Reviewing your personal objectives
These four questions are designed to help you reflect on what you love about your job. Keeping these things in mind will help ensure your business plan develops in the areas you enjoy most.
What makes you happy as a person?
The common theme we have found is that, ultimately, two elements enable you to do the things that make you happy – time and money. The ratio of how much time to money you need is a personal thing. However, many people place more value on time. But, in fact, money can enable us to get more time back. So, think about that ratio for yourself – what level of time vs money do you need, to do the things that make you happy?
What do you enjoy about farming and growing?
Often, people working in agriculture and horticulture value the community they work in, and being able to enjoy and live in the countryside. It is important that you do not forget what makes you happy about farming. Sometimes, it can be a tough job and hard work. As you develop your business, try to remember to build in the elements that you enjoy about farming, so you still have time to do those things and keep yourself – and your staff – motivated.
What is the purpose of what you do?
This question could lead on to a number of other, sometimes difficult questions – what are you currently doing? Is it the right thing to be doing? Do you actually want to do it? It is important to remember the purpose of what you do throughout the business planning process, and consider the other people involved with your business – what is driving them, too? If one person in the business is driven by the love of farming but is not concerned about profit, and another person in the business is stressed by a lack of profit, they can be at odds, even though they both want to farm and take their business forward. Lack of communication between these two individuals could therefore be destructive to the business.
What are you good at?
Farmers and growers are multiskilled and highly capable, but this is often taken for granted. What skills do you demonstrate in the course of your day-to-day business and which parts do you enjoy (and not enjoy)? Does snap decision-making give you a buzz or do you like to weigh up all the options, based on multiple data? Are you good at prioritising and delegating to others in the business? Do you like managing and developing people? Does the unexpected happening throw you off or do you embrace the challenge? Are you good at problem-solving? These are all important and valuable skills but, for farmers and growers, they are not necessarily articulated in the same way as, say, a CV or a job description. Yet repeatedly, our industry has adapted and thrived, even in the most serious situations.