Good farming is built on good strategy, which is subsequently built on many factors.
Strategy is an old military term meaning a plan designed to achieve a particular long-term aim or directing military activity in a war.
Now strategy is used in every industry every day around the world.
Goals must be accompanied by good strategy every time if the desired outcome is to be achieved.
The goal setting can be quite easy, but it is not until the strategy to achieve the goals is worked solidly that you can bed down a decision.
What are the component parts of a good strategy?
Accurate data is the starting point and having the right numbers on which to base a decision enables the following budgets to be correct.
Knowing with accuracy what your own key performance indicators and benchmarks are helps to map a new opportunity. If buying a farm is the present goal then gaining as much information on the property is to your advantage.
It may sound ambiguous but we all suffer from the fact that there are areas of our life and business where we "don't know that we don't know".
Developing skills to open every knowledge door is important so you should not be afraid to ask what many may perceive as the dumb question.
Intuition or "gut feel" is always important in any decision.
I like to ask the gut feel question after having done all the background work and not before.
Experience goes without saying, remains fundamental to good decision making. It is from experience that much of our confidence is derived and from confidence much of our energy and motivation for a project is derived.
Wisdom rounds out my list of requirements in good strategy making.
For wise decisions to be made, having good data, information, knowledge, intuition and experience is essential.
I have seen quite a few people make decisions to buy farms by driving around the farm and, before leaving the farm, they have told the agent that they will take it.
Some may see this a reckless decision making with a lack of due diligence but it worked out to be a very good decision, because their level of wisdom allows them to make such decisions.
If they did all the budgets, research and fact finding they would still make the very same decision. The problem exists for those who believe that their level of wisdom will get them through and they don't realise they are yet to reach the level to be able to make decisions at that level.
In my days of living at Kingston SE, I knew a guy who had difficulty reading and writing yet when it came to farm decision making, he was among the best.
Many of his neighbours would follow his movements very keenly and learn from him. In his case what he lacked in one area he made sure he was extremely good in others.
He knew what was the most important factors in making a decision and kept fine tuning them all the time. As one always keen to learn, I would quite often sidle up to him in the hotel for a good yarn.
The only problem with this is that he would always buy the drinks and not allow me to take my turn.
This chap had simplified strategy making to cover for his inabilities in some areas, so much so he rarely made a poor decision.
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