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A business plan can be required in order to obtain financing for major farm investments. Some might see it as something to send your banker, then forget about.
Ryan Riese sees it differently. He believes the biggest beneficiaries of farm business planning are the people who own and run the operation. Having the farm's objectives and strategies written down and understood can provide a powerful sense of direction.
"A business plan helps ensure you have a clear idea of where you are now, where you're going and how you'll get there," says Riese, RBC National Director, Agriculture. "As Canadian farms become larger and more complex, with additional stakeholders involved, your business plan helps keep everyone aligned on the operation's goals and individual responsibilities."
In some ways, the planning process is as important as the plan itself. To Riese, a plan should be based on straight-forward discussions among stakeholders about the farm business's current position, goals, opportunities, risks and much more. If relevant information is known by some but not others around the table, the process provides an opportunity to help everyone get on the same page.
"Getting your loan approved is the least of it. Your farm business plan can help clarify direction and mobilize owners, family and stakeholders around goals and strategy."
- Ryan Riese,
RBC National Director, Agriculture.
"There can be a tendency to avoid these conversations, because – let's face it – the planning process can touch on sensitive issues," says Riese. "But there's so much to be gained. Without this kind of discussion, you'd be missing out on some great value for your business."
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