Beef farmers expand offering

Joe and Sue Weir of Bimbella Beef

To supplement their farming income, Joe and Sue Weir decided to establish a small retailing business for selling their beef and lamb products. The Weirs sold these at regional farmers’ markets and, over time, built a successful retail business called Bimbella Beef.

The Weirs approached Business Connect Advisor Rowena Jackson to help them progress their business transformation. During the planning process, the Weirs and Rowena identified several business risks and options for mitigating these. The challenges included sourcing an abattoir willing to process small numbers of cattle on a regular basis; sourcing reliable and competent butchers to prepare the beef cuts for retail sale; and evaluating the economic benefit of focusing on farmers’ markets as other components of the business grow.

With this in mind, the Weirs explored the option of establishing their own butcher’s shop to sell Bimbella Beef products. The Weir family signed a lease at the Deniliquin North butcher’s shop, which had only stopped trading a few months earlier, and opened the Bimbella Butchery business in August 2016.

Since then, Bimbella Butchery has generated positive outcomes. The Weirs retained the profit margin that was previously paid to another butcher; they sold what had previously been waste products as dog food; and they reduced management and staffing times by moving from an ‘order and delivery’ model to selling directly from the butcher’s shop.

Thanks to establishing the butcher’s shop, the Weirs can now plan their next business move—selling meal packs. Previously, the only viable option would have been to invest in the construction and fit-out of a commercial kitchen on the farm to undertake this venture.

NSW Small Business Month 2018

The NSW Government’s annual celebration of local small businesses is back in October with a month-long program of events and workshops throughout the state, supported by the NSW Department of Industry. You can find out more about NSW Small Business Month here.

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