Do you run a farm? It’s one of the oldest forms of business you can run, going back thousands of years. There’s something beautiful and simple about tending to animals and rearing them to sell them off.
But even though we still all need food, farms and agriculture have still been dealt a devastating blow by the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you have a commercial agriculture business how should you manage the pandemic and weather this storm?
Here’s everything you need to know.

Currencies Will Yo-Yo

Covid-19 is a worldwide event. It is unprecedented in modern times and comparable only to World War II in the scale in which it affects everyone. Therefore, you can expect the unexpected.
Currencies previously thought of as stable and unimpeachable like the U.S Dollar will go to extreme lows and then bounce back up. Rare currencies in developing countries that have contained Covid-19 will go to record highs.
To weather this storm, you need to keep an eye on the market and try to guess what it might do.
You don’t want to be caught out. At the same time, it might not be useful for you to keep moving your money around too much every time there’s a shift as you might lose out.
If you’re not exporting or importing, sticking to the U.S Dollar, for now, could be a great idea. If you are sending your products abroad then stick to one currency. Having a local account in some developing countries could be a smart idea.

Budget Wisley

One of the key things to remember during this pandemic is that you cannot just carry on as normal. You need to adapt and to adapt, you need to look at the figures carefully.
Ask your accountants to supply you with your company’s balance sheet and get working on some savings. Identify which areas of the business have been adversely affected and try to work on these.

Invest

Where savings can be made, make them. If you are considering buying some expensive top-of-the-range farming equipment as your old machines are broken, get a reputable brand that’s more value for money instead.
Try some Kennco Farming Equipment to see you through. They are the world leader in great farming equipment.
Sometimes you need to take that risk and invest, though if your finances are precarious. Only if you can afford it.
Another way you could invest is in experimental new technology. Many Israeli companies are mulling using agri-food tech to stem food shortages.

Reserve Funds

One of the key strategies that any business needs to employ in a pandemic is building some reserve funds for emergencies. You should have had this in place anyway, even before Coronavirus.
But if you are still keeping your head above float during the pandemic and have some money left over put it to one side. You never know when this might come in handy.
Reserve funds allow your business to continue in the background even when it can’t make any money. The bigger your pot, the longer you can sustain yourself or avoid job cuts.

Reserve Workers in Case Your Key Team Fall Ill

Coronavirus affects everybody differently. Although it’s clear it affects older people more seriously than the younger generation, it’s hard to predict who will fall ill, who will get long Covid, and who will be asymptomatic.
The chances of some of your workers having to have to time off, therefore, is quite high. If all of your workers and managers have to self-isolate at once because they’ve all come into contact with the disease it can cripple your business.

Retainer

The way to resolve this is to hire a reserve team. Keep a separate team on a small retainer that you can call upon to take over when you need them. You might think this is a waste of money if you never use them but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Kee your reserve team completely separate from your normal workers and stop them from socializing with each other. This way if one of your workers from your normal team has to self-isolate it won’t affect your reserve team.
Make sure you have consulted your regular team with your plans to avoid awkward disputes with unions where you might be accused of trying to replace your normal workers with your reserve team.

Focus on Supermarkets

The great thing about working in the agriculture industries during the Coronavirus is that your industry is still viable.
Unlike the cinema industry which is effectively on hold in the U.K, as to is the entire travel industry, everyone still needs meat and dairy products. These primarily come through the supermarkets. Supplying the supermarkets should be your focus for the coming months.
Renew your links with the big supermarket chains like Walmart and Target to see if you can drum up any extra business for you.
You could even consider investing in an expert seller or brand manager who can enhance your relationships with the supermarkets.

Farms and Agriculture: Be Bold and You Will Get Through

There’s a time for being cautious and some might argue that’s what you should do during this coronavirus pandemic. But there is another approach to let loose and invest in areas of your business you know are profitable.
Cut back on the waste in your company by taking a hard and subjective look at your accounts. Make sure you have some reserve funds in case an emergency happens such as the collapse of a currency you deal in.
Also, hire some reserve workers in case your whole team has to self-isolate.
If you are interested in reading more about farms and agriculture during the Coronavirus pandemic be sure to check out the rest of our site.

Rich Seigel - Author

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