There’s a saying that goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” and that’s exactly why having a plan in place is the key to you achieving farm business success.
At Lifesolver Financial, the first thing we ask you to do is take a step back from the busy day to day of working in your business and dedicate time to work on your business. It doesn’t have to be long – It could be a few hours or a few days.
The reason we ask you to take a step back is because while ever you’re too busy working in your business, you won’t have the time to plan for and make the strategic decisions that will ultimately help you to achieve your goals.
In this post we’ll explain why having a plan for your farm business is integral to its success, how to create one, and we will also provide 8 suggestions on what to includes if you’re new to creating a plan for your farm business.
A farm business plan is more than a document. It’s a road map, and if followed, has the potential to change your life and the lives of the generations that come after you.
The road map is based on your goals and what you want to achieve. It really comes down to what’s possible for you and your family as you grow and prepare to hand the farm over. With the right financial and business knowledge backing you, it’s possible to make those goals your reality.
Having a plan in place matters because without giving yourself the time to think about your future, you won’t be able to establish your priorities and things can become complex and difficult, leading to nothing being done or completed. In other words, you’ll be no closer to achieving your vision.
First, we get to the bottom of what success means to you by asking you a series of open-ended questions designed to get you to start thinking about your future.
What does success look like to you now and into the future?
Keep in mind that success is often more than just achieving your financial goals, and rarely means the same thing to different people.
Next, we begin by looking at your three-year vision. This includes mapping out your dangers or risks, your opportunities, and the strengths that you and other members of your team bring to the table. This gets you to think inwardly about you, your family, your business, and its importance in helping you create a plan for the success of your farm business.
When it comes to risk, it’s really important to consider your level of debt and the possibility of something happening to you or a key member of your team. What would that look like? What plan would you need to have in place if this situation where to arise?
Once you’ve gone through and thought about all the things you feel are important in achieving success in your farm business, we can break down your goals into actionable steps to be taken over the next 12 months, three years and 10 years. This allows us to determine which projects you should start working on to bring you closer to achieving your goals.
See our post on how to achieve your grand vision in five easy steps, to learn more about how to do this.
Some examples of priorities might be things like:
All of these things depend on you and your farm business and where you are in your life stage, the dynamics of your family, and what you want to achieve.
When I got into financial planning, I thought it was just going to be about the latest stock tip. But the more meetings I had with farmers, the more I realised the conversations I was having were around key person risk protection and covering debt in the event of accident or injury, rather than the best investment options. Although these were part of the conversation too, I realised most people wanted security and peace of mind. This often involved covering a well-tailored risk protection package involving life insurance, trauma, and disability.