January is always a good time to “start fresh”, tackle farm business projects we have been putting off, and plan for the year ahead.
Here are 10 Things to do for your business this year:
1. Review your will (or get one!)
Of course no one wants to think about their death, but having a will is critical in protecting the future of your business and your family. Who will take care of things if you should pass? Will the business be passed on to others or sold ?
If you already have a will, when was the last time you reviewed it? Have things in your life changed and is your will up to date with all your current assets ?
2. Review insurance policies
Another task that can easily be put off. This may include health, life, or farm insurance. Likely it will only take a few minutes of your time, but it is time well spent should something ever happen to you or your farm!
3. Review your payables/receivables
This is the first step in preparing your yearly budget. Take the time to go through your bills, loan statements and other accounts to make sure you know what you owe and of course what is owed to YOU !
4. Finish up year end financials (if your year end is Dec. 31st !)
Congratulations to you if you happen to be one of the few people who have all their year end financials in order! If not get busy and get them cleared up so you can start the year fresh, knowing your books are up to date .
5. Do production plans for the coming year
This will vary a bit, depending on what you produce. It may include grazing, crop, breeding or forage plans.
6. Prepare a financial budget
I know you all just groaned to your selves at this one. Preparing a budget can seem overwhelming but it can be quite simple if you have the right tools. If you need some help with this one don’t be afraid to ask for support !
7. Figure out every business members goals for the coming year
Sometimes we get so busy thinking about the future of the business that we can forget to check in with the family and co-workers to hear what their own goals, plans and challenges are. As we start a New Year, why not sit down and listen to the needs of the people within the business!
8. Set goals for your business
Slightly different than our personal goals, these are goals for the business as a whole. Are their changes you want to make, targets you want to hit in regard to production or finances? How will you do that?
9. Figure out your cost of production
Do you know how much profit you are making for every unit produced? How much is that cow really making you, or how much are you profiting from the bushel of wheat?
10. Take a vacation!
No kidding. No one can work ALL the time and stay happy and healthy. Everyone needs to re-charge so we can operate through those busy months with energy and enthusiasm. Even just a weekend get away, or a night a week doing something you love can make all the difference to the success of your business.
This may seem like a lengthy list, and you probably won’t achieve all of these things overnight. Over time though, remembering to have these key elements of our business in order will support us in creating a successful future.
All the best to you in the coming year!