of-navigation-app-in-2018

According to the latest survey data from The Manifest in 2018, the majority of smartphone owners use navigation applications, with the majority preferring Google Maps. It has a market share of 67% compared to 12% for Waze, 11% for Apple Maps, and 8% for MapQuest. 

Apple’s digital software distribution platform for iOS devices is known as the App Store. The App Store, which debuted in 2008, allows software developers to publish content designed exclusively for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Apps may also be downloaded for the Apple Watch through the iOS App Store. 

The App Store is more than just a shop; it is an innovative place dedicated to delivering incredible experiences. A large part of it is ensuring that the applications the firm provides adhere to the highest privacy, security, and content standards.  

Android users have a choice of 3.48 million apps as of the first quarter of 2021, making Google Play the app store with the most available apps . With about 2.22 million iOS apps available, the Apple App Store stands second in the ranking. 

While the actual number of applications may vary since Apple and Google constantly delete low-quality material from their app stores, the number of applications has continuously increased over the years. 

Since 2008, the App Store has paid out more than $200 billion to developers.

According to mobile expert Horace Dediu, who provided even more current data which are as follows: 

  • $1.8 billion in App Store sales over the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (+27% year on year)
  • $540 million in App Store sales on January 1, 2021 (+40% year on year)
  • 600 million: The number of iPhone users with an active subscription.

According to Apple, the App Store saw $643 billion in total commercial transactions in 2020, a 24% increase compared to 2019. At the present rate of growth, the indicated economic value might exceed $1 trillion within two years. 

Apple TV+ is Apple’s own TV and movie streaming service. It features award-winning shows, captivating dramas, ground-breaking documentaries, children’s entertainment, comedy, and more. Every month, new Apple Originals are added. The service is positioned as Apple’s direct competitor to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, and will exclusively offer original programming via the existing Apple TV app, which is available on various platforms. 

It is available on a monthly subscription basis and is accessible across several devices via the most recent version of the Apple TV app. Apple TV+ provides ad-free, unique programming that has either been green-lit or created in-house by Apple. 

A family membership to Apple TV+ costs £4.99 / $4.99 per month. Apple’s services package, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Fitness+, was launched in October 2020. Apple TV+ is accessible on iOS/iPadOS devices and the Mac via the Apple TV app.  

A survey was conducted in May 2020, with Apple’s reader at Android Authority, ‘Which streaming service would they pick if they could only pick one?’ From this survey, it was seen that Apple TV+ captured less than 1% of the total vote. The majority of consumers complained that the library was just too small, while it would work better as a second or third membership for people who can’t get enough content. 

Position in the Market Compared To Others

Apple TV+ was marketed as a unique curated stream of entertainment available exclusively through the Apple TV app. Despite Apple’s investments in new movies and programming for its streaming service Apple TV+, the platform is still considered to gain a large success. During the fourth quarter of 2020, it was reported that Apple TV+ has only a 3% market share in the United States, trailing competitors such as Netflix, Disney+, and even Peacock.

Apple TV+ was not the most popular streaming service in the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple TV+ trailed Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service launched in July 2019, which had a 6% market share during the same period. Netflix maintained its 31% market share of streaming platforms in the United States, while Amazon Prime Video grew and drew close to 22%. Hulu came in second with 14%, followed by Disney+ with 13%, and HBO Max with 9%. 

In 2020, Apple had a terrible year because most productions were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple TV+’s catalog is extremely modest in comparison to its competitors because it only includes original movies and series. Apple extended the Apple TV+ trial term to members who had previously completed the one-year free trial in January 2021. 

Apple is in a unique position since it both creates original video content and distributes third-party video bundles. Apple’s aim to become the “bundler of bundles” looks to profit when power shifts from one or two corporations to a lot of others.  Apple TV+, Apple’s streaming video service, was priced at $4.99 per month, which was less than any other major provider. 

As additional competitors plan to launch their services with larger video libraries consisting of famous series and movies, the firm was obliged to keep the pricing low . Within a few months of its inception, the one-year free trial had propelled Apple TV+ to the top of the streaming services. 

Apple’s Plan to Increase Its Streaming Business

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, announced the debut of video streaming, news subscriptions, and a credit card in 2019. Apple took a calculated move to join the video streaming sector. The choice to enter the video streaming market is a little departure from the company’s core business, which has garnered its brand recognition.

Furthermore, since Apple has broadened its horizons in the services category, the launch of a video streaming service appeared to be an opportune decision, since this sector has a lot of untapped development potential.

  • Online video streaming might be thought of as a replacement for television. In the United States, video streaming services have already surpassed television in terms of household penetration, with 69% of homes using a video streaming service.
  • Apple has the economies of scale to enter this market with relative ease. It has significant client loyalty and may be able to gain clients more readily as a result of its loyal client base. Furthermore, with the aid of its existing products, the firm may be able to effortlessly pull in its existing consumers on video streaming services.

Apple TV+ is less expensive than the majority of its competitors. It costs $4.99 per month, which is less than half the price of a standard Netflix membership, and it is free for the first year for customers who buy Apple gadgets. Even now, Apple has been collecting older movies and episodes for its TV+ streaming service, intending to build a back library of material that can compete with the massive libraries offered on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. According to sources familiar with the topic, the company’s video-programming executives have received presentations from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have purchased several episodes and movies.

It is predicted that in the future the company might acquire Disney . If Apple is serious about becoming a large SVOD player, which they may not be, abandoning Apple TV+ and redirecting its programming to Disney’s established streaming portfolio makes sense. Disney is the only studio large enough to propel Apple into streaming dominance, and it just so happens to fit Apple’s family-friendly image and public values. 

“Apple can easily push the Disney streaming apps onto every phone and make certain offerings free for everyone in markets that are underserved.” – David Offenberg, Associate Professor of Entertainment Finance in LMU’s College of Business Administration

Apple had planned to introduce augmented reality material to Apple TV+ , as it sought new methods to attract and keep members, as well as generate interest in AR technology. Even the ‘Bonus content’ has been one of the numerous ways in which Apple has attempted to increase the value of TV+ and keep consumers enrolled. Apple is planning to launch podcasts based on existing TV+ series. Apple is planning to release a headgear that combines augmented and virtual reality in 2022, with an emphasis on gaming, media consumption, and virtual meetings. 

Apple Music

Apple Music was launched in 2015 and is a music streaming service that offers access to over 70 million songs. Its fantastic features include the option to download favorite tracks and play them offline, real-time lyrics, listening across all of your favorite devices, new music customized specifically for its users, curated playlists from their editors, and many more. All of this is in addition to exclusive and unique material.

apple tree business plan

Apple Music also includes live radio stations and connectivity with Siri, allowing users to operate most of their devices with voice commands. The Apple Music service not only allows one to stream any tune from the iTunes collection on demand, but it also allows one to access all of the music in one location on all of the devices, whether purchased from iTunes, copied from a CD, or downloaded from the web. Individual plans cost £9.99 (US$9.99) per month. A Family subscription, which can accommodate up to six people, costs £14.99 or $14.99 per month, which is less than Spotify’s equivalent. The University Student plan, which costs £4.99/$4.99 a month, is the final option. 

This streaming service now supports lossless streaming quality up to 24-bit/192 kHz! This app is available even for Android OS users to download and get a subscription, starting at only $1.19 or ₹99 per month. University students can get it even cheaper with free Apple TV+, making it one of the world’s best and surprisingly affordable lossless music streaming services. It’s unlike Apple to open up its ecosystem to other players, but audiophiles certainly appreciate this move.

Acquisitions and Collaborations

  • On August 1, 2014, Apple acquired Beats Music & Beats Electronics for $3 billion. 
“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple. That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Beats Electronics began to employ Apple’s patented technology in various products following the acquisition, such as the W1 chip in select Bluetooth headphones. Apple shut down Beats Music at the end of the year in anticipation of the 2015 launch of Apple Music.  

  • In Jan 2015, Apple purchased Semetric , a business that analyzes music data online. This agreement was reached to revitalize the development of iTunes and Beats Music. Apple’s interest in Semetric is most likely limited to the Musicmetric product, which might be used to reliably compute record label royalties for a music streaming service like Apple Music. After purchasing Beats for $3 billion last year, Apple expressed a desire to extend its online music services with the acquisition. 
  • Apple purchased technologies from cloud-based music platform Omnifone in November 2016 and employed at least a dozen (at least 16) former Omnifone workers. Omnifone provided “white-label” music services, which allowed businesses to provide their personalized music services to clients and subscribers. Many former Omnifone employees have gone on to work as software developers at Apple, presumably in areas such as iTunes and Apple Music. 
  • In April 2021, Pinna, an on-demand audio entertainment service provider, announced collaborations with Apple . “Pinna is thrilled to be on the forefront of this exciting launch in collaboration with Apple.”, said Maggie McGuire, CEO of Pinna. Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will let them expand their worldwide reach even further, providing them with a unique ability to personalize channels to certain demographics and interests.    

Apple has joined a crowded, competitive field populated by banks and upstart fintech companies. Tim Cook provided some insight into the company’s progress toward becoming a financial player during the company’s quarterly earnings call in 2018. 

Apple Pay transactions increased from the previous year to over 1 billion in 2018. Apple had been working on a credit card with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. In 2019, Apple launched its Apple credit card in collaboration with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard.

According to the firm, Apple customers were able to sign up for the new card using their iPhones in the summer of 2019. It revolves around Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment and digital wallet service, which debuted in 2014. 

Even though Apple was late to the credit card industry, its marketing prowess and dedicated client base allowed the business to expand very swiftly. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, indicated that more than 70% of U.S. shops accept Apple Pay and that around 40 countries had joined by the end of 2019.

  • The Apple Card is more likely to put branded credit card issuers under competitive pressure than Goldman’s rival banks. Apple may continue to provide additional financial products to its customers, notably bank accounts, which are a good complement to credit accounts.
  • According to Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, Apple Pay is still active on around 25% of all iPhones in the United States. This would hasten the adoption of Apple’s payment method since, unlike Apple Pay, the card could be used everywhere.   
  • Apple also paid around $100 million for acquiring Mobeewave, a payments start-up. The payment startup provides near-field communications (NFC) technology, which allows smartphones to be used as payment terminals. The technology enables mobile payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

Apple Pay was launched in October 2014 and is an Apple Inc. mobile payment and digital wallet service that allows users to make payments in person, in iOS applications, and on the web using Safari. It is compatible with the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. 

Apple introduced person-to-person Apple Pay payments using the Messages app on the iPhone and Apple Watch in 2017. Apple Pay has surpassed Starbucks to become the most used mobile payment platform in the United States as of 2019.

In 2020, the Apple Card had around 3.1 million users in the United States. Apple Pay also allows customers to make one-tap purchases within applications that have implemented the Apple Pay API, and it is available on the web on iOS 10 or macOS Sierra or later devices. 

Presently, Apple Pay is accepted by more than 85% of retailers in the U.S. Apple Pay is also available at a variety of locations other than regular retail outlets, such as colleges, ballparks, non-profit organizations, Bitcoin payment providers, and ATMs from Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo.

Apple Inc. announced Apple Card in August 2019 in collaboration with Goldman Sachs and MasterCard. It is a credit card with Apple Pay branding that gives 2% cashback on Apple Pay transactions. In addition to cash benefits for Apple Pay transactions, the card provides financing alternatives for Apple devices.

Apple Card functions similarly to a traditional credit card, but it is deeply integrated into the Wallet app, providing real-time views of the most recent transactions as well as a comprehensive overview of spending organized by category, as well as payment options optimized to encourage minimal interest. 

Apple also provides 3% cashback when using the Apple Card with Apple Pay to make purchases at Uber, Uber Eats, T-Mobile, Walgreens, Nike, and Duane Reade. Apple also intends to offer 3% cashback rewards to additional shops and applications in the future.    

What are the Potential Future Products of Apple?

Ar/vr/mr devices.

Apple is developing a range of augmented and virtual reality products that will be powered by a new 3D sensor technology. They announced Vision Pro , a new extended reality headset, on June 5, 2023. Interestingly, they never used the terms “virtual reality” or “augmented reality” throughout their presentation and marketing material. Instead, they’re calling this their first “Spatial Computer.” We’re well familiar with Apple’s tendency to create unique names for everything in their catalog.

Interestingly, we noticed one of their recently granted patents on this technology was filed back on May 4, 2007. It indicates that Apple has been working on this headset idea since the same year they launched the first iPhone! Say what you will about their walled-garden ecosystem approach; their vision (no pun intended) and relentless spirit of innovation are truly commendable.

This headset won’t need any external controllers whatsoever. You just use eye movement, voice, and hand gestures! The product even supports 3D video capture, allowing users to record and store memories like never before. 

Through the VisionOS interface on its immersive dual 4K displays, Apple may be positioning this headset as a future replacement for smartphones and other handheld computing devices. Looking at the company’s track record of delivering seamless tech integrations into its ecosystem, we believe that the Vision Pro would be a natural extension of everyday tech for an Apple user. 

Apple acquired SensoMotoric Instruments in 2017. They were a German provider of dedicated computer vision applications. Their tech was used in ARKit and likely made its way to the Vision Pro. In the same year, they acquired VRvana, an augmented reality headset startup, for $30 million. A number of the startup’s employees had joined Apple in California. Their work and expertise would have made its way to the Vision Pro.

The product isn’t set to launch until early 2024 in the US, but their featured claims seem revolutionary in this niche. Its asking price of $3499 is undoubtedly a steep jump for most consumers, and Apple is aware of that. Financial Times reports that Apple has reduced its production supply goal from 1 Million in 2024 to 400,000. This product may take some time to pick up speed for all but the most tech-savvy of consumers and early adopters.

Apple Glass

Apple Glass is expected to operate on Starboard (or perhaps glassOS), a proprietary operating system revealed in iOS 13’s final version. The augmented reality framework appears several times in code and text documents, implying that Apple is testing activation and application. According to Bloomberg, Apple Glass will be available in 2023 at the earliest. Apple is getting closer to releasing a VR headset that will compete with the Oculus Rift 2. 

According to Scoble, Apple will most certainly release AR glasses next year , giving it a 2-3 year head start on all competitors.

Apple’s objective is to personalize computers. The Cupertino firm has everything in place to launch an AR product to the masses:

  • Hardware manufacturing competence and a stable supply chain allow for seamless integration with an iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch.
  • It comes with its operating system, chip, and App Store.

Because every buyer of these AR glasses will almost certainly have an iPhone, Apple can provide a lightweight product at a reasonable price.

Apple’s foray into personal mobility appeared to have begun in 2014 , with the announcement of something named Project Titan. This project is about the company’s efforts to bring a Tesla-style electric vehicle to market before the end of the decade.

The Apple Car project has had many lead changes and hundreds of layoffs during its development, but it is presently led by John Giannandrea, Apple’s Chief of AI and machine learning, who took over from Bob Mansfield after Mansfield departed in 2020. 

It was verified in December 2020 that Apple is still working on a car and now aims to produce a vehicle in three to six years. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an Analyst at Apple, a car would not be launched until 2025 to 2027. Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, believes the automobile will be the company’s “next star product,” with Apple able to offer greater integration of hardware, software, and services than prospective competitors in the automotive business, thanks to Apple-designed processors made by TSMC.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We are sort of seeing it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects to actually work on.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

The first car chassis of Apple might be built on Hyundai’s E-GMP electric vehicle (BEV) platform. The Apple Car will almost certainly be sold as an “extremely high-end” or “substantially higher” model than a regular electric car. Apple has been aiming for a game-changing design that might be employed in a future driverless car.

Apple is also working on a novel battery architecture that has the potential to “radically” lower battery costs while increasing vehicle range. The battery technology has been compared to “the first iPhone” and hailed as “next level.” Apple intends to use a novel “mono cell” design that bulks out the individual cells in the battery while freeing up room inside the battery pack by removing pouches and modules that carry battery components.

Apple is also developing a self-driving shuttle service known as ‘PAIL’ (Palo Alto to Infinite Loop). The shuttle service will transport staff between Apple’s Silicon Valley headquarters. Apple is collaborating with Volkswagen and will put self-driving software in Volkswagen T6 Transporter vehicles that will act as staff shuttles. 

In 2019 and 2020, speculations circulated that the project had shifted once again and that Apple was still pursuing an Apple-branded car. However, many speculations in late 2020 indicated that Apple is still working on a full-fledged Apple-branded automobile. This is primarily aimed towards customers, with ambitions to collaborate with an established vehicle manufacturer.

Under the secret name “Project Titan,” Apple had hundreds of people working on the design of a minivan electric car. This project is being led by Steve Zadesky, Apple VP of Product Design.

Apple bought Drive.ai , a self-driving car startup, in June 2019. For its self-driving vehicle project, Apple engaged many Drive.ai professionals in engineering and product design. According to Axios, Apple bought the company’s assets, including its self-driving cars. 

Drive.ai vans are customized Nissan NV200s that operate in a restricted region near major sites and sports venues. This acquisition was made primarily to improve the company’s autonomous vehicle development effort.   

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, Apple spent approximately $19 billion on research and development in 2020, which equates to almost one-fifth of the overall R&D investment across the automotive sector (about $100 billion). 

By May 2020, 700 employees were working on Apple AV Tech in the Bay Area. 

What does Apple M&A Landscape look like?

Apple is well-known for its strict secrecy, especially when it comes to new iPhone releases. Apple has completed around 100 mergers and acquisitions in the last six years, the majority of which was done in secret. Apple has rigorous nondisclosure agreements in place and urges acquired staff not to update their LinkedIn pages. 

The top 10 major acquisitions that Apple has made are mentioned below:

Apple’s Top 10 Acquisitions

Acquisition of beats.

The highest amount at which Apple did an acquisition on August 1, 2014, was at $3 billion, for Beats Music & Beats Electronics. This acquisition includes buying both Beats Audio hardware and Beats Music. One of the main reasons for this acquisition was the talent and reputation that Apple looks for when creating new products and services. Another relevant reason is Apple wanted to modify and uplift its iTunes. Therefore, Apple began acquisition negotiations with Beats just four months after their Beats Music service first debuted. Even Apple was impressed by the amount of revenue that Beats generated from their headphones.  

Acquisition of Intel Smartphone Modem Business

In July 2019, the acquisition of Intel Smartphone Modem Business for $1 billion was Apple’s 2nd largest acquisition ever. In this deal, Apple had acquired the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. This deal also included the transactions of intellectual property, equipment, and approximately 2,200 Intel employees joining Apple. The agreement aided Apple in acquiring a large portfolio of wireless patents from Intel. More than 17,000 wireless technology patents have been held by Apple, ranging from cellular network protocols to modem architecture and modem service. According to multiple reports, Apple intends to produce its modems for iPhones by 2022-2023, and this Intel contract will undoubtedly aid those efforts. 

Acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor

On October 11, 2018, Apple went under a deal to license IP, acquire assets and talent from Dialog Semiconductor to expand chipmaking in Europe at a deal of $600 million. The deal also involved more than 300 Dialog staff transitioning to Apple employees, becoming part of Apple’s hardware technologies team under Johny Srouji. In some cases, Apple will take over whole buildings formerly occupied by Dialog, and in others, they will co-locate in buildings where Dialog will continue to grow its own business.  

Acquisition of Anobit Technologies

In December 2011, Apple went under an acquisition with Anobit Technologies , an Israeli semiconductor startup. The deal was completed at approximately $500 million. The main two reasons for which this acquisition was made include the flash memory controllers of Anobit made a key component of all Apple’s leading products (from iPads and iPhones to MacBook Airs) and finally the acquisition added a large team of chip engineers to payroll. Flash memory has been a crucial piece of Apple’s technology puzzle.  

Acquisition of Texture

In March 2018, Apple acquired Texture , a digital magazine service by Next Issue Media LLC. The deal was done for $485 million, and it provided subscribers with unrestricted access to their favorite titles with a single monthly subscription fee. 

“We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”  – Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services 

Acquisition of Shazam

On September 24, 2018, Apple acquired Shazam to have more opportunities to explore and experience music. The deal was finalized at $400 million. 

“Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere. With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience, and enjoy music.” – Oliver Schusser, Apple’s Vice President of Apple Music 

In May 2018, Apple revealed that Apple Music had reached 50 million users.  

Acquisition of Next Software

Back in 1996, Apple had acquired Next Software at a deal of $400 million. Apple paid approximately $350 million in cash and stock for the privately held Next to purchase that company’s shares and an additional $50 million to cover its debts. 

Since its technology was agile, Apple hoped that Next’s object-oriented, Java-enabled open software platform would greatly boost its Internet and intranet status. It also aimed to capitalize on Next’s enterprise role. 

“This is a complementary arrangement, and the pieces fit together better than any other alternative we looked at, and it will launch a new round of technology.”  – Gilbert Amelio, Former Chairman and CEO at Apple

Acquisition of PrimeSense

In 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense , an Israeli-based pioneer in 3D sensor technology. The deal was completed at approximately $360 million. PrimeSense’s system could potentially be used in a variety of Cupertino devices. This acquisition was Apple’s second purchase of an Israeli company, as it bought Anobit in January 2012. Apple did not disclose the intentions behind the purchase of PrimeSense.   

Acquisition of AuthenTec

In 2012, Apple bought AuthenTec , a fingerprint sensor technology developer for approximately $356 million. The fingerprint technology, used in mobile phones in Japan for authentication of mobile payments, would help Apple bring those services to markets such as the United States. 

Apple had also acquired the right to pay the company to license certain patents totaling as much as $115 million. AuthenTec’s authentication features would be integrated into Apple’s iPads, iPhones, and potentially as security measures for other features, such as non-mobile computer systems or cloud-based networks or services.  

Acquisition of PA Semi

In 2008, Apple acquired PA Semi , a chip designer for approximately $278 million. This acquisition was a strategic move by Apple, as it aimed to continue to differentiate its next-generation handheld products amongst a growing fleet of competitors. Even the power savings offered by P.A. Semi’s designs may have been amongst the firm’s most compelling assets in Apple’s eyes. 

Now, let’s move forward to Apple’s top 5 Market regions besides the US.

What are Apple’s Top 5 Markets besides the US by Revenue?

Apple’s top markets besides the US by revenue include the regions from Europe, Greater China, Japan, and the rest of Asia Pacific. America’s high income is partly attributable to Apple’s good performance in its home market, the United States. Apple has by far the greatest market share among smartphone suppliers in the United States. 

Even though overseas sales account for a greater portion of Apple’s overall income, the United States still accounts for around 40% of Apple’s net sales.

During the years 2020 and Q1 2021, the annual revenue of Apple is divided into several regions, such as the U.S., Europe, Greater China, Japan, and the rest of Asia Pacific. The new iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, now in their 14th iteration, continue to contribute to the success of Apple’s trademark product, helping push for year-on-year iPhone sales increase despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Apple gained 28% of the European market in the first quarter of 2020, making it the company’s greatest first quarter of the fiscal period. Even in China during the year 2020, Apple captured a market share of approximately 10.5% . In Q4 2020, Apple was the only brand that showed positive year-on-year growth in the China market that year. 

The following table shows the annual revenue:

Source: Statista

What does Apple’s Investment Landscape look like?

With the accelerating pace of technological change, investing in startups has become a key part of Apple’s corporate strategies. By doing so, they also tend to closely monitor their smaller brethren. Given below are the top 5 investments made by Apple.

Top 5 Investments Made by Apple

Apple has made several investments in startup companies globally. Amongst them, the top 5 investments include:

  • In May 2016, Apple announced it had invested in a Chinese ride-hailing service, Didi Chuxing . Apple invested around $1 billion to help Apple to understand the critical Chinese market. The investment gave Apple a stake in two burgeoning waves of technology, i.e., the sharing economy and car technology. Even Apple has been trying to reinvigorate sales in China, where it has come under greater pressure from regulators. 
“From a Didi point of view, we see that one, it is a great investment. Two, we think that there are some strategic things that the companies can do together over time. And three, we think that we’ll learn a lot about the business and the Chinese market beyond what we currently know.”  – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple 
  • Even in June 2016, Apple and other firms backed unicorn Didi Chuxing Technology , which raised $4.5 billion in a fundraising drive to oppose Uber’s assault on the Chinese market. 
  • On March 31, 2021, Apple invested an amount of $50 million in UnitedMasters, a music distribution, and data analytics company. The platform aims to democratize the music industry by allowing budding musicians to earn money and get distribution across a variety of music platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. This agreement marks the beginning of a strategic engagement with Apple, which will open up a plethora of new prospects for UnitedMasters artists.
“Steve Stoute and UnitedMasters provide creators with more opportunities to advance their careers and bring their music to the world.”   – Eddy Cue, Apple Executive
  • In March 2016, Apple, together with Blackboard, Dropbox, Udemy, and other companies invested around $2.3 million in Volley Labs , a learning technology firm. Volley’s primary goal is to provide technology that assists students, particularly those enrolled in advanced high school or college curricula, in understanding the content they are learning by surfacing relevant, machine-curated explanations from the web via their mobile devices. The Volley’s funders’ ultimate goal is to spare students from spending too much time “processing” material and redirect their time and energy on meaningful learning. 
  • On November 21, 2015, Apple invested in God-i , a startup that specialized in wearable devices in the seed round. But afterward, Apple exited from further investments in God-i.  
  • On February 25, 2019, Apple along with other investors invested an amount of $21 million in FreightWaves during a Series B funding. FreightWaves is a data and content forum that delivers near-real-time statistics to industry players.  

Apart from investing in smaller companies and startups, collaboration is another strategy opted by Industry giants such as Apple. Let’s look at the top 10 partnerships and collaborations Apple has made over the past years.

Top 10 Partnerships/Collaborations Made by Apple

The various top partnerships and collaborations that were made by Apple are mentioned below:

  • In September 2020, Singapore’s government and Apple announced a collaboration on the health initiative LumiHealth, which would use Apple Watch. LumiHealth, developed in partnership with a team of physicians and public health professionals, encourages the use of technology and behavioral insights. Singaporeans might use their Apple Watch and iPhone to stay healthy and complete wellness challenges.
“Singapore has one of the world’s leading healthcare systems, and we are thrilled to be partnering with them to incorporate Apple Watch and LumiHealth into their holistic approach to well-being” – Jeff Williams, COO of Apple 
  • In April 2020, Google and Apple announced a partnership initiative to use Bluetooth technology to help governments and health organizations in reducing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, with user privacy and security at the forefront of the design. Both organizations would offer APIs in May that would allow Android and iOS devices to communicate with public health applications. Users would be able to download these official apps from their respective app stores. 
  • In October 2017, Apple and GE launched a collaboration to deliver powerful industrial applications that would provide predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to iPhone and iPad. The corporations announced the release of a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which would provide developers with the tools they require to build their own powerful industrial IoT apps. 
“Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple  
  • In August 2017, Apple and Accenture announced a collaboration to help businesses revolutionize the way employees interact with consumers by developing new business solutions for iOS. Accenture Digital Studios would establish a dedicated iOS practice in key locations across the world. The two firms would provide a new set of tools and services, including IoT, to assist businesses in unlocking new income sources, increasing efficiency, improving customer experience, and lowering expenses.  
  • In September 2016, Apple and Nike unveiled the Apple Watch Nike+, the latest product of their long-standing collaboration. Apple Watch Nike+ has been the ideal running tool, combining exclusive Nike Sport Bands with the Apple Watch Series 2, including GPS, a two-times brighter display, 50-meter water resistance, a strong dual-core CPU, and watchOS 3.
“Apple Watch Nike+ takes performance tracking to a whole new level and we can’t wait to bring it to the world’s largest community of runners.”   – Jeff Williams, COO of Apple 
  • In May 2016, Apple and SAP announced a collaboration to reimagine the mobile work experience for corporate clients of all sizes by combining powerful native apps for the iPhone and iPad with the better capabilities of the SAP HANA platform. 
“As the leader in enterprise software and with 76% of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad. Through the new SDK, we’re empowering SAP’s more than 2.5 million developers to build powerful native apps that fully leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform and tap into the incredible capabilities that only iOS devices can deliver.”  – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple 
  • In 2016, Apple and Deloitte announced a collaboration to assist organizations to accelerate business transformation on iPhone and iPad. They would also collaborate on the creation of EnterpriseNext, a new service offering from Deloitte Consulting designed to help clients fully leverage the iOS ecosystem of hardware, software, and services in the workplace.
“Our dedicated Apple practice will give global businesses the expertise and resources they need to empower their mobile workforce to take advantage of the powerful ecosystem iOS, iPhone, and iPad offer, and help them achieve their ambitions while driving efficiency and productivity.”  – Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global 
  • In August 2015, Apple announced a partnership with Cisco to build a fast lane for iOS business customers by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps with the integration of iPhone with Cisco corporate settings to offer unique collaboration on iPhone and iPad. 
“iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.” – Tim Cook, CEO of Apple  
  • In July 2014, Apple and IBM announced an exclusive collaboration that would combine each company’s strengths to improve workplace mobility by integrating IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad. The collaboration would improve in the integration of Apple’s machine learning framework, Core ML, with IBM Watson, resulting in strong insights that become deeper with time and use. The alliance would include exclusive IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, such as device management, security, analytics, and mobile integration.  
  • In 2013, Square partnered with Apple to offer the new Square Stand, a point-of-sale system through Apple’s extensive retail network. The Square Stand is an iPad accessory with the capacity to connect to a variety of devices including cash registers, barcode scanners, and printers. In addition, the gadget has a built-in credit card reader. In 2016, the company announced a new collaboration that would allow consumers to connect money saved on Square’s virtual card, Square Cash, to their Apple Wallet.  

Future Outlook

Apple has been doing more than good for a long time and say since the company launched the iPhone. 

For the 10th consecutive year, Forbes magazine ranked Apple as the most valuable brand in the world in 2020. Apple’s great track record should continue as long as future management takes care of the brand and pushes it into new sectors. Apple’s breakthroughs are often incremental, with the company adapting its design prowess to the most recent consumer tech trends.

Looking ahead ten years, the Apple of 2030 should continue to progressively enhance its hardware products while also introducing new ones such as Apple automobiles, AR/VR headsets, AR smart glasses, and so on. Apple will also broaden its brand to provide a suite of packaged consumer offerings.

In 2020, Apple did execute an AR-related acquisition, acquiring NEXTVR for around $100 million considering the future growth and vast applications of AR and how Apple can take advantage. 

“When I think about that in different fields, whether it’s health, whether it’s education, whether it’s gaming, whether it’s retail, I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with the use of the phone,” said Tim Cook on a podcast . “And I think the promise is even greater in the future.”  

Aside from possible smart eyewear, Apple is said to be working on self-driving automobiles. Besides these new, futuristic initiatives, Apple is projected to continue selling a large number of iPhones, Apple Watches, iPad tablets, laptops, and desktops even ten years from now. By 2030, it’s feasible that Apple will have a version of almost every form of entertainment, financial, or other consumer service.

Apple today announced an acceleration of its US investments, with plans to make additional contributions totaling more than $430 billion and create 20,000 new jobs throughout the country over the next five years, beginning from April 2021. Apple has increased its investment by 20% over the next five years, boosting American innovation and delivering economic benefits in every state. Tens of billions of dollars will be invested in next-generation semiconductor research and 5G innovation throughout nine US states.

“At this moment of recovery and rebuilding, Apple is doubling down on our commitment to US innovation and manufacturing with a generational investment reaching communities across all 50 states.” – Tim Cook , Apple CEO.

It is becoming undebatable that Apple has amassed enormous status and reputation across the world. The capacity of Apple to retain and satisfy users inside its ecosystem is at the heart of its sustained success. In a realistic scenario, the future growth of Apple from 2022 to 2031 is depicted below:

  • In this scenario, the iPhone revenue at the end of the 10 years will be moderately higher than in 2021.
  • By 2031, the Mac will grow only by 5%, the iPad by 8%, Wearables, Home and Accessories by 20%, and Services by 15%. One new product introduction, Product X, will generate $10 billion in revenue by 2031.

Over 10 years, sales growth is 9.66%, which is a reasonable rate for a company of this size. The iPhone growth narrative is far from done, and a couple more upgrade cycles may drive a revival in growth over the following two decades. Even if App Store fees are reduced to 0%, Apple’s management will find another way to monetize service offerings. 

Get in touch

Authored By: Vipin Singh, Market Research

Next Read: Amazon Business Strategy: Insights of its operation and investment plan to become the top Fortune 500 company

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Atlanta Restaurant Exchange

Writing a business plan for a restaurant, resources for writing a restaurant business plan by doug marranci atlanta restaurant exchange.

In the early 90's I wanted to create a business plan to open my first coffee house in Charlotte NC. I did a lot of research and found many different types of plans that could be written. After going to the library and looking at many books and SBA information about writing a business plan, here are some of my thoughts on writing that first business plan.

1. If you address all of the areas of a standard business plan, you will probably have uncovered all of the information that you need to find to start your business.

2. Work on one small part of the business plan at a time. If you think about writing the entire plan, you will get overwhelmed. As with any project in life, the longest journey begins with the first step. Take one small section of the plan, do your writing, do your research, check your work, and move on to the next section.

3. Use friends and acquaintances to read over the plan as you are developing it. I asked a variety of friends to check my work for various reasons. The first was a banker. Enough said. The next was a Research Physician. He pointed out anything that I said that i did not substatiate. The next was an English Professor. Enough said on that one too. The last was a friend who was not a business person, just to make sure an average person understood what I was trying to do.

4. Tell everyone what you are doing. You are not "opening a restaurant" you are simply writing a business plan for a restaurant idea to see if it could work. I can assure you that a well written plan will clearly let you know if you are able to fulfil this dream, or do you need to "scale down" your dream to something more realistic. One note here, I never had to go to investors. I talked to so many people about my ideas that I had people volunteer to be investors before I ever had my plan finished. (I thought i was done, however, they made me finish my business plan).

5. You never know who can be a resource. You will develop relationships with many people in the process who are in the Industry. Pricing from Food Vendors, Lease and Sale prices from a Restaurant Broker, Equipment from a Food Service Equipment Vendor and your accounting or banker friend when you ask for advice. These relationships carry over into your business. Since you are a small business person, most people take an interest in you, and your business venture. Most people with whom I had discussions kept up with my progress, and were some of my first customers.

6. You will gain knowledge and assistance from many sources. My desire to open this Coffee House was to provide a safe environment for people away from bars and clubs. Remember, this was P.S. (Pre-Starbucks). I went to a used furniture store, and was picking out what I wanted. When I told the manager what I was doing, he told me to pick out whatever I wanted, and gave it to me for free. While this may not happen to everyone, you never know who is willing to help you and in what ways they can help.

Since that initial coffee house, I have gone on to start up and sell three more restaurants since then. This was all done from starting with nothing but an idea. Here are what I consider to be helpful resources in writing a business plan

Sample Restaurant Business Plan

SBA Class on Writing a business plan

Business Plan Template Sample Cash Flow Statement

Sample Income Statement Balance Sheet Template from SBA

At&t Starting your own business

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos completes $8.5bn share sale plan

  • Published 20 hours ago

Jeff Bezos and partner Lauren Sanchez at Milan Fashion Week.

Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos has sold another 14 million Amazon shares, worth around $2.4bn (£1.9bn).

The latest sale brings the total number of shares he has sold in the firm over the last nine trading days to about 50 million, with a value of around $8.5bn.

The tech giant had previously said Mr Bezos would sell up to 50 million shares by the end of January 2025.

His sales of Amazon stock comes after they have risen by more than 76% in the past year.

Mr Bezos, who is the firm's founder and executive chair, had previously last sold Amazon shares in 2021.

He has also given away shares in Amazon as part of his philanthropy, most recently in 2022.

As Mr Bezos moved to Miami in Florida from Seattle in Washington last year, he will save almost $600m in tax on the $8.5bn worth of stock he has sold.

Gains above $250,000 from the sale of shares or other long term investments, are taxed at 7% in Washington state. Florida does not have state taxes on incomes or capital gains.

However, he will still be liable to federal taxes as a result of selling the shares.

When Mr Bezos announced his move to Florida it prompted speculation over whether it was because of a potential tax bill he would have faced in Washington after the state approved a new tax on large stock sales.

Mr Bezos said in November that his parents had recently moved back to Miami where he spent some of his childhood and that he wanted to be close to them and to his Blue Origin space project, which was "increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral".

"Lauren and I love Miami," he wrote on Instagram, referring to his fiancée Lauren Sánchez.

"For all that, I'm planning to return to Miami, leaving the Pacific Northwest," he added.

Mr Bezos remains Amazon's biggest shareholder and is one of the richest people in the world, with an estimated fortune of more than $190bn.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

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More on this story.

Amazon founder Bezos sells shares worth over $4bn

  • Published 7 days ago

Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos arrive at the Dolce&Gabbana Party during the Milan Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 on 13 January, 2024 in Milan, Italy.

Call for billionaires to face a minimum tax rate

  • Published 23 October 2023

Man with £10 notes

Jeff Bezos pledges to give away most of his wealth

  • Published 14 November 2022

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez

China takes the biggest steps yet to prop up its flailing stock market

  • China's securities regulators are prohibiting major institutional investors from reducing equity holdings at the open and close during trading days.
  • The ban also applies to certain quantitative hedge funds and brokerages. 
  • The country's flailing economy has recently alerted China's President Xi Jinping, who appointed new top markets regulator, Wu Qing.

Insider Today

Major institutional investors in China are no longer allowed to sell stocks at the open or close of market trading on a given day.

Under this order, investors are not permitted to sell more shares than they buy during the first and last 30 minutes of trading, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg . 

It's the latest example of tightened trading restrictions from the Chinese government as it attempts to backstop the nation's $8.6 trillion stock market. The CSI 300 Index recently hit a five-year low in early February.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Chairman Wu Qing , who leads the China Securities Regulatory Commission, has formed a task force with the nation's stock exchanges to oversee short-selling activities and caution companies who benefit from such trades.

In addition to a struggling stock market, China has been dealing with real estate challenges , deflation , and demographic headwinds over the past year. Despite authorities ramping up curbs on bearish wagers and state-backed buying in the markets, they're still facing investors dampening market confidence. 

On top of the trading restrictions, certain brokerages have been instructed to retrieve stock loans extended to clients for short-selling purposes. Certain quantitative hedge funds also remain banned from placing concentrated sell orders and reducing equity positions in their leveraged market-neutral funds — known as Direct Market Access, which was suspended in early February, Bloomberg reported. 

China's local media outlet, Securities Journal, reported on Tuesday that the securities watchdog is considering measures to tighten initial public offering approvals, encourage dividend payouts, and crack down on financial fraud. Additionally, it aims to expedite approvals for equity funds and attract more medium-to-long-term investment vehicles into the stock market.

Benchmark indices in Hong Kong and China rallied on the news. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is up 1.57% higher as of Wednesday's intraday trading, while the blue-chip CSI 300 rose 1.35%. 

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2 startups posted big membership growth in the lucrative senior health plan business — after other young insurers failed

  • It's a hard time for Medicare Advantage insurers, facing lower payments and higher medical expenses.
  • But two insurance upstarts — Alignment and Devoted — grew rapidly in the last year.
  • Even so, they haven't captured meaningful market share in a business dominated by UnitedHealthcare.

Just a few years ago, a crop of venture-backed health insurance startups embarked on planting a flag in the crowded but lucrative health plan business for seniors.

While the battlefield is now marked with failed attempts, a couple of young insurers still managed to grow their membership in that business, known as Medicare Advantage .  

Devoted Health and Alignment Healthcare grew membership by more than half in February 2024 compared with a year ago, despite the numerous challenges confronting the Medicare Advantage market, according to Business Insider's analysis of the latest federal data.

Even so, these insurers haven’t captured 1% of the total Medicare Advantage market, a Stephens analysis found, underscoring just how tough it is to grow and compete with entrenched companies like UnitedHealthcare and Humana that have long dominated.

Some upstarts weren’t up for the challenge. Bright Health, which has exited the insurance business entirely as of this year, sold its Medicare Advantage plans in December. Oscar Health abandoned the senior business after years of failing to attract more than a few thousand customers. Meanwhile, Clover Health’s membership shrunk slightly as it tried to break even.

A challenging Medicare Advantage market

Medicare Advantage is the private alternative to the traditional Medicare program that provides health coverage to people 65 and older and people with disabilities.

The market has been one of the fastest-growing corners of the health insurance industry, with membership more than doubling over the last decade. Established insurers have invested heavily in Medicare Advantage, and venture capital firms put billions of funds behind startups angling for a piece of the $400 billion the federal government spends on the program each year.

However, there are signs that the Medicare Advantage business isn’t as much of a goldmine as it used to be.

Many insurers are having a harder time making money as seniors get more medical care than expected, competition increases, and the federal government phases in changes to the way it pays insurers. Those changes, expected to lower insurers’ payments, came in response to the widespread practice among health plans to exaggerate their members’ illnesses so they’re paid more.

Some, including TD Cowen analyst Gary Taylor, also question if enrollment in Medicare Advantage is nearing its peak, but membership is still growing for now. About 33.7 million people were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2023, an increase of about 7% over the year before.

Upstart insurers struggle to capture market share

The mounting challenges didn’t slow Devoted and Alignment’s growth. Devoted, a private insurer backed by more than $2 billion in venture capital, grew membership to 203,000 as of February 1, 2024, an increase of 63% over February 2023, according to Business Insider's analysis of enrollment data from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Alignment, which went public in 2021, had almost 156,000 members. That's up 44%, according to the company. (Alignment said federal data undercounted its membership in 2023, so it provided corrected figures.)

Scott Fidel, an analyst at Stephens, said the young insurers attracted members by offering better benefits than other insurers. They could provide those extra benefits because they notched high federal quality scores from the federal government and were rewarded with bonuses, which can fund perks like lower out-of-pocket costs, dental and vision insurance, and even transportation for members.

But it’s tough to grow fast without incurring higher costs that make it hard to profit. Bright's stunning failure — the result of rapid growth, soaring expenses, and technology problems — is a prime example. And while Alignment has said it expects to break even on an adjusted basis this year, it’s not clear if they’ll be able to pull it off with so many new members.

Clover also went public in 2021 and after years of expanding aggressively by way of rich benefits, it tapped the brakes to finally turn a profit, which it expects to do in 2024, before things like interest and taxes. This year, Clover scaled back the number of counties in which it sold plans and increased cost-sharing for prescription drugs, Fidel said. Clover’s membership dipped 6% to about 79,000 in February compared with a year ago.

Ultimately, these young insurers that wanted to disrupt the stodgy industry are still tiny, and any disruption they've done has been limited. They're up against a lot. It takes an enormous amount of capital to grow big in the insurance business, Fidel said.

Plus, a strategy that works in one market might not work in another. Most of Alignment’s growth is in California, and Clover’s membership is concentrated in New Jersey. Neither have managed to gain strong toeholds in other states across the country.

The biggest insurers remain untouchable. UnitedHealthcare, the country’s top Medicare Advantage insurer with more than a quarter of the national market share, enrolled 9.5 million members as of February, an increase of about 7%. The second biggest, Humana, had 6.1 million members, up about 9% over the same time a year ago.

CVS Health , the owner of insurer Aetna, was the closest thing to a threat that these giants experienced. CVS grew faster than any insurer over the last year, adding almost 700,000 members, an increase of 21%. Its Medicare Advantage membership totals about 4 million.

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Watch: Healthcare CEO: Insurance shouldn't be tied to your employer who may have very different values than you

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COMMENTS

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  10. How To Start Apple Orchard In 5 Simple Steps

    Create a business plan. This is to help map out your goals and determine what sort of return you can expect from your orchard. Plan for start-up costs such as establishment cost per acre covering land preparation, planting, and maintaining. Expected establishment cost of $4,000 to 5,000 per acre; Fencing

  11. PDF Business Planning and Economics of Apple Orchard Establishment

    The price that a grower receives for the apples produced is a function of cultivar and quality. It is important that potential growers understand there is a correlation between cultivar and price. The current farm gate value for high valued apples depending upon quality(or pack-out) ranges from $110 - $500/bin.

  12. Tree Farming Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P's: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a tree farming business plan, your marketing strategy should include the following: Product: In the product section, you should reiterate the type of tree farming company that you documented in your company overview.

  13. Fruit Farm Business Plan [Sample Template]

    The amount needed to acquire / lease a farm land - $50,000. The amount required for preparing the farm land - $70,000. The cost for acquiring the required working tools and equipment / machines / fencing et al - $10,000. The amount required for purchase of the first set of fruits seedlings et al - $50,000.

  14. Apples

    As you begin to cover the roots, firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets. Do not add fertilizer at planting time, as the roots can be "burned". Fill the remainder of the hole with the loose soil, and press the soil down well. Most apple trees are grafted.

  15. Growing Apple Trees: The Complete Guide to Plant, Grow ...

    Soil Requirements. Growing apples successfully requires fertile soil. Do a soil test before planting to be sure that your trees will have what they need. Apples need a pH range between 6.0-7.0. Amend your soil with peat moss, compost, and bonemeal before putting your tree in the ground to give it a healthy foundation.

  16. Small Business Accounting Services in New Hampshire

    Small Business Accounting Services in New Hampshire - Appletree Business RELIABLE We Worry for You Anytime a tax is due, we will prepare any necessary forms proactively, and provide them to you. EXPERIENCED Over 30 years of experience All we do is work with small business owners throughout the year. ADVANCED Our focus is the future

  17. Business Lessons Learned From The Humble Apple Tree

    The bare frame of the apple tree after winter is like the frame of your business. Things are preparing on the inside for life and growth and action, but you just can't quite see it. ... But I planned, I prepared, and I launched my business. This plan was the blossom that I safe-guarded from the wind and the rain. This was my blossom in which ...

  18. How to Grow an Apple Tree in Marietta Georgia

    Soil Requirements - Apple trees can thrive in soils ranging from medium textured clays to gravelly sands. However, the healthiest trees and best crops are found on well-drained fertile sandy soils and loams. Apples do best in neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH between 7.0 and 5.8.

  19. Buy Apple Trees for Sale

    Ein Shemer Apple Tree. Starting at $19.95. Zones: 6-9. At Willis Orchard Company it has been our ongoing commitment to always offer the finest selection of apple trees for sale. In our experience, the planting, caring for and harvesting of apple trees offers a host of benefits - something that those who have never done it can only imagine.

  20. Business Consulting Services

    No more vague wishlists—Appletree can help you set concrete business goals and achieve them. Cash Flow Planning Budgeting, payroll, and taxes are well within our wheelhouse and we can make sure all of your assets are performing for your business. Profitability Analysis

  21. Apple Business Strategy: A Detailed Company Analysis

    Apple's business strategy consists of the following four elements: Focus on product design and functionality Strengthening Apple's ecosystem Improving consumer service experience Reducing the business's reliance on iPhone sales

  22. Apple Trees for Sale at Ty Ty Nursery

    Transcendent Crabapple Tree. frucra-transcendent. USDA Zones 4-10. Apples are the most common fruit tree. You can save your family money by easily growing your own apple trees. Ty Ty Nursery's huge selection and low prices make your home apple orchard dream a reality. Call you the pros toll free 888-758-2252.

  23. How to write a business plan

    2. Work on one small part of the business plan at a time. If you think about writing the entire plan, you will get overwhelmed. As with any project in life, the longest journey begins with the first step. Take one small section of the plan, do your writing, do your research, check your work, and move on to the next section. 3.

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    The Tesla chair was meant to rein in Elon Musk, but she's shunned the spotlight. A court ruling has dragged her into it. Hasan Chowdhury. Feb 21, 2024, 6:04 AM PST. Tesla chair Robyn Denholm ...

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    Advertisement. Major institutional investors in China are no longer allowed to sell stocks at the open or close of market trading on a given day. Under this order, investors are not permitted to ...

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