AG Business Coaching helps agribusiness make dirt pay



LawrieCo works with farms across Australia to help produce better quality soil, which then helps farmers produce better quality crops, higher yields, healthier animals and importantly, increase water retention. All of which result in greater returns for the farmer.

I was engaged in May 2016 to work with the business.

The Situation

LawrieCo, a leading player in agribusiness, employs 10-15 people. When I started working with them in 2016, they had a few challenges:

  • Not using financial data optimally to support informed business decisions
  • Needing a clear plan for growth
  • Setting governance in place to support senior leaders to help the business grow

My approach is about:

Data-led analysis

I started with a business diagnostic. This involved analysing the company’s financial data and comparing it to industry benchmarks. This gave me good insight into what was working and not working in the business, from a financial perspective. One key outcome from this process was to change the layout of the financial reports so the data provided clearer information to support better decision-making.

Then, I surveyed the senior leadership team to gain deeper insights into the marketing, operational and human resource aspects of the business. I consolidated this information into a report, which I shared with the senior leadership team.

Engaging the business

Next, we met for a business planning day. As a team, we discussed what was working, not working and how to address each issue. Every member of the team was assigned with the responsibility to implement the agreed actions in their area of the business.

Ongoing coaching

Following the business planning day, we formed an Advisory Board, consisting of the owners, CEO, Marketing Manager. I acted as Chairman, with an independent laser view on the business.

The Advisory Board has ownership of the business plan. As Chairman, I meet monthly with the Advisory Board and methodically work through each area of the business, comparing the results to the goals we set in the business plan.  I follow this up with regular conversations between meetings. When there are difficult decisions, I act as an independent sounding board, providing guidance and reassurance, but also accountability not to avoid the challenges.

The Results

  • More efficient business operations from having clear systems in place
  • Clearer financial reports to support decision-making