Here are some specific episodes related to farm business planning.
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No two farm business plans are identical.
A young, aggressive producer focused on expanding likely needs a comprehensive business plan with detailed cash flow and business projections to satisfy investors and partners. On the other extreme, the business plan for an established farm with no children interested in taking over can be very simple — maximize profits in the remaining years of farming.
While what the document actually looks like will vary depending on the stage of business, any good business plan must address two key areas, says Dean Klippenstine of MNP, in this Mind Your Farm Business podcast.
“Number one is understanding our costs,” he says. “You need to understand the cost it takes to run your operation.”
The finding is staggering. A recent IPSOS Reid poll found that certain farms achieve five-times higher return on assets because of one key element. Perhaps more surprising is how accessible this element of a farm business is — it’s a written business plan.
That number is impressive, but even more striking is the associated finding that only 26% of surveyed farms actually have a written plan.
To explore why so many farms fail to plan, RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney speaks with Rob Hannam, founder of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, for this episode of Mind Your Farm Business.
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They say a business plan, right? Doesn’t matter if it’s your mom, your brother, a banker or someone you meet in the coffee shop. They all drink the same Kool-Aid and start chanting, you need a business plan, you need a business plan.
Like lemmings. Like all the people today who chant, you need to define your ideal customer, you need to define your ideal customer. Basically people hear something, think it’s authoritative and just repeat it.
These over-the-top business plan templates may be helpful if your business is raising capital. Or if you’re seeking serious lending, I’m sure your lender will require it. But, for 90% of us, at least, they are a waste of time.
So, today, I’m going to walk you through a simple planning guide that will help you answer everything that’s important, and chart your farm down a successful path. And, get this—you only need to answer eight questions! That’s it, 8 questions and you’ll have your business strategy laid out.