On today’s farms, there’s so much going on, and so much at stake, that many farmers are looking further into the future as they make their overall business plans.
Forward-looking farmers are getting these plans in place and carrying out the plan. Then, they make progress on their goals, which allows them to be even more proactive and future-oriented, and set even more ambitious goals. It’s a virtuous cycle – a good thing for everyone on the farm.
On the same page
In the planning process, the people on the farm figure out where they want the farm to be in the future. The process also helps get everyone on the same page with each other.
That’s a big deal when you’re thinking about the long-term future of your operation, and the legacy and transition-related conversations your family will be having around who will be involved on the farm in the coming years, and how that transition will take place.
The family dynamics can often make the difference between a successful transition to the next generation – or a lot of trouble and confusion among the family members. Sometimes, it can even mean that the farm operation – that the older generation worked so hard to build and develop – ends up split up into smaller units because family members aren’t in step with each other about what the future will look like.
Dreams and goals
Here’s the key thing about future business planning for the farm. If you don’t create a road map to the future through planning or setting clear goals you’ve actually just decided what the future for your operation will be like, anyway.
The lack of a plan or hesitation to create a plan for the future determines what the future of your farm will be like by default. And usually that’s not going to be the type of future you really want. It’s going to look a lot different. Unfortunately, it could even turn into the opposite of what you want for your farm operation and for your family.
If we don’t set clear goals and create a long-term business plan for the farm, the dreams we have for the future and legacy of our family farm will stay exactly that – dreams. It could mean missing out on creating what you want to transition to the next generation one day.
When both the older and younger generation make these plans together, that helps when it comes time for the farm’s transition. Everyone is already on the same page about where the operation is heading and what the future will be like.
Check out some articles on business meetings and planning in our most recent Smart Series quarterly newsletter publication – that brings business ideas for today’s farm leader – or read more about forward-looking business plans for the farm.
Thanks to blogger Seth Godin for the concept behind this week’s post.
The opinions of Darren Frye are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.