While I realize that the last few months have been difficult with the onset of the Corona-Virus and the severe decrease in milk prices, I hope that you are currently regaining focus and setting new objectives for your operation.
I know what you’re thinking… “Geez, we just got through the four & a half years of low prices, I was making some progress on my credit lines, and then BAM! The markets tanked again!” I don’t blame you for being disappointed by this downturn. It’s not your fault. However, it is your responsibility to take the steps necessary to move forward.
I recall one of the “turn-around” situations that I was consulting on during the 2015-2019 downturn. When I arrived, the Client had essentially given up all hope of recovering. That was the first item that needed to change. It was imperative that they believe that it was, at least, remotely possible to be more successful. Then, with that behind us, we set a strategy to help them achieve this goal.
Of course, this was not exactly easy with their banker trying to force them out of business. Now, at some point they may want to exit the industry, but no one should be forced to do this at the “bottom!” Thus, once I got the bank to back off and actually work with us, we developed a plan for greater success. After six months, the bankers actually started to believe that this producer could succeed, but they added, “Let’s see what the year end financial statement looks like…”
In the end, this is what happened. This dairy operation achieved a turnaround in excess of $1,100,000 versus the prior year. After the previously mentioned “change of thinking,” these were the steps we took to get their operation back “in the black” in terms of profitability:
- Set some challenging Objectives.
- Share these with your Bankers. Besides giving yourself some objectives to achieve, this does two other things. First, it keeps your Lenders informed, and it also let’s both of you know how you did vs. the goals.
- Measure your outcomes regularly. How else can you know with any degree of certainty how you are doing? Knowing this and then adjusting your course, as needed, is crucial to helping your business survive & thrive.
- Move the bar up! As you achieve better results, keep your Team informed and involved, and then keep setting higher objectives. These goals must be achievable but also challenging!
Regardless of what your position is today, you can, indeed, bounce back. I’ve seen so many scenarios like the one described above, where the participants had given up, but we still were able to succeed. I wish you the best of success in that endeavor, and if I can assist you in any way, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-988-8960.
“All you can do is all you can do, and all you can do is enough.”