Fri, 2012/08/24 - 6:08pm
Avoid Being A Statistic!

The life of a new business is short and uncertain. A Statistics Canada report shows that of all the new businesses that start up in Canada, one-half will fail before their third ‘birthday’, and only one in five make it past a decade. In general, the statistics for BC Agricultural new entrants are pretty much in line with that average (perhaps a smidgen worse).

It’s a shocking statistic, but the fact that you are now aware of it, and have the resources of this site at your fingertips means that you have a significant advantage over many other new entrants. While there are a multitude of reasons that new businesses fail, the businesses that tend to survive are the ones that avoid the big mistakes and avoid an accumulation of the small mistakes while taking advantage of their market opportunities. Reading the information on this site is not enough. You have to spend the necessary time working on the business side in order to make time producing your agricultural product profitable. That means slogging through the development of all the different plans that are pointed out on the site (business, marketing, production, financial, HR, etc.), as well as keeping good records, collecting and analyzing your data and how well you’ve met your goals. It’s a lot of work and unless you can afford to hire it out, it all falls on you; however, when you give matters some thought and anticipate contingencies it is amazing how much easier decisions can be made and how quickly things can fall into place.

For a quick check up on your farm business management practices take the Farm Business Management Challenge at: http://www.kmwpp.ca/surveys

For a more in-depth look at your farm business management practices complete the Taking Stock Workbook and build your action plan at: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/busmgmt/TakingStockBCBeginningFarmer.pdf

Good fortunes!
Jim Forbes