Beef producers see benefits from investing in professional development
Could you create a beef business that is more professional and focussed, is easier to run, and is designed to meet your needs around profitability, work/life/family balance, and more?
The first round of the Beef Business Management Program (previously Beef CEO Mentoring Program) has been running since 2016, and participant beef enterprises have been making a range of positive changes to their businesses. Participants have been exposed to new ways of thinking about managing their beef businesses, and are already seeing results from taking a more professional and proactive approach to managing the business aspects of their enterprises.
One example is Carlie and Lauchie Ward, Beef Producers from Dingo, QLD, who have been participating in the Beef Business Management Program since November 2016. They believe the program is helping them get more structure into their business, to allow a more controlled growth process.
“What we have gotten from it (the Program) is that we are trying approach it (the business) in a far more structured way than we have been, running it more like a proper corporate entity,” said Carlie and Lauchie Ward. “We’re dealing with our staff better, we’re dealing with each other better, it’s just a more structured approach to our business.”
What are some key business issues facing beef business owners?
The Program is flexible and designed to meet the needs of the group. Participants have identified a number of common issues affecting their businesses that they are looking for support with, such as:
- How to set the business up for growth, sale or transfer (such as within a family), and maximise its value along the way
- Improving customer relationships and market penetration, to not play in the same field as everyone else, and get the right price for their quality product
- Proper communication in the business (particularly amongst family members), and getting everyone on the same page
- Managing staff and people better, to reduce the constant need for supervision
- How to better manage and achieve consistent outcomes across a number of business areas or property locations
- Taking a more disciplined approach to Financial Management
- How to fund expansion or growth plans, particularly if the bank is not a suitable source
Craig Pocock – Hoya, QLD
Business … not production
There are already a range of production based initiatives in the industry (ie Grazing BMP, Beef Up Forums, EDGE Network programs) designed to improve producers’ capability in the production aspects of their businesses. Program participants have indicated they were looking for something different, and for support in making more informed business decisions in today’s increasingly corporatised and risk averse marketplace.
The Beef Business Mentoring Program is intentionally different and predominantly focusses on business. The Program works through novel ways of “doing business” with participants, and has allowed them to develop practical strategies they can implement in their businesses to address their own key issues. These have included:
- Using an Advisory Board as a way to improve communication and decision making within the business, particularly where complex family dynamics make communication challenging
- Focussing on the Mindset of the business owners, to ensure they are approaching the business in the correct way to maximise opportunities and profitability
- Viewing Succession as a Business Growth and Transfer opportunity, rather than a difficult and negative process
- “Grooming” the business, by setting up it up in a certain way from the beginning to ensure ease of business sale or transfer, and maximisation of value of the business now and in the future
- Adopting a Customer-Focussed Approach to move towards being a price maker rather than a price taker
- Focussing on building solid Financial Foundations, from mastering the basics through to financial strategy and wealth creation
- Setting up Systems to ultimately create a self managing business
- And more.
ABDI presenters have an excellent understanding of businesses, the needs of the operators to improve, understand and develop ideas to enable goals to become potential reality. I highly recommend the course to agribusiness owners and business owners in general.
Andrew Eliott, Walcha NSW
The hardest part is making the changes once you go home, and then sticking with it
The Program, and particularly the mentoring component, is built on the idea that it’s easy to go to a workshop and learn all of these great ideas, but the challenge is making the changes once you go home, and every day life catches up with you.
The Program features 3x 2 day workshop sessions with presentations from industry business specialists, routine business management learning materials delivered to you at home, and access to your personal business mentor to keep your change and growth process on track.
Participants have indicated that the mentoring component is by far the most valuable part of the program, as this keeps them focussed and on-track to achieving their goals, and not letting them get derailed by every day demands. In the words of one participant:
“Knowing that every month I have to speak to my mentor forces me to do the things I said I was going to do. I’ve made changes in my business in the first couple of months that I’ve been meaning to make for the last 3 years.”
AND DON’T FORGET…
An important and often understated part of the Program is the support network gained by interacting with other like-minded business owners, who are often going through exactly the same challenges as you. And if nothing else, you might even find time to go out to dinner at the workshop sessions to relax and socialise!
Due to contributions of program partners MLA (through the MLA Donor Company), ABDI, Department of Agriculture (Qld), Crowe Horwath and AgForce, Program pricing is subsidised to around 1/3 of retail price during early 2017.
If you’re looking to create a beef business that meets your needs, is more professional and easier to run, join these and more Program participants and work together on building a profitable and sustainable beef business.
Next intake commences 2-4 August – Brisbane