Whether you’re starting a new agricultural venture, stretching the scope of your current operation, or seeking farmland financing from an ag lending company, a written business plan is a must.

If you think you can just wing it by adopting a play-it-by-ear attitude, you’re in need of a reality check. The agriculture industry today is a fast-paced, fast-changing industry. To remain sustainable, competitive, and profitable, you need to play your cards right. Any successful, sustainable business has started with a plan – a plan to increase profits and a plan to decrease exposure to errors, because oversights – even slight – can make or break you in this industry. So, play it smart, starting with putting some pen to paper.

The exercise of writing a business plan, though oftentimes overwhelming, will shed great light on what your business can realistically achieve financially. What’s more, it will help you to gain some clarity in terms of what your business needs to grow, your expectations, and how you plan to go about turning this operation into a fully functional venture. Not only will it help map out your objectives, but it will also clearly communicate your objectives to others.

This becomes especially important when you go to secure an agriculture loan. Any ag lending company will want to see an organized standard plan in place before even considering providing ag financing. This means that your plan provides a description of your company, including its mission and goals, a marketing scheme, an operational plan, a human resources plan, and a financial plan.

Not sure how to start? Wondering where you can find some guidance?

Fortunately, there are online resources out there to guide you. AgPlan is one of them. It’s an easy-to-use tool to develop your business plan. Best part: it’s completely free. Check it out. Plan for success.