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Five top tips for better business

17 April 2024

Key points:

  • MLA’s Business EDGE workshops build producers’ knowledge and skills to improve business efficiency and profitability.
  • Having multiple family members in attendance will help to maximise the success of implementing new strategies.
  • It’s never too early to begin planning for what comes next and involving stakeholders in the conversation.

Registrations for MLA’s upcoming Business EDGE workshop are open to producers across Australia looking to plan for the future and drive profits.

A two-day workshop in Tamworth on 7­­–8 May will be hosted by industry experts Simone Parker from Bush AgriBusiness, Queensland, and John Francis from Agrista, NSW.

Between Simone’s knowledge of family governance and John’s wisdom of the operational strategies which drive productivity, the financial and business management workshop will offer practical steps to increase profitability.

“This is the place to build the skills to understand your own business. Every business has strengths they can capitalise on and areas they can do better. It is important to understand what they are in your case and set some relevant goals,” Simone said.

According to Simone, making decisions when it comes to succession and family governance can be crucial to a business’s success.

“Instead of focusing on what everyone is going to get, I much prefer to talk about things in terms of how this business can perform at its best, who needs to be involved and in what capacity?” Simone said.

Top tips

1. Know the numbers

Learning to measure your success is half the journey. Set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help break down whether your business is on track to grow. Extend your financial literacy to determine your profitability and what measures can be used to grow it.

2. Share the lingo

Planning for the future is an important conversation, where disruptions are likely if people involved don’t understand the language. For family businesses, sharing knowledge around the business’s plans, progress and success means that when change happens it’s a fluent conversation where everyone can contribute.

3. Start a plan

Growth is a process, not a one-off activity. Get into a routine of discussing business plans and performance and offer the future generation the skills they need to help achieve these goals. Whether you’re ready to take the next steps or not, having a well discussed plan makes for much smoother implementation.

4. Understand economic conditions

The success of your red meat business relies on so much more than what happens within the boundary of your farm. Pay attention to market influences such as the value of the Australian dollar, commodity prices and interest rates to help inform your decisions.

5. Pursue efficiency

Once you know the numbers, finding processes that can be streamlined and opportunities that can be maximised looks a lot less daunting. Look to labour efficiency for a start, which is often one of the highest costs in a red meat business. Are your operations letting you get bang for your buck?

In a tumultuous economic environment, John said there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the business management skills that come with Business EDGE.

“We’ve gone from low interest rates with good commodity prices to far higher interest rates and lower commodity prices…you could get away with a lot more in the past,” John said.

“If you’re involved in livestock production in Australia there is something for you to take out of this course.”