BY CHRIS PUCKRIDGE RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLOR RFCS WA
It’s an exciting time to be part of the horticultural industry and with many businesses growing in size and complexity over the years, now is a good time to ask the question — has my financial management evolved with the business or does it need a makeover?
Like many of WA’s agricultural enterprises, horticultural producers have tended to expand and grow their businesses over time.
So what started as small family businesses that were relatively simple and relied on the hard work of the owners have become larger operations. To keep pace with the economics of food production, more land has been purchased or leased. In many cases, this has often also coincided with the introduction of more family members into the business and created a further cycle of expansion where production has had to grow to support more people in the business.
What might have once been a relatively straightforward business structure, may now involve two, three, or even more families and be reliant on bank or other financial services providing annual capital to fund the new season’s crop. Many family businesses have embraced these changes, harnessing modern farming systems and adopting new technology.
But the question is, have they also transformed their financial management system?
These are good questions to ask yourself and to discuss with your business partners.
WA’s horticulture industry is seeing year-on-year growth and increased opportunities to cash in on lucrative export and domestic markets.
This is good news for the industry and presents opportunities for some growers to expand or consolidate their operations, depending on their place in the growth cycle.
Getting the groundwork right can make all the difference when it comes to making your business successful.
So while a business needs be sustainable in the face of a natural disaster such as flood, fire or crop loss, you also need to consider “is my finance fit for purpose?”
MORE INFORMATION The Rural Financial Counselling Service of WA (RFCSWA) can discuss these issues with you and explore potential plans and strategies that you can investigate to strengthen your business.
Our role is not to tell you what to do or how to do it, but to provide you with information that will allow you to make the best possible decision.
The RFCSWA is an independent, not-forprofit organisation and our services are free to registered primary producers and associated small businesses.
Call 1800 612 004 to discuss your financial future with an independent, confidential and experienced financial counsellor who is focused on assisting you to strengthen your business.