Too much to do… and don’t know where to start? 4x tips to help you sort out what’s important.
Do you ever get the feeling:
“So much to do … Not enough time … What’s most important (I’m not really sure) … Where do I start?”
It sounds a bit “back-to-front” – but sometimes, you have to slow down to speed up…
Being in business can be very challenging – even more so for smaller or family businesses with fewer staff.
Why so? Simply because the owners / members of the small team have to do everything i.e. planning, day-to-day operational activities, strategic thinking … and the list goes on.
And this seems to be accentuated in agriculture. Producing your product (eg. Livestock to produce beef) is relatively time and resource intensive in itself. Then on top of it all comes the business related tasks – the ‘bookwork’, selling the livestock, talking with customers, managing staff, managing money, etc.
Then there’s time spent thinking about the ‘grand plan’ for the business – what markets, what processors, could I change to organics for example, what breeding, what animal nutrition and the cost:benefit, when to take time off, succession, growing the business .. and so on.
Then often overload and overwhelm kick in
As we all know, life often gets in the road of thinking about the grand plan.
When we become busy, our focus can easily become diluted, we lose sight of the priorities, and the wheels begin to spin. Sometimes, we become so busy that we feel “we haven’t achieved a thing”.
Even worse, sometimes we spend chunks of our time trying to please everyone else. And often that is at the expense of getting the things done that would be of most benefit to them – the obvious being creating a more profitable agri-business.
And what most often falls by the wayside? The strategy and forward planning for the business – the very place where the ideas for the next big opportunity are found.
So what can you do?
The answer to this often relates back to our own personality – what works best for each of us individually.
Having said that, here are 4-things that are effective:
1. An Advisory Board – which meets monthly
The members and chairperson of that board, if thoughtfully sought out and briefed on what you want to achieve, can be a HUGE asset. Why? These people can bring to your business:
- discipline [to stay focused on defining then achieving the business priorities],
- knowledge [on both production and business issues] and
- skills [which may be things you or other business/family/team members might lack – such as communication, marketing, market insights, strategic thinking, agronomy, livestock nutrition, etc].
We recommend having a set meeting agenda – this forces you all to talk through the key aspects of the business in an orderly, structured fashion.
2. Break things down into bite size chunks – and develop a clear road map or plan of attack.
We call these your “Work-Ons” and the “Steps-to-Change”. Human nature dictates that we often avoid difficult tasks until we are forced to confront them – but if we identify all required actions early, and set a timeframe in which to deal with these tasks, we are much more likely to make meaningful progress. The real value of this is to look back at what was achieved – so we can work towards next goal.
3. Taking time out – setting aside dedicated time to Work On the business.
A great example is taking time out to attend professional and personal development programs around key issues in your business.
Again, in our experience it is highly beneficial to spend another day after the program – just working through the insights gained and applying them to your plans, to update priorities to work out specifically what will happen when – and who is responsible. And, there never seems to be a “good time” to attend these events – so just book them in and make it work. The benefits always outweigh the costs.
4. A coach or mentor
Find someone who has the skills … and who you have briefed … to either advise you on issues in which you have less skill and / or to hold you accountable for those things you have committed yourself to achieve. Elite sportspeople have coaches to help them capitalise on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. If you’re aiming to create a high performing business – the same should apply to you.
Recognising this is how human nature works was the reason why the Agri-Business Management Program was created. It provides a unique opportunity to take some time out – do a stocktake of where things are at – and start working through what needs to be done in a logical and structured manner. You’ll plan out your roadmap, to get from where you are … to where you want to be.
Then your mentor will work with you, and provide support and accountability at each step along the way.
The Program is designed to help you understand how to make a difference to the important things in your agribusiness – the things that are really holding your business back and the how to capitalise on the opportunities out there waiting for you.
Connect with industry specialists, in a group of like-minded, progressive business owners, and start making changes in your business with the help of you personal mentor to keep things on track. Create a profitable agribusiness, that runs itself, and is set up to be easily sold or handed onto the next generation.