Services

Backswath Management Core Services:

  • Transition Management
    A step-by-step transition management process that is aligned with your farm or agribusiness’s strategic direction. We guide farms and business leaders through each step and help ensure the financial health of the business is being maintained.
  • Growth Management
    A structured approach that aligns strategic direction with financial performance and management functions.
  • Human Resource Management
    A tailored approach that brings process, structure, and support to a farm and agribusiness’s human resources needs.
  • Financial Management
    An easy-to-understand approach that brings clarity to a farm’s past and future financial performance.

Backswath also specializes in:

  • Benchmarking
    A comparative approach that benchmarks financial and management performance against a select homogeneous group.
  • Peer Groups
    A peer-to-peer approach that helps farmers and agribusinesses strengthen and advance management practices.
  • Education and Training
    An applied learning approach for farmers and agribusinesses who want to advance their management skills.
  • Advisory Boards
    A dynamic approach that helps farmers and agribusinesses optimize performance through formalized external management resources.

Farms

Transition Management

A step-by-step transition management process that is aligned with your farms’s strategic direction. Guiding farms through each step and helping ensure the financial health of the business is being maintained.

Backswath Transition Management takes a business-first approach and tactically integrates family communication, strategic direction, and management transition, along with tax and legal strategy. The underlying principle is that a successful business is easier to transition.

Backswath Transition Management uses a step-by-step approach, with options tailored to meet the specific needs of the business. In discussion with a Backswath consultant, the business owners determine at what point their plan needs to be completed and ready for implementation. Once determined, a step-by-step schedule is established that ‘works backwards’ from the plan completion date to the plan commencement date.

The Backswath approach includes three phases: readiness assessment, plan development, and implementation. It focuses on the process rather than completed technical documents. The goal is not to complete a ‘binder’ and put it on a shelf in your office; the goal is to develop management plans that not only enable successful transition, but also successful post-transition management. Therefore, a tailored planning process is important as no two businesses will have the same foundation, nor the same goals to work towards.

Structured and active communication, facilitated by a Backswath consultant, is designed to ensure that all stakeholders have opportunity for input and remain informed.

For more information contact: .

Growth Management

Backswath’s Growth Management service offers a structured approach that aligns strategic direction with financial performance and management functions.

Our service helps businesses that have grown to a point where strategic direction, organizational structure, and managerial structure planning is required. Businesses who are at a stage in their lifecycle where some strategic decisions and advancements in their management should be made will benefit most from this service.

While the business may not imminently be contemplating an intergenerational transfer, succession and its related challenges should be factored into this planning. Furthermore, consideration to owners and potentially family members’ interests and goals, both in the short and long term, should also be included as part of the overall engagement and plan development.

The process is broken down into two main phases, with tailored exercises filling each phase – depending on the needs and goals of the business. The first phase is the Preparedness Assessment, followed by the Framework Development phase.

After development, plan implementation is designed specific to each business, their circumstances, and their wishes. Timelines can vary from business to business, and each business should develop specific implementation plans that meet their needs. The plans are aligned with the results of the exercises and activities that the ownership team worked through with their Backswath Consultant.

Businesses that utilize this service should be committed to managing to and against a plan. This isn’t to say that there has to be rigid adherence to a plan. Things happen. Opportunities come along. Managing to and against a plan provides direction and a framework from which business decisions are made. It can also be used as context to ‘things that happen / opportunities that come along’.

Farms utilizing this service will have direction and a framework from which business decisions can be made. However, opportunities may arise, and the plan can instead be used as context for these opportunities. Ultimately, things happen; you should be able to pivot as needed.

For more information contact: .

HR Management
A tailored approach that brings process, structure, and support to your farm Human Resource needs. Helps to more effectively recruit, retain, and manage employees.

Every farm has unique human resource management challenges. Backswath’s personalized approach helps you effectively recruit, retain, and manage your employees. Our processes are especially effective when it comes to transitioning management from one generation to the next.

Aspects of the Human Resources Service Model are integrated into Backswath’s Transition Management and Growth Management Service Lines.

For more information contact: .

Conflict Management

Backswath’s Conflict Management service offers a preventative approach that brings process, structure, and support to a farm’s conflict management needs. Let Backswath help you in finding ways to manage potential conflict.

The Conflict Management Service Model can be utilized as a complete package or interchanged as required.

  1. Establish a conflict management plan that determines a strategy to deal with potential conflicts.
  2. Establish a conflict resolution plan to efficiently resolve conflict when it happens.
  3. Establish a resilience-building plan to help all members of the team/family in dealing with situations before stress or critical incidents create long-term issues.

Aspects of the Conflict Management Service Model are integrated into Backswath’s Transition Management and Backswath’s Growth Management Service Lines.

For more information contact: .

Health and Wellness

What is the most valuable piece of machinery you have on your farm? It’s YOU! You are the most important piece of machinery on the farm, regardless of your role or responsibility. Physical and mental health are not topics that have traditionally found a lot of space in the agriculture sector and we want to help change that.

At it’s most simplistic level, it’s about you being your best you. It’s about you being in your best place to handle the ups and downs that comes with making your living off the land. It’s about you giving yourself the best opportunity to excel in all areas of your life.

You wouldn’t neglect the maintenance of your tractor. You know that a small investment of time will have big savings in time and money when its crunch time. You are no different. A small time investment in your health and wellness will have a dramatic increase in your overall productivity and success of your farm and amongst those you care about.

We help you develop a plan that fits your life, and your reality. Whether that is becoming a little more active, trying to keep up with the kids, or just feel a bit more prepared to handle whatever the day throws at you, we can help. We can also help develop plans for families and for employees as well. We like a couple simple rules that are easy to remember, help guide your choices, and offer enough flexibility to enjoy your life.

We are invested in your success, your farm’s success, and your family’s success.

For more information contact: .

Financial Management
An easy-to-understand approach that brings clarity to a business’s past and future financial performance.

Backswath’s Financial Management service offers clients the ability to enhance their understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their financial situation. Our process goes all the way from ‘knowing it’, to ‘understanding it’, to finally ‘applying it’.

Like our other services, we tailor the approach to suit the specific needs and goals of the client. Each business is different, just as every financial situation is different. This requires an adaptable approach to deliver the best results.

Backswath also values collaboration. When working with a Backswath consultant, you will have a whole team working for you, because your consultant will bring in the expertise of others when needed. We have decades of experience in helping businesses analyze and improve financial performance.

Taking control of your financial management is a crucial element of business management, especially as your business gets bigger and more complex. Most financial challenges can’t be fixed overnight, but working on incremental improvements will add up and provide peace of mind.

Sub-categories of Financial Management include fractional CFO service, bookkeeping service, and benchmarking.

Bookkeeping is an essential foundation on which successful financial management is built. On many farms, doing the books can seem like another chore that needs to get done. It can be especially challenging to stay on top of this area when things get especially busy on the farm.

Whether you’re looking for a little bit of help setting up your system, or a full package of reporting and documentation, Backswath’s bookkeeping service is customized to your farm’s needs.

For more information contact: .

Fractional CFO
Backswath’s Fractional CFO service delivers executive-level administration, strategy, and planning. Many farms are at the size and complexity where this level of management is required, but perhaps the salary and work requirements are not in line with hiring a full-time CFO. The service is designed to provide this level of management, but at just the right scale for the specific needs of the farm.

For more information contact: .

Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is an essential foundation on which successful financial management is built. For many business owners, doing the books can seem like another chore that needs to get done. It can be especially challenging to stay on top of this area when things get especially busy at work.

Whether you’re looking for a little bit of help setting up your system, or a full package of reporting and documentation, Backswath’s bookkeeping service is customized to your business’s needs.

For more information contact: .

Benchmarking

Benchmarking can be applied in four different ways. Businesses can benchmark against:

  • Their own performance by comparing current accomplishments to historical trendlines;
  • General industry standard performance guidelines;
  • A peer group or a number of business owners with a common interest in benchmarking their performance against each other; and,
  • A farm’s baseline performance as an indication of where a farm business’s performance is tracking given what has happened in the past.

Management plans and strategic initiatives can be altered according to the results. Managers should ask themselves: If the forecasted performance were to materialize, would it be acceptable? If not, what can be done to improve it? Future-focused targets or performance goals can then be established and used to determine if their performance is getting them to where they want to be.

Benchmarking is already used extensively in production analysis – yield and cost per productive unit, and marketing (i.e. units of production sold in the top quartile). Benchmarking financial and managerial performance is less common. Businesses who participate in a financial benchmarking exercise are quickly able to see how their performance compares to others, especially those in the top quartile.

An assumption can be made that better-managed businesses are more profitable. The question that follows is how to measure whether this is true.

Backswath’s Benchmarking program utilizes innovative software to analyze the management practices that the top financially performing businesses utilize.

For more information contact: .

Advisory Boards

As farm businesses become more complex, the need for formalizing external management resources increases. Advisory boards can be a valuable resource for farm businesses. Implementing advisory boards for farms has several advantages, including:

  • Accessing business and management expertise from industry professionals,
  • Gaining expertise from board members who have knowledge of the challenges and opportunities related to agriculture.

Setting up an advisory board encourages the farmer to spend time on planning (focus on what is important) rather than just ‘putting out fires’ (focus on what is urgent).

Progressive farmers are looking for innovative resources to support them in managing their businesses.

For more information contact: .

Agribusiness

Transition Management
A step-by-step transition management process that is aligned with your agribusiness’s strategic direction. Guiding agribusinesses through each step and helping ensure the financial health of the business is being maintained.

Backswath takes a business-first approach and tactically integrates family communication, strategic direction, and management transition, along with tax and legal strategy. The underlying principle is that a successful business is easier to transition.

Backswath uses a step-by-step approach, with options tailored to meet the specific needs of the business. In discussion with a Backswath consultant, the business owners determine at what point their plan needs to be completed and ready for implementation. Once determined, a step-by-step schedule is established that ‘works backwards’ from the plan completion date to the plan commencement date.

The Backswath approach includes three phases: readiness assessment, plan development, and implementation. It focuses on the process rather than completed technical documents. The goal is not to complete a ‘binder’ and put it on a shelf in your office; the goal is to develop management plans that not only enable successful transition, but also successful post-transition management. Therefore, a tailored planning process is important as no two businesses will have the same foundation, nor the same goals to work towards.

Structured and active communication, facilitated by a Backswath consultant, is designed to ensure that all stakeholders have opportunity for input and remain informed.

For more information contact: .

Growth Management
Backswath’s Growth Management service offers a structured approach that aligns strategic direction with financial performance and management functions.

Our service helps businesses that have grown to a point where strategic direction, organizational structure, and managerial structure planning is required. Businesses who are at a stage in their lifecycle where some strategic decisions and advancements in their management should be made will benefit most from this service.

While the business may not imminently be contemplating an intergenerational transfer, succession and its related challenges should be factored into this planning. Furthermore, consideration to owners and potentially family members’ interests and goals, both in the short and long term, should also be included as part of the overall engagement and plan development.

The process is broken down into two main phases, with tailored exercises filling each phase – depending on the needs and goals of the business. The first phase is the Preparedness Assessment, followed by the Framework Development phase.

After development, plan implementation is designed specific to each business, their circumstances, and their wishes. Timelines can vary from business to business, and each business should develop specific implementation plans that meet their needs. The plans are aligned with the results of the exercises and activities that the ownership team worked through with their Backswath Consultant.

Businesses that utilize this service should be committed to managing to and against a plan. This isn’t to say that there has to be rigid adherence to a plan. Things happen. Opportunities come along. Managing to and against a plan provides direction and a framework from which business decisions are made. It can also be used as context to ‘things that happen / opportunities that come along’.

Agribusinesses utilizing this service will have direction and a framework from which busines decisions can be made. However, opportunities may arise, and the plan can instead be used as context for these opportunities. Ultimately, things happen; you should be able to pivot as needed.

For more information contact: .

HR Management
A tailored approach that brings process, structure, and support to your agribusiness Human Resource needs. Helps to more effectively recruit, retain, and manage employees.

Every business has unique human resource management challenges. Backswath’s personalized approach helps you effectively recruit, retain, and manage your employees. Our processes are especially effective when it comes to transitioning management from one generation to the next.

Aspects of the Human Resources Service Model are integrated into Backswath’s Transition Management and Growth Management Service Lines.

For more information contact: .

Conflict Management

Backswath’s Conflict Management service offers a preventative approach that brings process, structure, and support to an agribusiness’s conflict management needs. Let Backswath help you in finding ways to manage potential conflict.

The Conflict Management Service Model can be utilized as a complete package or interchanged as required.

  1. Establish a conflict management plan that determines a strategy to deal with potential conflicts.
  2. Establish a conflict resolution plan to efficiently resolve conflict when it happens.
  3. Establish a resilience-building plan to help all members of the team/family in dealing with situations before stress or critical incidents create long-term issues.

Aspects of the Conflict Management Service Model are integrated into Backswath’s Transition Management and Backswath’s Growth Management Service Lines.

For more information contact: .

Health & Wellness
Physical and mental health are not topics that have traditionally found a lot of space in the agriculture sector and we want to help change that.

At it’s most simplistic level, it’s about you being your best you. It’s about you being in your best place to handle the ups and downs that comes with managing a business. It’s about you giving yourself the best opportunity to excel in all areas of your life.

You wouldn’t neglect the maintenance of your businesses most important piece of equipment. You know that a small investment of time will have big savings in time and money when its crunch time. You are no different. A small time investment in your health and wellness will have a dramatic increase in your overall productivity and success of your business and amongst those you care about.

We help you develop a plan that fits your life, and your reality. Whether that is becoming a little more active, trying to keep up with the kids, or just feel a bit more prepared to handle whatever the day throws at you, we can help. We can also help develop plans for families and for employees as well. We like a couple simple rules that are easy to remember, help guide your choices, and offer enough flexibility to enjoy your life.

We are invested in your success, your business’s success, and your family’s success.

For more information contact: .

Financial Management
An easy-to-understand approach that brings clarity to a business’s past and future financial performance.

Backswath’s Financial Management service offers clients the ability to enhance their understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their financial situation. Our process goes all the way from ‘knowing it’, to ‘understanding it’, to finally ‘applying it’.

Like our other services, we tailor the approach to suit the specific needs and goals of the client. Each business is different, just as every financial situation is different. This requires an adaptable approach to deliver the best results.

Backswath also values collaboration. When working with a Backswath consultant, you will have a whole team working for you, because your consultant will bring in the expertise of others when needed. We have decades of experience in helping businesses analyze and improve financial performance.

Taking control of your financial management is a crucial element of business management, especially as your business gets bigger and more complex. Most financial challenges can’t be fixed overnight, but working on incremental improvements will add up and provide peace of mind.

Sub-categories of Financial Management include fractional CFO service, bookkeeping service, and benchmarking.

Bookkeeping is an essential foundation on which successful financial management is built. On many agribusinesses, doing the books can seem like another chore that needs to get done. It can be especially challenging to stay on top of this area when things get especially busy on the agribusiness.

Whether you’re looking for a little bit of help setting up your system, or a full package of reporting and documentation, Backswath’s bookkeeping service is customized to your agribusiness’s needs.

For more information contact: .

Contract Services
Backswath’s Fractional CFO service delivers executive-level administration, strategy, and planning. Many businesses are at the size and complexity where this level of management is required, but perhaps the salary and work requirements are not in line with hiring a full-time CFO. The service is designed to provide this level of management, but at just the right scale for the specific needs of the business.

For more information contact: .

Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is an essential foundation on which successful financial management is built. For many business owners, doing the books can seem like another chore that needs to get done. It can be especially challenging to stay on top of this area when things get especially busy at work.

Whether you’re looking for a little bit of help setting up your system, or a full package of reporting and documentation, Backswath’s bookkeeping service is customized to your business’s needs.

For more information contact: .

Benchmarking

Benchmarking can be applied in four different ways. Businesses can benchmark against:

  • Their own performance by comparing current accomplishments to historical trendlines;
  • General industry standard performance guidelines;
  • A peer group or a number of business owners with a common interest in benchmarking their performance against each other; and,
  • Their forecasted baseline performance as an indication of where a business’s performance is tracking, given what has happened in the past.

Management plans and strategic initiatives can and will be altered according to the results. Managers should ask themselves: If the forecasted performance were to materialize, would it be acceptable? If not, what can be done to improve it? Future-focused targets or performance goals can then be established and used to determine if their performance is getting them to where they want to be.

Benchmarking is already used extensively in production analysis – yield and cost per productive unit, and marketing (i.e. units of production sold in the top quartile). Benchmarking financial and managerial performance is less common. Businesses who participate in a financial benchmarking exercise are quickly able to see how their performance compares to others, especially those in the top quartile.

An assumption can be made that better-managed businesses are more profitable. The question that follows is how to measure whether this is true.

Backswath’s Benchmarking program utilizes innovative software to analyze the management practices that the top financially performing businesses utilize. This information is valuable and can be used effectively by business owners, industry organizations, lenders, and government.

For more information contact: .

Advisory Boards

As your agribusiness become more complex, the need for formalizing external management increases. Advisory boards can be a valuable resource for agribusinesses. Implementing advisory boards for agribusinesses has several advantages, including:

  • Business and management expertise from industry professionals,
  • Expertise from board members who have knowledge of the challenges and opportunities related to agriculture.

Setting up an advisory board encourages the business owners to spend time on planning (focus on what is important) rather than just ‘putting out fires’ (focus on what is urgent).

Progressive agribusinesses are looking for innovative resources to support them in managing their businesses.

For more information contact: .

Let us help you take your operation to a higher level.