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Year end tasks

Year End Tasks

Managing a farm business requires wearing a lot of different hats. Depending on the day, you will be the manager, mechanic, accountant, nutritionist, veterinarian, agronomist, or builder. Finding the balance between these can be made simpler with planning. Taking time to sit down and do planning on a regular basis will allow focus and to keep important information up to date. Whether you do monthly, quarterly, or once a year- put it on the schedule and stick to it! Here are three tasks to better manage your business and save time.

  1. Keep the books in order

Gather the receipts, invoices and any other financial papers and get them entered into your financial software. This allows everything to be up to date and hopefully make it easier to prepare taxes or apply for any funding you may need throughout the year! Also, if you maintain a customer email list, this is a great opportunity to keep your list updated! Create buyer categories to send specific messaging for each buyer type. Don’t forget about social media too, check into analytics to track performance on what content is working best!

  1. Reflection

There is power in reflection. Looking into the past to see what worked, what didn’t, the lessons learned and what you accomplished is a powerful exercise. A simple reflection can help you create your life more strategically. So, grab a notebook, a pen, sit down and ask yourself a few questions.

  1. If you had to describe your year in 3 words, what would they be?
  2. When did you feel inspired, alive, or exited this year and why?
  3. When did you feel at your lowest this year and why?
  4. What lessons have you learned?
  5. What were your biggest accomplishments?
  6. Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to start dreaming and moving on to the next step!


  1. Plan for the future

Now that you have determined all that you have done, the fun part of dreaming the dreams and making them a reality. Write down the goals that excite you. Then, use SMART criteria to implement. Each letter represents a point and has questions to clarify.

  • Specific—What do you want? What is the goal? What do you want to achieve? What is the first step?
  • Measurable – How will you measure the goal? How much? How many? What are the milestones along the way?
  • Achievable – Is the goal achievable in the timeframe and resources you have? What will stop you from achieving?
  • Relevant – How committed are you? Does this goal align with your interests? Do you have any reservations about this goal?
  • Time – What timescale are you looking at? What deadline do you want to set?

Setting SMART goals gives you focus and direction. You have a clear outline of what you want to achieve, which tends to result in less stress and quicker outcomes. For more information or help on starting the new year right contact me at mburrow@umn.edu or Houston County Extension at 507-725-5807 or Fillmore County Extension at 507-765-3896.

Submitted by: Melissa Burrow, Interim Extension Educator


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