Farm Tender

Do you have a plan? I don't...

Extracted from the Farm Tender weekly Newsletter - Sign up and get the email every Wednesday morning before 6 am.

By Dwain Duxson.

I just finished a two-day conference with the Farm Owners Academy, they don't teach you about how to Farm, but they educate you about how to run a great Farm business. I had been booked into the course for 18 months, and they are usually 2-day live events held around the country but the long drawn out Covid scenario meant they had to hold it online.

Whilst we don't have a Farm of such (we have what they call a lifestyle Farm), we do have a couple of businesses that operate in the Agriculture space (Farm Tender and DelayPay).

It's a structured program, which we all would have experienced before. The first event leads to what is more of a structured, more expensive program that teaches you all about the business of Farming and to eventually have a Farm that doesn't need or rely on you.

I was impressed, and there are things that they teach that I know would help our business a lot.

The stats are that only 4 percent of all businesses make it to 10 years from inception, so in March 2022, we will become one of those stats. Phew, we are doing something right.

Now, I knew before I headed to the event that my business skills were limited. I have some skills I have learnt along the way, which we all do. I have never had a mentor, which many swear by, and have never done any real business courses or such. I have known all the way along that there are many holes, and many missing links to my business skills.

So if this two-day event taught me something, it's time to learn some skills and fill some of those voids.

Things like having a plan, cash flow forecasting or setting goals are something I/we have never done. Does anyone operate like this?

Over the journey, we have always been very conscious of cash. We are not a business that can borrow money because banks deem that we have no assets as backing. You know, we have no land or buildings. So apart from the odd vehicle loan, we have never borrowed money.

So cash is king, and we are always putting bits and pieces aside each week for things like Super, Taxes, commissions, events, marketing, wed development and dividends. All those things that can turn into surprises at some point in time. We have managed to do that well.

This event taught me that there are things that are holding us back.

So why haven't I done something about it?

I don't know, like everyone, too busy, not time, didn't think it was that important, who am I going to call, you know the excuses.

My plan is/was that we get the business to a point where it's salable, and then hopefully field offers, then don't sell it and continue on. But that's where the plan ends.

It's time for this little back duck to learn some new skills....

End of message

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