HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN FOR FARMING AND LIVESTOCK BUSINESS
A business plan is essential to have in place before you decide to start up a farm business, no matter what else you have done by way of preparation. In today’s world, animal agriculture is more complex and more variable than it was 100 years ago. There are changing markets, high costs, low profit margins, different ways to raise cattle, and niche markets. The type of business plan you make is up to you, but the following step-by-step process of making a proper business plan will help you in the long run
1.Find some papers, a pencil, or a computer with Microsoft Word or a similar text program: This will enable you to write or type down everything that comes to your mind, including the goals and aspirations you have for starting up a livestock or crop operation.
2.You should be mainly brainstorming about your goals and objectives: It’s much more effective to run any business when you have a goal in mind to reach rather than having vague ideas of wanting to do something with animals. As you consider your goals, remember that strategy is not the same as marketing. The strategy for your business is how you plan to deliver value to your customers, how you intend to convince potential customers to obtain that value from you by communicating your distinctiveness as a farmer and why you can deliver that value better than your competitors
3.Do a SWOT analysis : SWOT is a popular acronym used in businesses and economics that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are the internal or controllable characteristics of a business. Opportunities and Threats are external characteristics that are out of your, your business or an industry’s control. These four planning strategy factors should describe everything about you, from showing what you can and can’t do, what you may need assistance with from more professional and knowledgeable people, what you’re willing to learn, what troubles and issues you may face in your farming venture, and what chances may enable you to both succeed and become profitable.
4. Create the Business Plan by making three main plans: Strategic Plan, Operating Plan, and a Succession Plan:
Strategic Plan. This is where you tie in all your brainstorming thoughts, ideas, objectives and goals together.. Basically, the kind of business plan you should develop for your farming business are the vision statement, mission, values , and plan of action.
Operating Plan. This is the plan where you outline the day-to-day activities of the business including what gets done, how it’s done, who does it and when it’s done. This plan is generally shorter term and usually revolves around a production cycle. There are four sub-plans that are important to this plan; production plan, marketing plan, financial plan, and human resources plan:
Succession Planning. This can be the hardest part of a business plan, as one has to plan what should happen if the main operator (farmer) is injured or worse, dies. Succession planning includes developing a continuity plan for your business and determining the process of transitioning a business to new owners. This transition may be an outside sale (equipment and land auction sale), or an inheritance sale (passing the business down to the next generation)
6. Identify the type of farm ownership: There are seven main types of ownership; proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, co-ownership, joint Venture, corporation, or trust. With these in mind , you can easily choose which form of business ownership you would want your farm to take.
7. Tie it all together: Don’t be afraid to make changes to your plan. A business plan is not some rigid rule-setting standard that must be set in stone. Rather, it is a paper that can be changed as the business grows and as new ideas and new issues arise. Usually a business plan should be reviewed at least once a month to once a year to look at what was written and what changes should be made.
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2 Comments

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