No obligation to act on advice

No obligation to act on advice

Agribusiness
GOOD GUIDANCE: While using a GPS can help avoid getting lost, it doesn't always select the best path. As with all advice, you don't necessarily have to follow it.

GOOD GUIDANCE: While using a GPS can help avoid getting lost, it doesn't always select the best path. As with all advice, you don't necessarily have to follow it.

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I WAS recently driving back from Melbourne and, in hindsight, I wish I had asked my GPS for advice.

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I WAS recently driving back from Melbourne and, in hindsight, I wish I had asked my GPS for advice.

It would have saved me 45 minutes of travel time, as I meandered along the wrong motorway for 50 kilometres.

The upside was I did get to drive through some farming country between Geelong, Vic, and Bacchus Marsh, Vic - there's no drought in that area from what I saw.

The day before, I did follow the route suggested by the GPS, and the trip took 20 minutes more than it should have.

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The point I'm trying to make is that it is fine to ask for advice, but you don't need to follow it.

Trusting your own instincts in conjunction with obtaining advice is generally a good strategy to follow.

There are professionals that provide advice, such as accountants and lawyers.

These are formal relationships where there is a fee for the service charged.

In these types of scenarios, don't assume the person on the other side of the desk knows all the answers. They may have a lot going on, and sometimes things slip by the wayside.

It is totally appropriate to ask a heap of questions, and even challenge the advice if it doesn't feel right. You may be right, or you may be wrong, but either way you will end up with the answer.

A lot of people I know look to trusted friends for advice.

Running a modern agribusiness requires a lot of moving parts. It takes a lot of planning and effort to keep the wheels turning and the enterprise growing.

These relationships are like gold, as there is invariably mutual trust on both sides. There is also no judgement, and there is no such thing as a dumb question.

I am fortunate to have multiple people I can turn to for advice, but I have normally thought a lot about the particular subject before I enter into any conversations.

I am open to suggestions, as I am fully aware there is a lot I don't know.

Advice sought may be on a personal matter, or career advice for yourself or someone else. Even a Google search can be a place to get advice, as can social media platforms and other such places. There are multiple ways to obtain advice.

In agriculture I am seeing a lot more advice being sought and some of it may be financial and accounting advice.

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In regards to accounting, I am not talking about the annual compliance work, but more strategic advice.

Most accountants are well equipped to provide extra advice, but often don't market these extra services very well.

Running a modern agribusiness requires a lot of moving parts. It takes a lot of planning and effort to keep the wheels turning and the enterprise growing, and profitable.

Production advice is almost mandatory these days.

This includes advice from agronomists, and marketing advice for grain, wool and other commodities.

Advisory boards are another growth area for some agribusinesses. Some of these are very formal in nature, others are more ad hoc - the model is up to the individual agribusiness.

The ones I have seen in action, up close and from afar, have made a material difference to the farming operation concerned, offering another set of eyes and ears, as it were.

Access to advice is crucial as the margins get tighter in agribusiness. Those businesses that are constantly evolving and planning are in for a bright future.

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