I currently lease a farm property from which I run my on-line dog training and dog sport coaching business. I am most well known for teaching dogs to herd livestock using positive reinforcement based methods. I use much of my property for my business, including using the fields on the farm to keep livestock. I also train dogs in my fields (my own and those of clients) and take videos of the training for my on-line courses.
As such, I believe infrastructure investments that will help me do all of the above more effectively should be considered business expenses. That said, I am currently looking at an investment in infrastructure this fall (improved fencing) that will cost up to 10% of my gross annual income to make this place more functional. Without it, it’s harder to train dogs, I am limited in what I can do with client dogs, and my livestock spend a lot of their time up around the house (which causes lots of headaches).
I have 18 months left on my current lease, and I would prefer to buy my own place at the end rather than extend my lease, although I may not financially be able to do so. Putting money into this property feels like it takes away from this goal. I want to own my own place to be in control of the decisions around what happens to the property. Farms require on-going maintenance that the current owners of my place do not do. For example, the fencing I’m looking at paying for was something they said they would do, but I have been waiting for 2 years and it hasn’t happened. Getting the work done will definitely improve my quality of life in the short term. It may pay for itself over time as well, especially if I make that a goal. However, it also feels like taking a step away from my longer term goal of buying a property in 18-24 months.
My question: how can I evaluate whether it makes sense to spend my money on a short term goal (making immediate improvements to the functionality of my current business environment) vs. Saving my money towards a longer term goal (buying my own farm). Thanks!