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A business guide for Young Farmers
from NFYFC and Savills


How to run a YFC business development competition

Would you like to run a YFC business development competition but not sure where to start? This section gives all YFC members a handy guide and checklist as well as useful videos about starting a succession conversation to share at club meetings.

You can’t start good business practice too young! So make sure you include the basic business principles in your YFC farm or rural business competitions. Set an appropriate task to suit all age groups and ask competitors to consider demonstrating some or all of the following:

  • Business ideas and objectives – to start a business, secure a tenancy, guarantee a loan  or forge a new business opportunity
  • Overview of the business plan and available resources – what are your business ideas, what money, land, knowledge, potential help do you have already?
  • SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – download a template but make sure you include this for any business planning project
  • Finance - cash flow and economic viability including profit and loss, gross and net margins to support your business ideas
  • Options for the future – do you have a three or five year plan?
  • Development of new rural enterprises which could also generate local employment – do you have the HR expertise to expand your business and start employing a workforce?
  • Awareness of current policies/regulations to support your business plan – what might be a major consideration that will help or hamper your business ideas?
  • Sensitivity analysis – what are the uncertainties that might affect your plan?
  • Succession – who’s going to take on your business?
  • Compliance – can you demonstrate an awareness of all necessary rules and regulations for setting up and running your business?


Watch: NFYFC have created this video guidance on starting the succession plan conversation.


Judging advice

Source your judges from those who have experience in running or advising on business matters well in advance of the competition. Savills will be delighted to provide someone to assist in this respect.  Prepare a clear brief of the task to be judged, a points system and judging criteria:

Judging criteria Points
Economic viability  60
Answers to specific questions at interview 20
Long-term potential and growth 10
 Presentation of written submission 10


Ask judges to take into consideration:

  • Competitors’ understanding of their business plan and practicalities
  • To give positive feedback and constructive advice to all competitors
  • Look for a business proposal that is feasible, practical and will work
  • What feedback is feasible for individual submissions on the day of the competition.