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Mentoring support as farm business diversifies (case study and testimonial)

WRITTEN BYJames Price | JPAbusiness

Services provided by JPAbusiness: 

Business advice

Strategic planning

Project management


Business background

  • Innovative, multi-generational, family farming enterprise, producing beef cattle and grain crops.
  • Approximate turnover $2 million
  • Property is home to a quarry producing gravel and sand products. Family have run the quarry as a significant commercial enterprise for over five years.


The issue

Many quarries close to large metropolitan centres have run out of supply, while demand for housing and infrastructure means there is a huge demand for quarry products, both regionally and in urban areas.

Around 2012 the business’ directors identified an opportunity to tap into that demand by increasing their quarry output, which at that time was capped at 10,000 tonnes per year.

Their objective was to achieve approval from relevant regulatory authorities to increase production from 10,000 tonnes to at least 70,000 tonnes.  


Our involvement

We have been providing business advisory services to the family since 2011, initially related to their farm business, which included:

  • farm business performance and strategic advice
  • support to access additional finance for cash flow and working capital.

In 2012, while working with the business directors on strategic planning, the subject of the quarry expansion arose.

In order to achieve their expansion goals, the business needed to undertake a major environmental impact and planning process, and seek approval from the state planning authority.

We were engaged to help prepare for and achieve planning approval for the quarry expansion.


The result

The approval process took at least three years and we helped our client from start to finish.

We worked closely with the business directors, the planning authority and other subject matter expert environmental consultants to help our client achieve approval to extract 100,000 tonnes per year.

Our goal was to get the best outcome for our clients in terms of production and business flexibility, while helping them meet the important and heavy compliance requirements of an operating mine site.

There were also some difficult community impact issues associated with the expansion – for example, noise, dust and run-off – which we helped navigate and manage, with communication and consultation strategies and processes.

Through the same period of expansion, we also provided support on the finance side of the business – liaising with their bank on the business’ plans and financial position, giving them sounding board advice around capital use, funding options and so on.

Since attaining approval to expand, the quarry’s production and client base has gone from strength to strength.

The family continues to be a JPAbusiness client, and we provide ad hoc advice on day-to-day business issues, as well as a strategic, independent ‘sounding board’ service.


Testimonial: Managing director, Quarry

We have been JPAbusiness clients for about 14 years. In that time the JPAbusiness team has provided us with a range of services, including bank negotiation support, marketing advice, liaising with council and government departments and other stakeholders in various capacities. 

Sounding board advice

James and his team also provide ongoing mentorship of our business in the form of sounding board advice regarding business strategies and proposals. Having independent business advice provides us with objectivity, clarity and perspective about our business, and also allows us to tap into the JPAbusiness team’s valuable business skills and knowledge.

Objective analysis

The benefit JPAbusiness has brought to our business has been tremendous. They’ve provided skilled advice and objective analysis of our business and future directions, and presented options for us where applicable. 

Skilled negotiator

In terms of the specific support James gave us when we were looking to expand our quarry licence, his skills as an experienced negotiator, and his ability to see the ‘big picture’ and communicate that to others, meant he was able to achieve a positive outcome for us in a quite contentious situation.

Professional and discrete

I think the JPAbusiness team’s particular strengths are their broad-based knowledge and experience working with many types of businesses, on many different aspects of business. I’ve also felt complete confidence in their professionalism and discretion from day one.


If you would like support with any aspect of buying, selling or running a business, contact the JPAbusiness team on 02 6360 0360 or 02 9893 1803 for a confidential, obligation-free discussion.

About James Price | JPAbusiness James Price has over 30 years’ experience in providing strategic, commercial and financial advice to Australian and international business clients. James’ blogs provide business advice for aspiring and current small to mid-sized business owners, operators and managers.