Category Archives: Blog

How to develop your succession plan

Succession planning is essential for any business, from small family-owned businesses to large corporates. A succession plan is a strategy for the future of your business, and it involves identifying and developing the future leaders of the company. Planning applies to all levels of the business, keep reading to find out how to develop your succession plan.

Be proactive with your succession plan

Most of the time in a business, you will be unaware that a team member is going to leave the company. There are some circumstances that you will have plenty of notice for, such as retirement. You need to be proactive in your succession planning and consider the impact that an employee leaving will have on your day-to-day operations.

Pinpoint succession candidates and let them know

If you understand each person’s impact, you can pinpoint other team members that could potentially step into these positions. It is important not just to consider the next person in the organisational chart, but also look at other promising employees in other areas.

Make sure that you discuss with each person – you can’t just assume that they would be interested in a more senior role. If they are interested, you need to establish that circumstances may change, and there are no guarantees.

Increase professional development

A business should invest in the professional development of its employees, especially those that have been identified as succession candidates. Provide them with training opportunities and ways to boost their knowledge and experience. You can also connect them with mentors to boost their soft skills, such as communication and empathy.

Have a trial run

You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to check whether a candidate is suitable. A great way to trial is by having the potential succession assume a few responsibilities of a manager who is on holiday. Employees will highly value the experience and opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.

Employee changes within your organisation are inevitable. You can’t predict the future, so you need to establish and develop your succession plan. Contact the team at The Farm Protectors to build your succession plan and pave the way for business continuity.

What is a power of attorney?

You might have heard of power of attorney. But what is a power of attorney and who can I nominate to look after my affairs?

What is a power of attorney?

An attorney is a person you name to manage your affairs. You are required to legally document the person who you nominate to act on your behalf. There are two types of power of attorney:

General power of attorney

You can appoint someone as a general power of attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf for a specific period or event. It is only used while you can still make your own decisions and will end when you no longer can. For example, you might nominate a general power of attorney if you are going overseas and need someone to pay your bills or sell your house on your behalf. A general power of attorney does not give the person the ability to make personal, medical or lifestyle decisions on your behalf.

Enduring power of attorney

By appointing someone with an enduring power of attorney, you are nominating them to make financial and/or personal decisions on your behalf. You can choose if you wish for the person to make financial decisions for you straight away or from a specific date or occasion, such as when you lose the capacity to make these decisions yourself. For personal decisions, your attorney power will only commence when you lose the ability to make these decisions.

Who can I nominate?

You can choose anyone to be your power of attorney. It is very important to choose someone that you trust and shares your beliefs and values. Your power of attorney can be a relative, spouse, friend or a professional (such as a lawyer), but whoever you choose must be over the age of 18.

Planning ahead can save you and your family from legal or financial burdens in the future. Nominating a power of attorney can give you the peace of mind that your personal and/or financial affairs will be kept in order and be in your best interest, no matter what happens in the future.

Bread and Butter Pudding

PREP: 20 MINS | COOK: 40 MINS | SERVES: 6

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 40ml orange juice
  • 4 extra large eggs
  • 300ml pouring cream
  • 250ml milk
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 small croissants, halved horizontally
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
  2. Combine sultanas and juice in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Sprinkle some of the sultanas and chocolate over the base of a rectangular baking dish. Arrange half of croissants in the baking dish, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with more of the sultanas and chocolate. Top with remaining croissants, sultanas and chocolate.
  5. Pour egg mixture over croissants allowing time for it to be absored, approximately 30 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds.
  6. Bake pudding for 35-40 minutes or until set. Serve warm with cream or ice-cream.

Safe Ag Systems makes good business sense

You’ve heard you need to do something about safety – but what exactly?

Setting up a digital safety management system is the smart thing to do. The good news is doing this digitally is relatively simple, even for the least technological person. 

A well-designed safety system should help improve productivity on your farm by giving your workers the right information at the right time, and reduce downtime by addressing hazards and preventing safety incidents.

It also provides a level of protection from potential penalties and prosecution if something serious does happen.

Yes, you’ll need to invest a bit of time initially to set up your system but it’s time well spent to keep safe and keep farming. Safe Ag Systems provides a suite of templates so you can get started straight away, without needing a safety expert on hand. 

Implementing Safe Ag Systems, you can immediately start capturing the data you need for compliance and to help improve safety. Simple daily actions like completing an induction, inspection, adding a new maintenance record or any other type of safety activity is easy and instant.  

European research suggests that the average cost for a minor incident is 16 times more than the cost of prevention. For more serious incidents that factor is up to 48.

Naturally you want the best ‘bang for your buck’ when you invest in anything. It’s not different here. OSHA estimates safety technology can reduce injuries by 15-35% compared to employers with nothing in place.

Investing in Safe Ag Systems will help you 

  • Improve safety
  • Manage risks
  • Improve compliance

Is it worth it? 

Absolutely! Benefits will be seen in financial and productivity gains. But knowing your family, friends and workers go home safe each day – that’s priceless.

Visit www.safeagsystems.com for more information and to start a free trial.

What Business Owners Cannot Bequeath in Their Will

If you are a business owner, it is important to understand what you can and cannot bequeath in your will to loved ones or business partners. There are rules and regulations surrounding which of your possessions can be transferred through your will. Keep reading to find out what business owners cannot bequeath through a will.

Several ownership interests cannot be transferred in your will, including:

  • Property held in a Trust – Ownership rights for a Trust cannot be transferred to another person via your will. The beneficiary of the Trust will receive ownership for assets.
  • Property held in Joint Tenancy – Joint Tenancy is an equal ownership right, whereby you and your partner own an equal share in the property. Your half cannot be transferred to another person, and instead will be automatically transferred in its entirety to the other joint owner.
  • Superannuation accounts – you can nominate a beneficiary within your superannuation account. Your balance is distributed to this person and cannot be included in your will.
  • Beneficiary accounts – if you have a life insurance policy, you must nominate a beneficiary. The money will be transferred per your policy and cannot be transferred by requests in a will.
  • Digital property rights – the law does not allow you to leave passwords in wills for the transfer of digital accounts to a living person. It is best to ensure that all parties have administrator rights, so information or accounts are not lost.

It would be best if you kept this in mind when drafting up a legally enforceable will, as they can create complications in the future. Consult a professional to help you plan for those you leave behind. Contact The Farm Protectors today for peace of mind to your business and your family.

Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

PREP: 15 MINS | COOK: 35 MINS | SERVES: 4-6

What you’ll need…

  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1.2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Lightly grease a 4 cup capacity baking dish.
  2. Combine flour, almond meal, sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs and milk. Add to the dry ingredients with the raisins and mix well. Spoon into baking dish
  4. For the sauce, combine the water, sugar and cocoa. Pour over the batter in the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until cake is cooked. Serve warm with ice-cream, cream or custard.

What to Consider When Choosing a Super Fund

Choosing a superannuation fund is an important decision, affecting your long-term savings and retirement. All super funds are different, with different features, investment options and fees. If you are looking for your first super fund or want to switch funds, here are a few things to consider when choosing.

Fees and performance

All super funds charge fees, and you want to look for one with the lowest fees. Fees are deducted from your account balance and can have a significant impact on your long-term savings. Superannuation fees can be hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it is essential to compare fees across different providers when choosing. Additionally, compare fees against the funds’ performance over at least five years.

Risk appetite

Everyone has a different appetite for risk – how much risk are you comfortable with? Most superannuation funds will offer a variety of investment opportunities, catering for different risk appetites, ranging from conservative to high risk. Consider and compare funds that provide similar investment strategies that are suitable for your lifestyle and age.

Insurance

Many superannuation funds offer insurance that generally have cheaper premiums than those available through insurance companies. Typically, this includes life insurance, total and permanent disability cover, and income protection. Premiums are deducted from your superannuation balance. Consider your lifestyle needs, but make sure you fully understand what you are covered for and the costs involved.

Usability

Depending on your needs, a differentiator between funds is their usability and customer experience. If you plan on checking your superannuation balance often, like you would a bank account, then you should consider a fund that has an easy to use online platform and can be easily contacted, for example with an online chat or through a mobile application.

Superannuation is always changing, so it is essential to do your research and not get complacent. Check-in on your balance now and then, ensuring that employer contributions are being made and your balance isn’t wasting away to fees or underperforming investments.

The Cost of Convenience

For most of us, 2020 has involved staying indoors and enjoying the convenience of online streaming services and food delivered to your door. But have you considered the real cost of convenience? These conveniences are quite expensive. Now is a great time to look at the comforts that you can go without and make your budget go that little bit further. Keep reading for some advice on how to limit your spending on conveniences.

Entertainment

Entertainment has become one of the costliest conveniences nowadays. People are often subscribed to multiple entertainment services. Unfortunately, these use automated payment schedules, and people often forget about their subscriptions. It is an excellent idea to do an audit of your subscription services, looking back through your bank account to see what you have paid for over the past few months. Chances are, there are services that you haven’t used in a while that can be cancelled or paused.

Transport

How often are you using rideshare services such as Uber? For some people, it may be the only option, but it is often a choice made from convenience to save time and energy. You can save significantly by using public transport or walking/cycling where possible. Look into downloading an app on your phone to make it easier to find public transportation in your area.

Food and Drink

Food and drink are one of the most significant conveniences that we all indulge in. It is very tempting to grab a takeaway coffee each morning and order in for dinner because you’ve had a busy day at work. Instead of turning to food delivery services, it helps to keep healthy snacks on hand and plan your meals, so you have everything on hand and prepared. Think about preparing meals on the weekend and popping them in the freezer to heat up during the week. By swapping out just one food delivery a week, you could save up to $2000 a year!

We are always seeking convenience, wanting to save time or get somewhere faster. It is important to evaluate the cost of convenience and the long-term effect this can have on your financial situation. A few small changes can have a significant impact on your budget.

If you want to stay on top of your finances, talk to the team at The Farm Protectors today.

Banana Date Loaf

PREP: 15 MINS | COOK: 1.5 HRS | SERVES: 8-10

What you’ll need…

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 1/4 cups plain wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 10 x 20cm loaf pan with baking paper. Place bananas and dates in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add eggs and oil. Pulse until well combined.
  2. Transfer banana mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and cranberries. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle top with the seeds. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.

How to Manage Your Finances During a Crisis

A crisis will have a significant impact on your lifestyle, your emotions, and your finances. People struggle with job loss during these times and are left worried about how they are going to pay for bills and essentials. Keep reading to find out how to manage your finances during a crisis.

Stay on top of reliable information

Changes can happen rapidly during a crisis, so it is important to stay on top of the latest reliable information that could help your financial situation. But remember to take a break from the information to you don’t get overwhelmed. Look to official government websites for reliable information and avoid social media as people tend to spread false information.

Apply for any help you are eligible for

Losing part or all of your income is incredibly stressful and frightening. However, the government often release support and assistance to those affected by crises. Head to official government websites to research what you can qualify for and apply as soon as possible. Be aware that many other people are in the same situation, so wait times may be longer.

Review your budget

You will need to review your budget to establish your “emergency budget”, based on your reduced income. Start with your most essential expenses such as housing, food and medical costs. You might find that some of your expenses have dropped because of the crisis, for example, travel to work and eating out.

Go through your monthly expenses and identify ways to cut back on spending. Identify the discretionary spending that you can go without, such as subscription services, parking or gym memberships.

Learn new skills

Use the crisis, and any free time it brings, to learn new skills or sharpen your current knowledge. Think about professional education to advance your skills as this may help you maintain your current employment or give you an advantage if you need to seek new positions later on.

Dealing with your finances during a crisis is incredibly stressful. There is no shame in asking for help during a financial crisis. The Farm Protectors are here to help you survive and overcome any crises you face.