A central west farm business coach has turned his knowledge into a guide book to not only help young farmers grow their agricultural companies but to not be afraid to enter the industry.
Business coach Chris Morrison, from Orange, works with farmers across the region to develop the strength of their business.
For the past 15 years he has worked with farmers from Forbes, Orange, Molong, Gilgandra, Coonamble and Dubbo.
“Predominately I find that a lot of farmers are very good at farming but not so proficient at running their businesses, so I’ve been making sure they have really strong skills in making their businesses profitable,” he said.
Mr Morrison said because farmers are so busy they aren’t always aware of the details of their input costs.
“We have a micro look at what it’s costing them to produce crops, or stock… versus the price they’re getting for it,” he said.
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With the release of his book ‘Thrive’, Mr Morrison said his real target group was young and young at heart farmers.
“At the moment, even with this drought, the future business potential for farming in Australia is massive yet we see a declining number of young people going into farming because it has this really obscure image that its really tough,” he said.
“However the reality is the potential for agricultural into the future is really bright. So a lot of young people can be missing that opportunity.”
The book has taken two years to write and he hopes it will encourage those to aspire and adapt to the new and emerging opportunities in agriculture.
“Embracing the change in all things, technology and advances in plant breeding… are going to be really important because the speed of that stuff is just increasing exponentially,” he said.
“And I think we just need to continually focus on closing the gap between knowledge and implementation.”
His idea of a successful farming business was one that is making reasonable profits.
The author also believes farmers should be paying themselves.
“There wouldn't be any business that would put up with that (not paying yourself) and also a business that has a vision and plan into the future… and have a set of strategies that are going to change their business into the future,” Mr Morrison said.
He believes there is a common denominator between success business owners.
“And that is that they all work hard for a long period of time and realise there is no instant successful gratification. You actually have to.. be really committed over the long-term,” Mr Morrison said.
“Business is really a long game not a short game. And just have absolute belief in yourself that you’re ideas can come to fruition and you can achieve really good results.”
Despite the ongoing drought, there are many farmers who are holding their head up and doing a good job to manage through it, Mr Morrison said.
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However the difference between this drought and previous droughts was commodity prices holding up, he said.
“If people have been really good at business, even thought they’re doing it really tough, they may not be at the same level of stress that other farms who haven’t done the proper business preparation are,” Mr Morrison said.
By changing your mindset and adapting behaviour, you can adapt your business no matter what circumstances you find yourself in because you’re making change, Mr Morrison said.
“It’s about reading and educating and continually learning. Because the environment and farming changes so rapidly..,” he said.
His advice is to identify those who are doing well in their sector of the industry.
“You can see what other good farming families are doing and identify and network… what the successful farmers are doing,” Mr Morrison said.
The central west author will be doing a launch of his book at Orange in March.