Creating a budget for your farming operation may seem like a daunting task at first, but it can make a big difference in the profitability of your operation. You can choose to create a budget by hand, by using a spreadsheet, or you can use your farm accounting software to help you. Either way, the outcome remains the same: increased confidence in decision making and increased profits for your farm.
A budget provides guidelines to help you organize and control your financial resources and also helps you uncover your operation's strengths and weaknesses. Have you ever come face to face with a large purchasing decision, and then made that decision based more on emotional "wants" and not on the actual business need? If so, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this method of making purchases does not take into consideration every aspect of your farming operation. By setting up and following a budget, your purchasing and buying decisions can be made more confidently, and can keep your operation growing strong.
The process of managing a budget involves examining your historical data, to show you which areas in your operation are generating the most profit and which areas need attention. With this information you can easily make long-range projections and increase your profits through better decision making.
A budget also helps you gain control of your finances and gives you the tools you need to project future cash flow and helps you manage your assets and liabilities. A budget helps answer the "what if" scenarios such as buying more land, expanding a crop, purchasing new equipment, etc. Planning your future business strategies becomes easier with the information a well thought out budget can provide.
Creating a budget can provide smart decision making for your farming operation, which can lead to more confidence and increased profits.