Business Consulting

 
 

Consulting for Business Success

 

Business as usual is no longer an option

As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. In recent years, some farm businesses have struggled to adapt to market headwinds, while others have enjoyed record profits. The difference between the two lies in the ability to proactively adapt to the “new normal.” In short, an effective manager’s primary tool is their ability to continually adjust their business. A Farm Credit East consultant can help you get the best return on your business.

Our consultants have sat across the kitchen table from thousands of farm families, working to resolve a variety of their concerns, from estate planning and business transfers to human resource management issues. We can help you decide whether to undertake a new venture, relocate, set up or dissolve a business. Most importantly, we can help you plan your estate to best meet your family’s needs and minimize settlement costs.

Consulting Based on How You Work

Our consultants develop unique working relationships with each client based on your business objectives and how you like to work on any specific aspect of business management. Below are some common consulting formats:

  • Project basis: Very often, our consultants work on individual projects, such as developing an estate plan with a client.
  • Ongoing consulting: Many clients prefer a continuing relationship with their consultant. In most cases, your consultant visits your operation every quarter to discuss your financial picture, with telephone contacts in between. Other clients choose monthly or year-end visits.
  • Group consulting: A Farm Credit East consultant can conduct training right at your place of business. They can customize a program for your family, employees or customers on virtually any topic, such as business management, labor relations, communication skills or problem-solving.

Improving profitability

Some farm businesses enjoy record profits while others in the same industry struggle and fall behind. The difference maker is aggressive managers who use business tools to effectively adjust their business model to manage risk and improve profitability.

A Farm Credit East business consultant will help improve your profitability by working closely with you to analyze your business from many angles and pinpoint methods for improving your bottom line, including the following:

  • Business planning: Are you evaluating the feasibility of an expansion, diversification or other addition to your current operation? Perhaps you are starting a new business and would like a business consultant to walk you through a business plan or evaluate what you have already projected. Your consultant will look at your farm’s financials over a four- or five-year period so that together you can assess the business’s trends and use that information to build a usable plan. Your consultant will help you put a monitoring system in place so you have practical advice to help make decisions about the direction of the business.
  • Estate and retirement planning: Our consultants help you navigate issues related to family gifting and retirement planning through a consensus-building process with your family. Timely estate planning can also help you improve your tax liability dramatically. Developing a plan now will ensure that your business and personal assets remain within the family.
  • Family business transition consulting: When transferring the family farm from one generation to the next, family members must deal with a maze of business matters, tax implications and emotional issues. Farm Credit East has provided consulting services for many generations of farm business transfers. To watch a short video on the benefits of working with Farm Credit East on the transition of your family business, click here.
  • Business continuity consulting: Business continuity is critically important when you transfer your farm business to another generation. There are various ways to organize your business, from a sole proprietorship to a corporation; our consultants know how to clarify these options for farmers and their attorneys.
  • Profit Analyzer: Your Farm Credit East consultant will work with you to monitor the progress of your actual business results against budgeted, planned business metrics and also help you to define ways to enhance your business profitability.
Next Step
Contact us by email or call your local office to discuss how Farm Credit East can help with your accounting and consulting needs.

Estate Planning

 

“Our Farm Credit East
business consultant gets
to the bottom of issues
quickly, helps develop a
plan and ensures it gets
followed. You need all
three components for an
estate plan to succeed,
and he has done that for us.”
 
- Keith and Monika 
  Mann Mann Farms, Inc. 
  Buzzards Bay, Mass.