Investing time in people and involving everyone in both the preparation and delivery of business goals is critical in achieving a successful business plan.
Most farming businesses have two or more people involved in the business. This could be a husband and wife partnership, mother and father or son and daughter together, employer and employee, or two businesses who invest together in a joint venture. The people involved in any business are the real assets and can either be of massive value, or, if undervalued, the weak link in the achievement of any business plan.
The first challenge for the business leader, in this case the farmer, is to ensure his team are on board with the business plan, know what their role is, and what they have to achieve, i.e. to share and discuss the plan with all involved. It is important to listen to everyone, especially those who may have a better grasp of the day-to-day work than the business owner.
When thinking about people to involve, don’t forget about the third parties, such as the vet, the nutritionist, the agronomist and the accountant. There is no point in having a business plan if they are not aware of or involved in it. However, the third party should only be a factor, and not the main focus.
Regular communication with all involved needs to be structured. This could include daily communication to deal with current issues, weekly communication to plan the week ahead, and monthly/quarterly communication in the form of strategic meetings assessing business progress and feedback.
Every team requires a mixture of skills and aptitudes to deliver a great business – you need those with vision, those who look at the detail, and those who focus on the day-to-day work and delivery.
Best results are produced when the business leader ensures communication is present throughout the organisation. People at all levels need to understand why they are doing what they do, see the results and understand that their work makes a difference. Investing in and listening to business operators is a necessity for business success.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.