Running a farm is no easy feat, and life’s many unpredictable twists and turns can have a dramatic impact on everything from your running costs to how much profit you make this year.
So much is out of your hands, so it’s important that you’re as prepared as possible for anything that comes your way. Reducing your expenses and outgoings is one way you can get ahead, helping you to free up some extra money to cover any emergencies you might face.
Get started by taking a look at these simple ways of reducing your running costs.
Reduce your utilities
Do your utility bills take up a large portion of your outgoings? It might be time to review them. By reducing your utilities, you can make significant savings each month that can either be put into a savings pot each month or put towards something else like equipment or additional workers.
Reducing your utilities is easier than you think. If you’re smart, you can haggle with utility providers to negotiate a better deal - companies will be loathed to see you leave and will do what they can to try and keep you. It also helps to do a comparison to see if you could get a better deal elsewhere. While loyalty bonuses can help you bring renewal costs down, choosing a different provider altogether could land you a better deal and a better service too.
Make sure your insurance is up to date
Having your insurance policies in place is important not just for your livelihood, but your property too. Insurance can feel like a huge price to pay in the short-term, but it can be a real lifesaver if something were to happen. Farms are at risk of different incidents, particularly weather-related ones, so having the right insurance policy is important. Insurance can help cover the cost of fire lawyers should you need them as well as other legal help. Check your premiums regularly to make sure they’re up to date.
Be more energy efficient
You can save a lot of money on your running costs by being more energy efficient. In many ways, the agriculture industry is leading the way in energy efficiency, and taking advantage of the new technology that exists could help you to be more energy efficient on the farm.
Solar panels are a great place to start, and they could help to not only power your farm and properties, but you could sell the energy to providers that will use it to power other estates and properties. Having wind turbines on your land is another good way to produce renewable energy and help to keep your costs down.
Around the home, you can also work to reduce your energy costs. Simple things like turning all the lights off when you’re out of the room and unplugging electronics at the mains can make a big difference. Reducing some of these costs can ease the strain on your finances so that when times are tight, your bills won’t be as high.
Carry out maintenance checks
Carrying out regular maintenance checks will ensure that your equipment is in good working order to stop it needing a full replacement. Regular maintenance checks can identify small problems before they become big ones and will be much cheaper to fix in the early stages.
If your equipment does need replacing, consider choosing second-hand or refurbished goods - this will save you money on brand new items of the same quality, while also being better for the environment. Work out which equipment is right for you and start looking around for the right deal.
Grow your own
Growing your own produce is a good way to save on your grocery bills. By planting your own fruit and vegetables, you will benefit from eating healthier produce while also reducing waste. Find out what you can grow and when and start making plans to plant your own produce.
If you don’t already sell produce, you could add another arm to your farming business and start selling to locals. If you have any particularly special recipes for sauces, etc. you could sell on your goods at farmers markets and local stores. Who knows, your products could become the next foodie sensation?
Lower your vehicle running costs.
If you use a lot of vehicles around the farm, you might want to consider ways of reducing your costs. If some vehicles are just there to get you from A to B, then why not use a bike to travel around the farm? Active travel methods such as walking and cycling are better for the environment and will be better for your health too.
Another option to consider is to use hybrid or electric-powered vehicles around the farm. As you won’t be going long distances, you can easily get by on the electric, and install a charging point on the farm to keep your vehicles powered up. Electric vehicles are becoming more and more affordable, which makes them a good investment to help the environment and to reduce your gas costs.
Rent out your land
If you’ve exhausted all areas for saving money, you could always seek ways of making money. Additional land on your farm can be used for several ventures that could increase your income. For example, your land could be used as a venue for weddings or special events, for storage units as well as a campsite. Explore different ways you can make money from your land to boost your income while helping others with their land needs.
Reducing your running costs can be a simple way of making your money go further on the farm. It’s easy to forget about your finances when things are going well, but it doesn’t hurt to free up some additional funds for your savings. Explore different ways you can reduce the running costs of your farm and make it a greener, leaner operation that will provide you and your family with a successful future.