When you are working in a business, it can be hard to spot new opportunities or looming risks. Get a second, fifth or 10th set of eyes on your business with a strategic resource team. These advisers can help you achieve more profitable decisions. Here are five team members to consider.
1. Attorney. Legal counsel is only as good as your planning before you meet with an attorney. Only you know your desires and plans for the continuation of your operation. Your job is to paint a picture of an optimal result; while their job is to help you build a bridge to arrive there efficiently and legally.
2. Investment Partners. The quality of your partners will have a direct correlation to your financial success. Discontinue any relationships or partnerships with those demonstrating unethical behavior, high-risk endeavors or chronic communication issues. Your operation does not need an adviser who creates cancer within your organization. Ironically, managing the money is the easy part; managing the relationships is the key.
3. Insurance Agents. This relationship could ultimately be what keeps your business alive in the event of a catastrophe. With the exposure of operations in today’s world, a minimum of quarterly business reviews is the only way to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. Operations are changing at a rapid pace, and with every positive change there is a coinciding risk of loss. Show everything in your insurance review. Work only with insurance companies that are willing to provide the resources for intensive partnering in risk coverage.
4. Marketing Advisers. No matter who you choose to work with for advice, remember you are ultimately responsible for your own final decisions and the outcomes. Work with experienced advisers with measurable success. For example, what type of proven track record does your adviser or broker have? If your ag advisers are actively engaged in production agriculture themselves, it enhances their credibility.
5. Peer Advisory Board. The most practical advice often comes from someone living in a similar experience to you. The clearest look at your operation might be through the eyes of another producer who lives several states away. Consider joining a formal group of peers consisting of five to eight different operations that meet twice a year to discuss key business principles with the goal of business growth and development. This structure yields new opportunities, constructive criticism, outside perspective and accountability partners to ensure you follow through on your business objectives.
Read Chris’ ideas and suggestions for the 10 options for your farm's strategic resource team at
Chris Barron is director of operations and president of Carson and Barron Farms in Rowley, Iowa. He is also a national financial consultant for Ag View Solutions.