Even when the weather is fine and seas are calm, good sailors don’t relax completely. They make sure their boat is on course and in good shape, and they constantly watch for any changes in the weather. It’s the same in farming. A successful farm business plans its direction, keeps its eye on the farm’s performance and watches for any changes that might be ahead. When the going gets tough, and even when it’s not, successful farm managers review their business plans, watch their production, marketing and finances closely and make any adjustments needed to keep the business on track.
That’s what this book is about. It shows how to write a business plan step by step, how to monitor the performance of the farm business and how to decide if changes are needed to keep the business on track.
A business plan is a great tool for any farm. It helps owners, managers and other stakeholders to develop a shared vision for the future and adopt a strategic approach to achieving that vision. A well prepared plan can help to keep the farm business viable, profitable and satisfying for those involved.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Before you start
Why prepare a business plan
Where does a business plan fit in with your management?
What size and scope for your business plan?
Who should develop a business plan?
Where should a business plan be stored?
Wha't in a farm business plan?
Chapter 2: How to write a farm business plan
Who will participate in the planning process?
Where are we now?
Where do we want to be?
How do we get there?
Chapter 3: Monitor and review farm business performance
Performance indicators - what to measure
Monitoring financial performance
Indicators of financial performance
Farm business records
Compare and evaluate
Review, revise and adjust plans
Chapter 4: Resources, further information and support
Advice, support and training
Appendix 1: Partial budget
Appendix 2: Gross margin budgets
Appendix 3: Development budget