Mike Brady: Good planning will deliver a work-life balance regardless of how busy you are
At the start of every year there are endless media guides on how best to set your goals and plan the years ahead.
Common sense (which we know is not very common) and countless studies show that to be successful in achieving goals or dreams, it is imperative to have a plan. We've all heard the saying "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail". So why do so few farmers have written farm business plans?
I believe farmers are completely turned off by the prospect of spending hours in front of a computer either alone or with their consultant/advisor. They don't like trawling through pages of spreadsheets to come up with one figure to see if they will have a surplus or deficit of cash in the years ahead.
Farmers in general are outdoor people - they like to walk the land, view the livestock or crops and discuss the merits of this system or that system.
Consultants and advisors sometimes forget this fact, which can result in the farmer disliking the planning process.
In fact, a farm business plan should never be prepared without walking the land and viewing the livestock or crops.
The first time a business plan is prepared with a farmer by a consultant/advisor, there will be lots of questions for the farmer to answer so the time must be put in, but as a relationship builds up between consultant/advisor and the farmer, this process becomes faster and more time-efficient. The availability of online information on farms also helps speed up the process.
There are three areas for a farmer to consider when preparing a farm business plan; a) physical plan b) financial plan and c) a personal plan: