Assess your Farm Business using a SWOT Analysis

Consider your own self-assessment, and that of your farming business by conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). You may want to consider areas of farm business management, production topics, communication skills, financial management, own farming experience, etc.)

What is a SWOT Analysis?

Strengths – internal competencies and capabilities that enable a farm to carry out its mission.

Weaknesses – deficiencies in competencies and resources that limit a farms abilities to carry out its mission.

Opportunities – external positive circumstances and situations that affect your farm.

Threats – external negative circumstances and situations that affect your farm.

Why SWOT?

  • To identify internal and external positive and negative trends.
  • To identify the environmental, physical and political climate of the farm business.
  • To provide clues to the issues and effective strategies to address issues.

Examples

  • Strengths – excellent cattle handling and milk quality skills, daughter-in-law has a marketing degree, son is interested in farming
  • Weaknessesfinancial management, communication with business partners
  • Opportunitiesfarm’s natural resources – productive soil and high water quality, proximity to city
  • Threatsclose to the city, pressure from urban development

Help Prompts for Completing a SWOT Analysis

Consider the following when thinking about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your farm. Think about them in terms of things that may affect your farm this year and more importantly for this process, what may affect your farm in the next five years. Think about factors that are both internal and external. For example; having no debt would be an internal strength, whereas, having your farm annexed into the city would be an external threat, (Assuming that your mission is to operate a dairy farm), etc.

Try to be very specific and complete in your comments. Others will need to read and understand them when putting together the broader SWOT analysis for your farm. Always remember to consider the present and focus on the future.

Prompts:

  • Human resources on the farm (refer to stakeholder list)
    • Owners
    • Full time staff
    • Part time staff
    • Resource people
    • Family members
    • Other important people who provide labor or management
  • Resources available to the farm
    • Facilities
    • Location
    • Natural resources
    • Finances
    • People
  • Community and Industry
    • Trends
    • Future
    • Current atmosphere
  • Government
    • Influences
    • Hindrances
    • Benefits
  • Financial trends for farm

 

Complete Your SWOT Worksheet