Business Planning:- The Brutal Facts

Step 5

The Brutal Facts

You have now designed your vision and defined the current reality. In effect you have  identified the gap between where you want to get to and your starting point.

It is now time for some brutal honesty. Brutal may sound harsh, and maybe it is, we probably use it for effect! Be that as it may, the point is, you need to front up to yourself about what needs to change. If you do what you have always done, you will get the result you have always got.

Remember this is your plan, and to bridge the gap you need to implement change. The bigger the gap, the greater the change.  No one else can tell you what you have to do. It has to come from within.



A story

Many years ago whilst working for the Rural Bank, I was having lunch at a client’s place. A husband and wife partnership, who owned a 1,600 su property in a drought prone area. They were good farmers, but lacked scale on a difficult property in a difficult area. They were in a constant financial struggle.

Over lunch the wife asked me if they were ever going to make it. She asked an honest question, and I felt I owed them an honest answer, which resulted in lunch being finished in silence!  It was a situation I will never forget.

Shortly afterwards I transferred away from the province. Several years later I met the husband at a social function. He asked if I remembered the conversation. He explained that at the time he was so incensed that he nearly ordered me out of their house.

However he went on to say in hind sight it was the best thing that ever happened to them. It was the catalyst for acknowledging their current reality. From there they took the courageous step of selling their farm, and going 50/50 sharemilking, with no dairy experience.

I have not seen them since, but hear on the grape vine they now own their own good scale dairy farm in a reliable area.

They fronted up to the Brutal Facts. If I had tried to tell them, or anyone like them, to sell and do something else, I would have received my marching orders.