Business planning for the future

Carlyn Sherriff

I recently delivered a two day business planning workshop for the Ladies on the Land (Upper North Farming Systems) group. It was a great opportunity to share the business planning process with a group of ladies all keen to learn more about their business and make a plan for the future.

The theme of this InTouch edition is working on what you can control and influence. Business planning is something that you can control, despite the external environment around us changing. To operate without a plan leaves your business open to risks and external threats that you have not developed an action plan for. Having a plan ensures these risks and threats are understood and a strategy can be developed to mitigate them.

At the Ladies on the Land workshop we discussed the principles of business planning. These included:

  • Communication is key
    • Many of the women at my workshop said “we talk a lot, but not about the bigger picture”
    • Bring everyone together and have a discussion about the future
    • “Where do you want to be in 5 – 10 years?”
    • If everyone has the same vision, it is far easier to create the plan about how you are going to get there
  • Know your current position
    • You cannot manage what you don’t measure
    • Gather performance data for a few years to create a story of where you have come from
    • Ensure everyone in the business has the financial literacy to understand and interpret the results confidently
  • No time like today
    • Despite the fluid nature of industry, you can still have an overall game plan
    • Stop and take stock of the current position and set course to your preferred future
    • Use milestones such as a new person entering the business, as a trigger to come together and make/review your plans
  • Understand what are your ‘big rocks’
    • What are the strategic issues that your business needs to focus on to ensure your vision can be achieved
    • Without effort, these issues will remain unresolved and could impact future business viability
    • These issues are often things such as succession planning, managing debt, or planning for growth
  • Have a practical and realistic action plan
    • As a team, develop a realistic action plan that you all agree to
    • Agree to meet twice a year to check in on progress and review your current position

If you would like support to commence business planning in your business, please give us a call on 08 8841 4500. With hay and harvest just around the corner, we are happy to book in planning sessions for early 2020.

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