Is now the time to embrace change and develop your business?
There is no doubt that the last 20 months of utter chaos have enforced unpredictable and unimaginable change in all our lives – who would have believed that we could cope with being made to stay at home, stay away from work and, most incredibly, stay away from loved ones. But we did it and, inevitably, it has changed us.
I truly believe that the pandemic has helped us to accept that things don’t, and often shouldn’t, stay the same and from a business point of view I think this is a healthy shift in perspective. New Year is always a really good time to take stock of your business and property to consider what developments you want to make in the coming months and years.
If you think your farming enterprise needs a re-vamp, here are my top tips:
- Start with a reality check of where your business is today and where you want to take it
- Consider what buildings and other property could be used to greater effect – either for expansion of your current farming activities or for diversification
- Do a simple feasibility study of your ideas, taking into account potential costs and timeframes
- Talk to your business partners and discuss the impact of your ideas on the main farming activity
- Take advice from trusted professionals as to what is practical and achievable
There are still many underutilised buildings on farms and whilst diversification is not for everyone, there may well be opportunities to steam line activities just by using buildings differently so look critically at how you are using what you have got. Involve all the interested parties, particularly the younger generation, who could have a fresh perspective on how things might be done.
I spend much of my professional time working with farming families helping them to plan for the future. This might be assisting with developing business plans but, more often than not, it involves facilitating potentially ‘difficult’ conversations about what the future might hold.
Farming is an unusual beast in that the family assets and business activities are inextricably linked through generations of family history which is often hard to change. I so often see families in dispute about issues which are unrelated to the actual activities of the farming enterprise but which they are unable to separate and resolve.
My best advice is don’t delay. We are all in a state of change so now is the time to embrace it.
If you would like any help and advice don't hesitate in contacting Louise on firstname.lastname@example.org