Farmers urged to use down time to prepare for 2014

NAB Agribusiness Tasmania and Victoria manager, Neil Findlay.
NAB Agribusiness Tasmania and Victoria manager, Neil Findlay. Andrew Lloyd

MANY people use the New Year to reflect and make plans for the year ahead, and it's also an opportunity to do the same for your business.

National Australia Bank (NAB) Agribusiness is encouraging farmers to use that downtime over the holidays to do just that.

AB's Head of Agribusiness for Victoria and Tasmania, Neil Findlay, said the new year was is a great time to be thinking about where your business is positioned, where you want to be and how you can get there.

"It is the perfect time to be considering and reviewing your strategies for the year and putting your plans in place to make the most of opportunities," he said.

"Our message to farmers is that if they're ready for more in 2014, we're here and ready for them."

Looking forward to June 2014, NAB expects production conditions for several commodities to be more favourable than last year, with dairy, beef and lamb exports likely to be the strongest performers across the sector.

NAB Agribusiness offers the following tips as a starting point for reflection:

• Plan: Look ahead at your business and plan for the best and worst case scenarios
• Review and consolidate: Revise your cashflow and budget to strengthen your balance sheet
• Expand: Look at how you want to grow your business and how you can make it happen
• Save: Put extra cash into high interest accounts (short term), Farm Management Deposits (medium term) or superannuation (long term)
• Invest: Diversify your income and look at off-farm assets, including shares and property
• Talk: Start developing a succession plan and ensure the whole family is involved in the discussions
• Protect: Make sure you have insurance to cover your assets, including yourself
• Explore: Talk to your accountant about the tax implications of the year to date and fully explore your options.

"To ensure your business makes the most of the opportunities 2014 offers, it's often a good idea to draw on the expertise of your local banker, accountant and farm consultants," Mr Findlay said.

"Partners that understand, but sit outside, your business can offer a different perspective and help ensure you maximise results."

Topics:  nab agribusiness