Over the past eighteen months, we have received regular phone calls or met producers at field days across the state of Victoria looking for a tool or someone that might be able to help them.
Traditionally I would say that dairy farmers have been the most relaxed about completing cashflows for the simple reason they receive a regular monthly milk cheque. Over the past four years, it has been no secret that in the great Australian agriculture industry cycle, dairy has been struggling with lower than ideal milk prices & increased input costs have put pressure on the cash cow itself.
Unfortunately, sometimes you have to spend money to save money in the long run. I remember an expression that a dairy farmer once told me and its something that has stuck with me, “in the tighter times, you can’t just stop spending- sometimes it’s actually where you have to spend more.” For example, if you don’t maintain your laneways and you end up with lame cows & mastitis issues, which can cause production losses you can’t get back. Or in the short-term you stop applying fertilizer recommendations, you limit your pasture growth & you restrict your ability to produce hay or silage. You lose out on a couple of elements, immediate feed availability, lower fodder stores, or having to buy all your fodder in and you don’t get the benefited weed control these processes can provide. It is so important to consider the longer-term impacts of your decision right now.
And I know, what you are perhaps thinking, but we have no money. Well that is where we can help (hopefully!).
When you get to this point, you need to show your story and long-term plan to your bank manager. Take a customer that we recently worked with to help them to make a very important decision;
“Previously I had other advisors involved in our business continue to tell me that Xero was all we needed. We love Xero and it is great for our bookkeeping/accounting needs, but we were lacking a key component, that was the budgeting & production data management. We had been looking for a program that could possibly do this type of report generation and had come across Figured, but we needed not software, but the support & expertise that is needed along the side of running this type of program- hence becoming involved with Mulcahy Agri.
We are making big decisions and we needed a service that provided us with confidence in our numbers and, Figured & Mulcahy Agri have done that. With this team in a timely manner I was able to finalise two completely different scenarios both over two-year periods & get a clear picture of both the projected outcomes. I was prepared, the reports looked professional and I felt confident in our numbers ready to present to the relevant parties.
Mulcahy Agri provides the relevant support and advice on how to best use the program & is responsive to anything I may be having trouble with. Although Figured is relatively new in the game of software they are progressing in terms of providing a wider array of reports & improving the user experience of the program. The team at Mulcahy’s are always up to date with any changes to the program, have suggestions on how best to use & complete tasks within the program and make sure I am across them as they are released. I am excited to continue to work with the Mulcahy team to see the results of this great combination.” Dairy Farmer – Northern Vic
The bank is not just going to hand money over when you need it. They need to see your thinking and your plan and what the results are expected to be by you making the decisions that you are. We understand that in certain circumstances it can be hard to remain emotionally neutral, but if you can show that you are prepared, with well thought out scenarios and confident in your decisions that is half the battle ‘won’.
In discussion with other advisors, we suggest that 40 % of net profit is driven from management decisions. As important as it is to get the cows milked & fed, spending time ON your business is a key element of all farming businesses, finding the right advisors and tools to do this to make as efficient (less painful!) is just as important as doing the work itself.