Business planning for entrepenueurs offered

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

During these tough economic times, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and farm businesses are no different.
A realistic business plan can help determine if your business is viable and, more importantly, profitable. New and experienced business owners, regardless of history or current situation, can benefit from business planning.
As an experienced producer, you may develop a business plan to map out new production methods, expand your operation, incorporate more family members or partners into your business, transfer or sell the business, add value to your existing operation through product processing or direct sales or cooperative marketing.
It’s never too late to begin planning. If you are a first-time rural land owner or beginning farmer who may be considering the establishment of a pumpkin patch, horse boarding or community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise, business planning can help you identify management tasks and financing options that are compatible with your long-term personal, environmental, economic and community values.
Business planning is an ongoing, problem-solving process that can identify business challenges and opportunities that apply to your marketing, operations, human resources and finances, and develop strategic objectives to move your business beyond its current situation toward your future business vision.
Once developed, your business plan can be used as a long-term, internal organizing tool or to communicate your plans to others outside your business.
Cooperative Extension will offer a five-week course on Business Planning for Farms and other Entrepreneurs, beginning Dec. 1. The class will meet from 9 a.m. to noon at the Forsyth County Extension Office in Winston-Salem.
The fee is $100 per farm/business and covers in excess of $150 worth of materials. More than one participant for each farm/business is allowed and couples are encouraged to study together. Partial scholarships based on need are available.
Please contact Darrell Blackwelder via e-mail at Darrell_blackwelder@ncsu.edu or call 704-216-8970 for more information.

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