I recently spoke with a farm ownership team that needs help. They need help in labor and marketing,
but especially in management. They readily describe all that has gone against them, and quickly list off
all the reasons why they don’t have time to work on the tasks that I propose they tackle. They know I
could help them, but they’re too busy to hire me.
Years ago when I was a bank branch manager, one of the lessons I shared with my staff was “there is a
difference between business and busy-ness.” One will make you money, advance your career, and grow
your wealth. The other just kills the day, eats up precious time, and leaves you feeling empty.
This farm team I speak of is multi-generational. The party with the most at risk has the least control. The
debt has almost become unmanageable. The record keeping is minimal. Management decisions are
fragmented and lacking sufficient foresight. These are not my observations, these are their own
The first time we spoke, their financial statements weren’t ready, so it wasn’t the right time. When the
statements were ready, they were seeding, so it wasn’t the right time. Recent follow up finds them with
about a third of their acres left to harvest, so (SURPRISE) it wasn’t the right time.
If we all allowed that thinking to be the rule of law in our lives, we’d never accomplish anything. I would
have never went back to school (attended college at age 25;) I would have never pursued career
advancement; I would have never made the leap from employment to entrepreneurship because there
could always have been an excuse to render it “not the right time.”
Guess what…it’s never “the right time.”
At least that is what we allow ourselves to believe when faced with a task, or an issue that we would
rather not deal with. None of us go shopping for a new canola seed variety in mid-May; we secure that
over the winter. Yet we rarely make a discussion with our accountant a priority until April…because
we’re just too busy?
Managing our respective businesses requires great priority. We take far too much risk in operating a
modern farm to allow our management to be an afterthought, or something that can be put off because
there’s something else to do.
How often do you permit yourself to be mired in daily tasks and other work to the extent that you
essentially “avoid” the administration and management functions of your business?
How could your business be better if you begin to “make it the right time” to focus on management and
Is the fear of admitting that help is needed in management your reason for never making it the right
From the Home Quarter
The right time is not when things get tough. The right time is not when the banker is forcing the issue.
The right time is not when there are problems to fix, or a wreck to repair. Preventing a fire is much
easier than fighting one. The right time is now.
When making management a priority it can be daunting to figure out where to look first. Our
proprietary Farm Profit Improvement Program™ takes the guess work out of figuring out where to start
by first providing you with a detailed financial analysis that identifies your danger areas and offers
solutions to mitigate the risks. Call me or email for further details.