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Do you have a Strategic Plan?
Strategic planning involves the development of long-term strategies to increase the profitability and competitiveness of your farm business.
Farmers are constantly planning, some of which includes: what crop to grow, how much fertilizer, weed and fungus control to use, how and when to market their commodities and what equipment and labor requirements will be needed.
One very important element of planning for any business however is to step back, out of the pressure of getting through this next year and out of your normal daily thought process, to examine your business from a different perspective including: consideration of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, where you want to see the business in 5 years, 10 year and beyond, the future of the commodities you produce on an international marketing scale, your personal goals and that of your family, successor or successors, your retirement, transitioning to the next generation or exiting the farm altogether.
These are just a few of the many important things that tend to get overlooked as we continue on in the everyday pressure of running a farm or a business. To facilitate this happening you need to "plan" to make it happen and set aside some time to think and consider. It is often best done away from your office, out of your "box" so to speak and into an environment that takes you away from your normal everyday business procedures and thought patterns. This kind of activity is called "Strategic Planning". The title sounds very official and many think it is just for "big business" to engage in such activity, but it is just as important and necessary for a small family farm to do as it is for GM or Microsoft.
At the end of the process you will determine if you are on the best course to achieve the results you want to achieve and if not what adjustments are necessary to get there. You will develop a timeline for when adjustments are going to be made and how they are going to be accomplished. This will take the form of a written document that will become a roadmap to the future of your farm and will need to be taken out at least on an annual basis and be reevaluated based on current information.
Using a third party professional to guide you through this process will assist you in keeping on task and ensure that you are covering all the areas that should be considered. Wheatland Accounting will be pleased to discuss our services in this regard with you at any time, including how you can obtain government funding to cover 50% of the cost of developing your plan.
Strategic planning forces you to be forward thinking, proactive and focused on where you are going and how you will get there.