Joan Baker’s work as a business financial consultant, in senior management, marketing and human resources, has been invaluable in giving her a deep appreciation of the opportunities and challenges facing today’s farming community. Joan, who has a rural background, has advised many in the rural sector as they prepare for retirement. She is adept at managing successful change at both an individual level and in the wider context.
Joan has held many board memberships and directorships, and has a great interest in making business work for all the people involved. She believes that it is important that succession works well for everyone from a financial, business and family perspective. Succession, which is largely about communication between the parties and ongoing development of people and their roles, draws on Joan’s experience in education as well as her other areas of expertise.
The author of several books, Joan decided to write Your Last Fencepost in response to the needs of her clients. She has seen many business owners, and farmers in particular, leave their thinking and planning about succession until it’s too late, which leads to reduced choices – or no choices at all – for many of the people involved. Joan points out that often people put off thinking about succession because it makes them feel they are coming to the end of their active life; however, she shows that proper planning has the opposite effect.
Joan has always been committed to helping others get the life they want: that’s the core of what she does as an adviser, consultant and educator. She says it has been a great privilege to have this ongoing role with so many families. Joan wrote Your Last Fencepost to help farmers get what they want: financial security for the future; happy and competent successors; a splendid ‘second half’ of life; and a trouble-free transfer of the farming business to new owners. She likes watching the implementation of these plans over the ensuing months and years, and seeing them come to fruition.
Joan is happy to answer queries from readers and can be contacted on: