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Many Farmers Work Too Hard

Many Farmers Work Too Hard

Many farmers work far to hard “in” their business rather than “on” it, according to international business consultant Joan Baker.

Speaking at the recent Cogent “Farmers Achieving Wealth & Freedom” seminar in Gore, Ms Baker said that most money is made from the neck up, and farmers should not see themselves as labourers – they must use their brains to become rich and free.

“You are your biggest asset. Your business will never outperform the people running it, so you must improve your performance continually by working smarter, not harder,” said Ms Baker.

”Most people expect a 10% return on their investment in the businesses they manage, but they don’t expect their own performance to get 10% better every year. Farmers must expect the same growth of themselves as they do of their businesses.”

Like city business people, farmers need to use modern business measures, like critical success factors and key performance indicators, to ensure that their businesses are performing well. Ms Baker believes there also needs to be careful management of the network of people who make up the farm team – family, staff, and the wider web of contractors, professionals etc.

“Recruitment and retention of good people in farming is critical. You are competing for them with city businesses, so you have to make it worth their while,” said Ms Baker.

“Today’s young people ask themselves ‘Am I growing and learning in this job?’, and ‘Do I belong to something?’ They are attracted to COGENT farmers because they are seen as being on-the-move”.

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