Farmers who intend to apply for funding, now or in the future, have been urged to sharpen their business plans. Need help? Perhaps it is time to call in the professionals to help increase your chances of getting a nod from investors.
In a follow-up twitter session of Gather To Grow, experts unpack this, as well as ways to optimise you agri business plan.
Professional business plan writer Lucky Nyakallo said when putting together a business plan, farmers should start at the point of sale, to make it a success. The end goal is critical for the business plan to get a yes from investors or funders.
In the session Nyakallo also explains why target markets are a key feature in business plans.
“Farmers need to understand that when drafting a business plan, firstly it is a tedious process, it takes time. Therefore patience is needed,” he said.
“It will be important that a feasability study be conducted when drafting the business plan so to understand the market much better. If you do not understand the market, you are not going to go anywhere with the operations.”
Nyakallo said while it is costly to get consultants to do the business plan, it is important to lean on experts who have been doing it for a long time.
“For farming operations, it is not just a plan, but a strategic plan designed to describe the focus the farmer intends to take, what actions will [he or she] embark on and identify clear measurable plans,” he said.
Stick to your guns
Agricultural economist and a farmer Mlibo Qotoyi also joined the session. He encouraged farmers to invest time in understanding and studying their market.
“An expert on drafting a business plan will tell you what is possible and what is not. Importantly they will make sure that your structure from management down to employees is clearly defined and are able to deliver.
“One cannot overemphasise the importance of market analysis and research as it will define to you what type of crops or livestock to embark on,” he said.
Qotoyi cautioned farmers who listen to people with no knowledge and understanding of the sector when they are making decisions about what to farm or how best to craft their business plans.
During the session, experts also discuss the following:
- Documents to have in place; and
- Collaborations and industry bodies to join.
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