In what areas does your farm business excel? What are you poor at? And how can you respond to make improvements?
Self-assessment and continuous improvement are what separates high-performance farms from the average.
Rob Hannam, President and Client Director of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, joins us for episode 14 of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast to discuss how to intentionally evaluate your business, referring to an online tool hosted by the Agri-food Management Institute in Guelph.
AMI’s “Business Scorecard” is a 30-minute survey designed to help farmers take a step back and reflect on the different management aspects of their business.
“What I find is you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Hannam. “Hopefully this scorecard asks a few questions that gets you thinking about maybe doing it differently.”
The exercise breaks a business down into 10 management areas, providing a score and feedback at the end:
6. Information Systems
10. Succession Plan
Is there a trend across farms in terms of common strengths and weaknesses? Hannam says production and finance usually get the highest scores, while strategy and leadership, people, and succession planning are the three areas that typically have the most room for improvement.
He notes it can be valuable to have family members and employees also complete the survey to see their perspectives: “Comparing those differences is gold.”
Completing the scorecard can also become a regular (eg. annual) exercise to evaluate whether improvements are being made and how management strengths and weakness are changing. From a management perspective, it can be a wise investment of time.
“Pour yourself a coffee. Sit down at the kitchen table. Get out your tablet or notebook computer. Take 20 or 30 minutes to go through the Business Scorecard,” says Hannam.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
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