What is your ‘view from the verandah’?

Two wicker chairs on a verandah in front of a door

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Farmers generally have a multitude of decisions to make every day, ranging from a decision on the fly in the middle of the paddock, to researching a new piece of machinery to be purchased in the next 6 months, and then working out the finance arrangements. Sometimes it can be hard to see the strategic direction of the business with all of this noise around. 

Have you heard of the ‘view from the verandah’ concept before? The concept was developed by Mike Stephens from Meridian Agriculture to help guide long term decision making. During our young farmer business bootcamps, we often get our participants to have a think about what would their ‘view from the verandah’ be? If you were sitting on your verandah in 5 or 10 years time, what would you see? What do you want your farm to look like, or what do you want your life to look like? Are you thinking of diversifying your enterprises, or purchasing more land? Perhaps you will have some kids running around the farm, or maybe the kids will be old enough in 10 years time to help out or work in the farm business? 

Example of the view from the verandah template

Use a template like this to assist with working out what you want your ‘view from the verandah’ to be.

Then, take a piece of paper, grab some markers or pencils, and just start drawing what you see in your mind. You don’t need to be an artist, stick figures are totally acceptable! It might sound silly to begin with, but by drawing what your view is, you can then use it to identify some goals for the business. 

Download the template below, answer the questions and then use your answers to help draw what your view from the verandah is.

Your picture can then be used to guide your strategic plan, or to communicate your ideas to others in the business. It’s not a bad idea to get everyone involved in the business to do their own drawing and then see where there is common ground. 

Look back on the view from the verandah in one year and see what you have achieved. 

Download the View from the Verandah template.


Paul Blackshaw, Meridian Agriculture, for introducing this technique at our Young Farmer Business Bootcamps, and Mike Stephens, Meridian Agriculture for the original concept.

Further Information

Read more about strategic planning for you business in our articles:

Tips for writing your business plan

Using a decision tree to help make decisions

Using a SWOT analysis to help develop a business strategy

Tips on approaching the bank

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