The business plan is an opportunity for the tenant to showcase their skills and to demonstrate that they are a capable, viable and sustainable option for consideration by the landlord.
In recent years there has been fierce competition for agricultural tenancies and therefore the tender and business plan are crucial documents and must make you standout from all other applicants.
The landlord or their agent will often have many applications to consider and therefore it is advisable to submit a typed document rather than handwritten. The tender document will often be in template form, upon which you will enter your personal details such as contact details and the sum tendered.
The most common question that I am asked when compiling a tender application on a clients’ behalf is “how much should I tender?”
It is important to consider the market, however careful assessment of the subject holding, and the proposed tenancy agreement terms are crucial.
The holding may require substantial investment, have limited facilities, poor access, unreliable water sources etc and these factors will all have an impact of the amount of money that you can earn from the holding.
I would always advise a prospective tenant to assess their own situation and to tender a rent that they can afford and that allows for reinvestment in the holding and their own business. If this is not high enough for the landlord and the bid is unsuccessful then move onto the next opportunity.
Tendering an unsustainable sum in the hope of getting it reduced is very risky and creates ill feeling between the landlord and tenant.
The business plan should be clear and concise setting out your history, your current situation and your plans and aspirations should you secure the subject holding. An overview of your current enterprises and your future projections for each enables the reader to understand your current business but also the direction in which you will take the business should the tenancy be secured. The landlord will like to see a clear and detailed plan for the short term but also that the applicant has considered longer term ideas too.
All landlords will look to see how you intend to look after their holding, both in terms of investment in infrastructure, soil and water quality and also if applicable the dwelling. A description of the grassland management regime or proposed cropping rotations always demonstrates an understanding of soil health and how to maximise yields from the land.
As agricultural subsidies contribute significantly towards many farm incomes, it is useful to include information on current policies and how your will look to harness the income from BPS or environmental schemes and grants. This is not to say that you need to commit to entering any environmental schemes but more so to demonstrate your understanding of agriculture at a national and global policy level.
In many cases a letter from your bank manager to show that the required financial resources are in place or will be made available if the tenancy is secured can be helpful in promoting confidence and demonstrate financial viability.
The wording and the language used within the application should demonstrate your passion for agriculture and your wish to move your business forward through securing the tenancy.
Kathryn Williams of Davis Meade Property Consultants Ltd