Depending on what type of agriculture you undertake, there are times of the year that are quieter than others.
For graingrowers this holds true, not so for the intensive livestock enterprises, such as dairy and pigs.
For those that have time between seasons, there lies a big opportunity to set the business up for the future.
A structured business plan with defined goals will help with this process.
In the quieter times, when the pressure is not as full on and the working days are not as long, a real impact can be made to the business that can have ongoing benefits.
Knowing what task will give you the biggest bang for your buck is crucial. It's unlikely to be your favourite job either.
It makes no difference what others outside of your business think of your strategic plan.
This is where the old 80:20 rule comes into play - that 20 per cent of the things you do will give you 80pc of the results. Sometimes big results!
You may know intuitively what the most important projects are. More likely the answer will come from the formulation of a strategic plan.
This plan should be in increments and have short, medium, and long-term goals.
Short-term can be today, or within the next week, month, or the next 12 months. Medium-term goals may be across a two to five-year period.
And, long-term goals can stretch from five years to whenever you like. I know some people that operate with a 25-year timeline.
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It also makes no difference what others outside of your business think of your strategic plan. It's your business after all.
After saying that, it makes perfect sense to get advice from others that you trust, as a different view on the world is always useful. I personally do this a lot with people I trust and admire.
The comment is directed much more towards the people that may feel challenged by the way you're running your business, and the success you are having.
The bottom line is, you are growing personally and professionally, and they aren't.
There are lots of templates available for strategic planning. You can get really precise and use tools such as Gantt charts and other software solutions, or the trusty old butcher's paper, a whiteboard, or the Elders notebook.
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What you use to document the plan is not important - the most important thing is to start writing. It's amazing how much you will get done if you just commit pen to paper.
After writing the plan, the next obvious thing to do is to get cracking on the first task that has been identified as strategically important.
Once this first task is complete (however small it is), this will generate impetus to get on with the next task, and so on.
A quiet time of year is the perfect time to work on and start implementing the strategic plan. It will make that time of year as productive and rewarding as the busy times are.
- Details: bagshawagriconsulting.com.au
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