Updated: Jan 6, 2020
A popular quote reads "those who fail to plan, plans to fail"
As a new year begins, It is paramount you plan and set goals for agribusiness.
Goals provide direction, motivation and a clear way to measure your progress. Without goals, you may struggle to find the path from where you are right now to where you want to be
Goals and objectives are crucial in planning, that’s why we will be sharing a few tips on how to set goals and plan for this year.
1. EVALUATE LAST YEAR
It is important to take a pause, and search through your farm records to understand how well you did last year and your shortcomings. Did you set any goals for the previous year? If yes, did you achieve them? What are the challenges you faced? What lessons did you learn from year
This evaluation examines your business in the last year and create a platform to build on for this year.
Check out key areas to evaluate on your farm here
2. HAVE A VISION
If you don’t know where you are going, how do you expect to get there.
Set a sight on what you want to achieve this year for your farm. Do you want an expansion of land, or venture into product processing or become the largest producer of your product in your area?
Think about the areas you need to improve on and your desire for your farm and write down a clear vision for your farm.
For example: This year, our farm will be rated the best in our region with regards to quality assurance and customer service.
This becomes a foundation to build your goals on.
Use your farm's vision or mission statement to identify what your overall goals should be. If you don’t have a mission/vision statement, you need to get one.
3. SET SMART GOALS
Your goals should be SMART:
SMART is an acronym for:
Specific: Clearly defined what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: Identified targets and milestones to track your progress.
Attainable: Ensure your goal is realistic and manageable.
Relevant: Make sure it fits your business model
Time-Based: Set a specific period of time for the goal
Your goals are achievable, when you know the Why, What, Who, When and How?
What do you want to achieve?
Why do you want to achieve it?
Who is needed to achieve it?
When is it due? and
How are you going to achieve it?
Your goals should be measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. If they are not measurable, you won’t be able to track your progress. If they are not attainable or relevant, you will be on a fool’s errand, striving for goals that are beyond your reach. Setting a time frame keeps you accountable to achieving your goals.
For example: I want to increase production is a vague goal, instead write something like this: I want to increase maize production by 10% in 6 months and 15% in 12 months.
4. BREAKDOWN YOUR GOALS
Having set the overall goals, your business goals. It is important to break down the goals into smaller goals to make it achievable. Take each goal and break them down into smaller bits that are easier to handle and set a timeline for completion.
Using our example: Set daily, weekly and monthly production goals that will help you achieve the overall goal.
5. PRIORITIZE YOUR GOALS
It’s time to take out your list of goals, and prioritize them. Which of my farm goals are the most important? How does each of my farm goals affect the farm? Is any of my goals dependent on the completion of another? Is any of my farms goals negatively affecting the other?
You need to ascertain the place of your goals regarding each other.
6. DRAW OUT AN ACTION PLAN
Your goals are useless if you are not going to act on it. You need to draw out a plan to achieve your goals. This plan is your strategy for achieving your goals.
Don’t just say, I want to achieve this, roll up your sleeves, pick a pen and start working on a plan to achieve it. What are the things I need to achieve my farm goals? Who do I need? What are the daily, weekly and monthly tasks I need to complete? Do I have the skills and competencies required to achieve my goals?
All the processes might not be in view, but you need to be battle ready.
After planning, ACT! A Goal without action is a Wish.
7. SET DEADLINES
Deadlines are crucial in goal setting. Deadlines keeps you on your toes. Without a clear deadline, you are toying with your goals and are not intentional about achieving them.
For every goal, set a deadline for its accomplishment. Ensure the deadline is realistic and not stifling.
Make a plan to work towards the deadline and in all you do, work hard to accomplish your goal within the deadline.
8. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Achieving your goals is next to impossible if you don’t have a system to track your progress.
Develop a system to measure your success daily, weekly and monthly. Set milestones for your goals, and check points to evaluate your work so far.
Tracking allows you to know if your plan is working, celebrate small victories and re-strategise if your plan isn’t churning out results.
Setting effective and achievable farm goals will spur you to the success you desired. It is not enough to want success, you must work to achieve it. These tips will help you achieve more in this year.
Happy New Year and we wish you a prosperous year.