On your marks, get set, go! You asked for it, and we knocked on a few doors at Standard Bank to help up-and-coming farmers and agripreneurs grow their businesses. First-up, we kick off with budgeting. And no, budgeting is not a swear word…
Everybody has heard about budgeting, but very few people actually do it. On today’s episode of Food For Mzansi TV, we chat to Bertie Hamman, senior manager of agribusiness at Standard Bank, about that awkward B-word. If you own your own agribusiness or aspire to run your own farm, budgeting should be the first thing that you learn if you want to become a success. But maybe we should start at the beginning.
What are the benefits of budgeting for farmers?
A budget is basically a summary of incomes and expenses that you can use to make choices about how you will spend your money for a future period. For business owners and farmers, having a well thought-out, realistic budget is hugely important, but only if you stick to it. Budgets are forward-looking, which means that they are based on making certain assumptions.
Having a budget is meant to empower you and help you make important decisions about your business. (Be sure to watch this episode of Food For Mzansi TV, where Hamman gives more detail on how to set up two different types of budgets that every agribusiness needs: a production budget and a cash flow budget.)
What do I need to know before I plan my budget?
- Determine your spending first: Budget planning usually starts with determining how much you will be spending and on what. Once you know how much you will spend, you can determine your revenue.
- Start with what you know: Having the least guesswork early on in your budget plan can save you a lot of headaches, so start with the things you know for certain, or have to do the least amount of guesswork on.
- Determine the objective of your budget: Once you know what the goal is, you can plan around that. The objective of your budget will determine both your spending and income.
What happens when I exceed my budget?
It’s not unheard of to go over your budget. Of course, the more prudent your budget is, the less likely you will exceed it. But budgeting isn’t a one-and-done thing. You have to budget, and then account, to see whether your budget was on the right track and where you deviated from it. Having deviations that have a good reason is a perfectly normal part of any budget planning, but if your deviations are caused by you changing your objective or poor planning, you could run into a problem.
When can I start seeing results?
Listen, we know that it takes a lot of time, effort and planning to set up a budget successfully. Budgeting is all about being prepared and having a plan in place to tackle challenges that may arise. Once you have a budget in place, farming successfully and with purpose becomes easier, because you have an objective, you know what you’re working towards and you have the journey to success mapped out.