Updated: Oct 5, 2019
The year is coming to a close and planning for the new year is key to improved productivity and profit. While it is paramount to plan, it is more important to evaluate our well your farm did this year.
These are some areas we suggest you look at when reviewing our your year went:
1. Farm Goals
It is important to ask yourself, did we achieve all the farm goals we set this year? If Yes, congratulations! Then review how you achieved them, and the lessons learnt. This will be a valuable tool going forward.
If your answer is No, it is pertinent to evaluate which goals were not achieved and why. What hindered their achievement and what can be done to prevent them in the future.
Goal setting is important for the success of any business. It is important to access your approach to realising the set goals.
2. Farm Strategy
At the beginning of the year, we believe you had a planning session on how you want your farm to grow this year. This is the time to access how well your farm strategy worked.
Take out your strategic action plan and start to evaluate them. Which one worked better? What were the major obstacles to them? Did you tweak any during the year and why? Are you sticking to the same strategy or drawing up a new one?
The benefits of evaluating your strategy for the year is to understand how best your plan worked, the impact or lack of it and whether to continue in it or not.
You need to ask how profitable your farm is this year? Did we make any profit, or accrued losses?
This is where your financial statements are important. Get your accountant to review your income and expenditure for the year and determine the profit or loss margin.
For better understanding, look through your quarterly reviews (if you have one prepared) or do one now (if you don’t have one prepared) to understand how you fared every quarter in a year in terms of profit.
Evaluating your profitability reveals how well you did this year and how you can improve.
If you accrued loss, it means you must analyse your expense and income gap. Ask yourself, why are you spending more than earning? Where to cut down cost and increase income? What opportunities are there for profitability?
4. Resource Allocation
How well did you allocate the resources on your farm, did they pay off, could you have done better? For example, was it wise that you invested in improved inputs rather than in processing products from your farm? What rewards did you gain from investment in employees development compared to last year?
While evaluating your resources, also allocate for time and effort invested not just money.
This will reveal what areas you invested the most in this year, the rewards of those areas, the areas neglected and their impact on the growth of your farm. It will also show you opportunities available to maximize all our resources you have to improve productivity.
This information is vital for better planning for next year.
5. Employee performance
Now is the time for employee appraisal and providing feedback. It is time to look at how your employees have fared in their jobs during the year.Before this, you have to set guidelines to achieve your purpose.
These are some questions to guide you:
What are my objectives for this performance review?
Who will be reviewed?
Will the review be formal or informal?
Who will conduct the reviews?
What is the process of the reviews?
When conducting employee appraisal, remember the purpose is to help your employees be better at their jobs and careers.
If done properly, it creates an opportunity to:
gain employee insights into improving your business,
identify training and retraining needs,
support and motivate employees
Reacquaint employee with the goals of your farm and how their jobs fit into it
Identify the needs of each employee and ways to improve on them.
Employees are a key part of your farm. To improve productivity, you must analyse their input to your farm this year and what you can do to improve it going forward.
It is paramount you review how your farm grew this year. The already listed areas are great way to measure the growth of your farm.
For clarifications, ask yourself these questions:
How well did we achieve our goals this year compared to previous years?
Did we experience growth in terms of profitability, employee performance and retention, and resource allocation?
Was there an overall growth on the farm or just in some sectors?
What is the percentage of growth we experienced?
What drove the growth we experienced?
What are the hindrances to growth?
How well have I grown as a farmer?
What skills did I gain this year?
Are the decision-making processes on the farm faster and better?
All these questions will help you determine if your farm grew or its stagnant.
Analysing the performance of your farm is key to setting SMART goals for next year.
This involves time, effort and honesty on the part of everybody involved. If done properly, it is very rewarding.