Anyone can do maths!

We can’t escape maths, so learn to love it, because it’s something you can’t do without when it comes to running your business successfully, writes Susan Pletts.

Fear undermines our self-confidence and the ability to think and plan with clarity, as our emotions work against our creativity and productivity.  What does this have to do with maths? Maths needs a clear-thinking, creative mind, and goes hand-in-hand with business. But many people fear it, saying they’ve never been good at it. Nonsense!

We do maths every day without realising it. Shopping means paying money and receiving change. That involves maths.  You use cup measurements when baking, counting as you go along. That involves maths too. Here’s where you need maths in your farming business:

  • Measuring land.
  • Measuring inputs such as seed, fertiliser and chemicals, and counting tools and livestock.
  • Working with equipment like knapsacks for fertiliser spreading, and measuring chemicals and fuels. For example: how much oil to mix with petrol for a two-stroke motor.
  • Multiplication and addition for wages.
  • Working with percentages with profit-making and interest payments.
  • Calculating yields for budgeting and cash-flow purposes.
  • Understanding volume and weight. How much is a litre or millilitre of liquid for mixing chemicals, injecting or feeding inoculations? How much is a kilogram for packaging products for sale? It’s no good filling a plastic bowl with produce to sell without knowing how much is in there and what the selling price should be to make a profit.
  • Keeping track of your bank and other accounts – debtors (people who owe us money) and creditors (people we owe money to – in other words, accounts we have to pay). 

Maths will find you around every corner and you need it to have a thriving business.