A farm business is first and foremost, a business. So, let’s have a look at what the most successful non-farm businesses do to manage effectively, ensure they do more than just survive, capture their market opportunities and access growth. I believe we can apply any or all of these to enhance our own farming operations.
These businesses will be:
Innovative and with a thirst for knowledge about the best way of doing things;
Current with what is happening across their industry;
Diverse – if more than 50% of the income comes from any one source – the business is at risk;
Well-funded, with secure financing arrangements into the future, and in a sound position to capitalise on opportunities as they arise;
Exceptional communicators – externally so they can tell their market what they’re about, but critically – internally as well, with their most important stakeholders. (In farming businesses, these stakeholders are likely to be family and are often the worst communicated with)
Committed to a long-term plan about where they see the business in 5, 10, 25 years’ time, and have a written strategy about how to get there;
Outwards looking. As well as focussing on their day to day business, they’ll have a sound view of how their business fits in the greater scheme of things. And three or four times a year they’ll step away from the business and have a good hard look at it from the outside.
Have a trusted pool of advisors to source the absolute best advice when making key decisions. (Contrary to popular belief none of us are good at every thing!)
Risk-aware (financial, climate, market, people), and have a plan A, B and sometimes C around each of those;
Fully aware of their competitive edge, their Unique Selling Proposition, and have strategies in place to capitalise on that. “What is it that you, and your business can do, that no-one else can do quite so well?”
Aquire’s Licensee Jon chairs a number of farming family board meetings. Bringing that formal meeting structure to the family business and the ability to ask the tough questions (and effectively handle the answers!) can help to get everyone thinking more strategically. Capturing those strategic thoughts and then building a plan of action becomes a great tool for getting all the players working in the same direction.
Let’s have a chat about how we can help make your farming business more lucrative, manageable and satisfying.
Call AQUIRE today. We do business differently.