Social Distancing Rancher Style
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, all of us in America are changing many of our habits and routines to try and slow the spread. While social distancing is the norm for many in the ranching profession, we are most certainly adjusting our routines in the coming weeks and perhaps months. In my house, the major impacts are reduction in a travel schedule for me, the kids starting online school this week and grocery stores have less selection than usual.
One outcome for many of us is newfound freedom on our calendars from previous commitments that are now cancelled. It is also likely that many of the key decision makers in your business have more availability. I want to challenge you to not fill that time with busy work around the ranch but use it for high-value strategic planning that so often gets overlooked in our businesses.
Here is a punch list of items you might consider attacking (we have included some links for details on certain planning concepts):
- Economic projections for next year and 5-year projections
- Cash flow planning
- Grazing plan for the coming year
- Infrastructure development – phases and budgets
- Capital development plan
- Profit target and plan for profit
- Employee effectiveness areas and position agreements with targets
- Succession planning – assets and managerial
- Professional improvement plan
That’s a good start, but by no means comprehensive. How are you doing on each of these things listed above? Are they completed, written down and communicated among the key individuals in your business? If not, is that a problem? If the ranch is a hobby you can argue that many of these strategic plans don’t apply. If the ranch is a business, or you want it to be a business, then I think every single one of these apply.
Right now, is as good a time to start as any. Schedule a time to meet in person or virtually (if you use zoom, make sure you password your meeting – ask me how I know!!) with the people in your business and get after it.