Step-By-Step Guide: Drafting A Successful Agricultural Business Plan

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Sound agricultural business planning enables you set your sights firmly on consistent profits

Putting you in the driving seat of successful business planning…

Is there a right and wrong way to write an agricultural business plan?

Being thorough & comprehensive is the way to make it stick.

Plans are much like seafaring vessels. They either float or sink.

Reducing your risk of costly mistakes…

Watertight is what a business plan ought to be.

With the precious cargo of your invested resources, future financial aspirations and personal ambitions – you’re definitely hoping it floats.

You are the captain to your agricultural business’s ship.

The success of your onward voyage very much comes down to your ability to plan and effect.

Take home points from this planning guide…

Within this guide, we piece together an agricultural business plan which covers all the bases.

Both theoretically and practically.

We don’t want to leave you after this read merely with technical teaching, or a list of ideas

…but, rather with the hands-on, ‘know how’ of putting all ‘things business’ together for the best long term result, written by our in-house experts.

Your 6 Agricultural Business Plan Essentials

1. What To Consider When Buying A Smallholding…

Buying a smallholding is a significant personal investment. As such, the personal impact of becoming a smallholder should not be underestimated.

  • Consider your full cycle of ownership at this opening stage of planning and have your sights set on an expedient exit.
  • Estimate earnings of your smallholding during your tenure in exchange for time involvement.
  • Who is likely to continue on with your smallholding business after your ownership? Plan a handover or succession process.
  • What skills and qualifications do you need to start? How will you grow these?



2. A Comprehensive Guide To Starting A Farm Business

Every farm business can be defined according to common constituents. There are the principal ingredients which are consistent regardless of niche or speciality.

  • Calculate meticulously just how feasible your idea of a farm enterprise really is.
  • Outline the products and services to be sold and your typical customers.
  • Analyse your expected profits and project a margin taken on each sale.
  • Plot your trading seasons and plan ahead of time for market fluctuations.
  • Know exactly what is required to achieve the profit goals you set and align your thoughts.



3. Agricultural Project Management: Setting Your Farm Business In Order

Like every business, your agri-enterprise will require keen management to stay on track for remaining profitable. The principals are the same whatever the business.

  • Plan how you will most effectively maintain dialogue with your stakeholders.
  • Keeping accurate tabs on your costs will preserve takings against profit.
  • Budgeting for labour requirement will ensure adequate output alignment with targeted income.
  • Make your procurement processes optimal for making effective purchases for your business.
  • Know your markers of quality and have a consistent manner for attainment.
  • Understand your business’s threats, the risks faced and build contingencies.
  • Timing and scheduling is critical to keeping things in order.



4. Bookkeeping & Management Accounts For Farms…

The vital financial statistics of your farming business will be clearly seen within your management accounts. These documents indicate how road worthy your enterprise is.

  • Cash flow is the measure of cash readiness of your business – a projected marker of cash availability.
  • HR budgeting gives a handle on the labour demands of the business and its resourcing.
  • What do you estimate your sales figures to be? An accurate projection here gives you a solid basis for revenue expectation.
  • How do your farm’s composite income streams contribute to overall commercial performance? Ring fenced business budgets grant a discerning view.
  • Can you identify your assets? Your revenue generating items, tangible and intangible, ought to be at the tips of your fingers.
  • Your balance sheet tells you about the underlying worth of the contents of your operation.
  • Stock inventory indicates your business’s ability to meet current and future projected customer demand levels.



5. Vertical Value Marketing For Agricultural Businesses…

Vertical Value Marketing is a unique & innovative approach to marketing within any industry, but offering particularly impressive benefits to agribusiness.


  • Identify your vertical marketplace across the entire value chain.
  • Research the benefits offered and sought after for each category of participants.
  • Align your farm’s resources to being a donor of these commercial benefits throughout your vertical marketplace.
  • Aim to position your business as the most valued market participant among neighbours.
  • Remain on the technological cutting edge to make the most of offered advantages.



6. Smallholding Valuation Tips: For Sellers…

If you are looking to sell your smallholding for optimal price, then being able to articulate it’s value to the right audience is critical. We are here to help you get it right.

  • Examining your farm business and presenting analyses professionally.
  • Detailed documentation of the various performance-related, managerial and operational facets of your agricultural business.
  • Presenting a fact sheet or memorandum on your business to summarise its performance for professionals and prospects.
  • Advertising your smallholding for sale and appointing an agent.
  • Maximising transfer value of your agricultural business and ensuring an optimal sale.


Enjoy this series…

These are the components of our advised approach to agricultural business planning.

In the following editions of this series of blog posts, we drill down in detail on each component of the plan, offering examples and templates in each case.

Our goal…

We want you to be able to draft your own professional, agricultural business plan…at a fraction of traditional consulting price.

We want your technical understanding, as well as your polish on presentation, to be top spec.

Conveying your commercial vision competently to a varied audience of stakeholders is a valuable skill.

This guide was written to achieve this goal for you.

Note: For ease of use and preservation of your time and budget – we’ve even produced an online business planning tool which simply requires you to fill in a web form and in return generates a well formed plan.

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