Two top strategies for your farm business plan
Creating a farm business plan helps you look beyond daily tasks to envision your operation’s future.
Wendy Osborn, Regional Vice President | Farm Credit Mid-America
Fail to plan or plan to fail—or so the saying goes. Whether you’re just starting out or have a well-established farming operation, creating a business plan is one key to success.
While taking the time to sketch out a business plan can seem tedious, there are significant benefits to having a thoughtful path forward for your farm. Preparing a plan helps you look beyond daily farm tasks to focus on your goals. It provides focus and direction, which will help your operation run more smoothly.
Get it on paper
Many farmers we talk with say they have business plans—but they haven’t found time to commit them to paper. Without a written plan, it’s easy to run off course.
A written plan is even more important for businesses with multiple owners. It aids decision making and helps avoid conflicts. As you draft, evaluate and revise your business plan, be sure to include all owners in the process. This may lead to some uncomfortable conversations, but in the end will make the rest of your year—and your operation—much more productive.
And, most important, a written plan increases the likelihood you will achieve your goals. The plan helps you envision your operation’s future, lay out sales and operational forecasts, and measure progress. Look at your business plan as a road map for your operation’s success.
Keep it current
The best business plans are continually revisited, revised and updated when changes occur in the operation or marketplace. Keep your goals and business plan in a visible place to remind you of where you’re going and what you’re working toward.
Set aside time with your fellow owners to review the plan and make adjustments. This could be done on a quarterly or annual basis—just find a time that works and then stick to it.
Getting started on a plan is often the hardest part. Begin with a simple plan that meets your immediate needs and build it from there. The best business plan is a continual work in progress and a plan for success.
For additional financial tips, insights and perspectives, visit Farm Credit Mid-America Insights.