17 July 2019
When you’re head down in the day-to-day running of your business, it’s hard to know what needs to be done behind the scenes to ensure future success. You don’t have to set aside an entire day to get all your planning, accounting and networking done. Do it in small intervals throughout the year. Choose a time when you know you’re not going to be knee deep in calving or picking and make it a priority. Working ON your business is just as important as working IN it.
Whether you want to expand, develop or maintain your current activity, consider the following advice.
- Bring in the experts. Having a fresh pair of eyes is crucial when you’re busy doing the do. Think of trusted, knowledgeable professionals who can help or give advice on monitoring your business plan, your finances, employment, environmental management, funding and networking. Getting a rural business mentor is a great place to start.
- Connect to other farmers. Working in a silo can be lonely and overwhelming so link up with others who share the same challenges. In the dairy industry, you can sign up to a free service called Dairy Connect, which puts you in touch with a support farmer happy to help. Look to your industry groups for networking opportunities and events.
- Know your numbers. Big, small, milk or fruit - when you rely on living produce it makes accounting more complex. Record your stock numbers and any land use changes, understand depreciation of machinery and equipment, stay up to date with Government subsidies, and use cloud apps for accounting, resources and bank accounts.
- Talk it up. Sharing key information about your business with everyone in your farm team will ensure no surprises, prevent conflict, lower potential issues, reduce wastage and give everyone a sense of ownership so they work harder, and smarter, together. Diarise regular meetings or phone calls to talk about cash management, budgets and production reports.
- Make the most of your accountant. To get your business and cash flow in the best position, talk to your accountant about tax planning, accounting software, and discuss your plans for 2020 to see how the numbers stack up and what you need to do to achieve your goals.