Basic Business Planning in Action
Introduction to Today’s Workshop
• Who is here? Your name, name of farm, location,
email address, specific areas of concern
• Birds Eye Business Planning and Mountain BizWorks
• Goals for today’s session
– Gain aerial perspective of your farm and farm goals
– Explore four key areas of business planning
Create an aerial snapshot of the
farm business or concept today
• Imagine that the sky is clear and the roofs are
lifted off of any structures. What is happening
down below? Take 3 minutes to describe this
to the person next to you.
Create an aerial snapshot of the farm
business 5 years from today
• What does it look like from this aerial
perspective five years from now? Where are
you in the picture? Take three minutes to
share this vision with your partner.
The four key areas of business planning we
will focus on together in regard to each of
your lines of business:
Research and Development
• In thinking about each line of business you are
currently offering or are planning to offer, are you
engaging in R&D to improve this product or service?
If not, is this something that you need to do? How do you gauge
in relation to your competitors?
• Spend the next few minutes thinking through R&D in
relation to your existing lines of business. We will
then spend a couple of minutes thinking about
“R&D” in relation to your 5 year vision.
• How do things look behind-the-scenes in relation
to finances in your business?
– Do you know your margins and guard them well?
– Do you have a close understanding of your cash flow?
– Are you paying your bills on time?
– Are there any foreseeable big changes in your
business model that will affect the financial picture of
– Do you have an initial grasp of your current expansion,
overhead, and unit costs in today’s snapshot? What
about for the 5 year snapshot?
• Now we will take a look at the systems and
structures that hold up creation and delivery
of your products or services and the
recordkeeping of your sales.
– How do you fulfill orders or sales? Is this system working
– Are you understaffed? Are the right people doing the right
– How do you keep track of your finances? QB? Pencil and
• How are you currently “generating awareness”
about your existing products or services?
– How is the quality of your messaging? How do you
solicit feedback on your marketing? What is it telling
– What are the gaps you can identify in your marketing?
– Do you feel like you are “behind”?
• For the five year vision, what kind of marketing
efforts do you think you will need to ramp up or
• Take a breather and return to that aerial
perspective (It’s always quiet up there).
• Look over the lists you have generated and the
conference offerings today. How could you
make some in-roads into accomplishing some
of these action steps?
For classes and general