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4 ways to set yourself up for farm business success

2 min read

Ask lots of questions, even of yourself, and challenge traditional methods of doing business.

Staying focused on the growth of your agricultural operation — whether you’re a primary producer or in the agribusiness and agri-food sector — can help set up your business for success.

And to develop clear goals, you need to define success. Since goals can sometimes conflict – spending more time with family is challenging when growing a business - consider how decisions made today will guide your business and personal life in the future.

1. Network

Getting out of the office, no matter what that office looks like, can help primary producers and agribusiness and agri-food operators stay connected to their industry. Specifically, networking can help you get to know the supply chain better, understand customer needs and gain insight into emerging business trends and opportunities.

Although producer and industry meetings and events may be virtual, participate whenever possible. Also, subscriptions to trade media, membership to the local chambers of commerce and business-related organizations, and social media participation can all help build valuable virtual and face-to-face connections and business networks.

2. Stay tech-savvy

Whether it’s a new social media platform, an app for a smartphone, a new implement or an inventive processing system, don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibilities. Nearly all new technologies have at least the potential to be adapted to make agriculture, agribusiness and agri-food more efficient.

3. Be financially adept

Know the cost of production and cash flow situation on the farm and in the business. Also, be open to trying alternative financial arrangements such as creating joint ventures with others in the supply chain. Experts recommend to always think and rethink plans around buying or leasing, manufacturing space, economic forecasts and their place in farm transition. These all have a bearing on the best path to finance growth.

4. Stay curious

With goals firmly in place and focus directed on moving ahead, remaining curious and open to innovation is what will propel agriculture, agribusiness and agri-food forward. Ask lots of questions, even of yourself, and challenge traditional methods of doing business.

Bottom line

Running a successful agribusiness means staying focused on goals. Consider how decisions made today will help achieve long-term goals. At the same time, use networks to maintain relationships within the supply chain and with customers and insight into emerging trends. Experts add that remaining tech-savvy and always searching for innovations, and maintaining familiarity with the operation’s financial situation are also crucial on the road to success.

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