Farm Again


Business Plan

By Rebecca Brightwell, MBA
Farm Again Staff

After acquiring a disability, individuals often experience
a loss of farm revenue. This is especially true if their farm
operation was on shaky ground prior to the accident.
Having a sound business plan can help rebuild, sustain, and grow a business. No matter what size operation you have, a business plan will benefit you.

The Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership surveyed the annual winners of its Entrepreneur of the Year Award. They found that companies with written business plans had 50 percent greater sales growth and 12 percent higher gross profit margins than companies without plans.

So what makes up a business plan? General sections of
a plan include:

  • Company Overview - This section is a summary of some of the main points in your plan. It describes your company and the nature of your business. It may include your mission and vision statement, your products or services, ways your farm is unique, and what your business opportunities are.

  • Business Environment - This section includes an analysis of your industry, an in-depth description of your competitors, and a close look at your customers.

  • Company Description - Includes information about how you manage your operation, your products and services, and your market potential.

  • Company Strategy - This section is about your road map for the future. Included is your analysis of the opportunities and threats your business faces along with the ways you plan to avoid pitfalls and take advantage of opportunities.

  • Marketing Plan - You will want to describe how you plan to make sales and develop a loyal clientele. Because your customers are essential to
    your success, this is a critical part of your plan.

  • Financial Review - This is all about the dollars and cents. You will want to state your current finances and what you expect your financial picture to look like in the future. It typically contains financial statements, including an income statement, your balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement. If any of these feel foreign to you, it may be a good area to get assistance in.

  • Action Plan - This is how you will implement your plan, including the sequence of events (time line) and how they fit with your goals and objectives.

The hardest part of the business plan is getting started. It may seem like a big task, but broken down into small steps, it is quite doable. Don’t hesitate to get assistance where needed. A little time invested in planning could mean greater financial returns.


  

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The SBDC assists existing and prospective business owners to start or grow a business by offering a wide variety of training, providing one-on-one consulting, conducting economic development related market research, and providing technical assistance. The SBDC also offers expertise in international trade and specialty programs and consulting for minority entrepreneurs. Working with a SBDC consultant improves chances for success. For more information, contact your local SBDC. Link to their Web site