TRANSFORMING your businessBEGINS WITHTRANSFORMING yourself
Transforming your ranch into an effective business involves changes in land management, animal husbandry, money management and in the way you interact with the people in your business. But the biggest change isn’t to the land or the animals. The biggest change is in you.
IT ISN’T SUSTAINABLEif it isn’t PROFITABLE
Profit is to business as breathing is to life. A ranch that doesn’t produce an economic profit isn’t a business. It’s a hobby … an expensive hobby.
FOCUS ON effectivenessNOT EFFICIENCY
Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing. It doesn’t do any good to do things right if you are doing the wrong things! If something is efficient, but not effective, stop it immediately!
GET IN SYNCHwith nature
Most ranch businesses are structured to fight nature. That’s expensive and exhausting. Businesses that match enterprises and production schedules to nature’s cycles are more profitable, less work and more fun!
YOU DON’T GET harmonyWHEN EVERYONE SINGS THE SAME NOTE
In any business, especially family businesses, there are bound to be differences of opinion. Our decisions are improved when we bring different perspectives and ideas to the table and engage in constructive debate, as long as we agree that, at the end of the day, we all ride for the brand.
WORK LESSand make more
Unsustainable effort is unsustainable. Period! Planning is the key to simplifying enterprises, increasing profit and reducing labor.
RANCHINGis a business
We often act as though we have a choice between ranching as a lifestyle or a business. The lifestyle of ranching improves when the ranch is a successful business first.
WORK ON YOUR BUSINESStwo mornings a week
It’s not enough to work IN your business, you must work ON your business.
WEALTHY on the balance sheet& BROKE AT THE BANK
The misallocation of capital is the biggest financial problem in ranching. At the Ranching For Profit School you’ll learn how to capitalize and concessionize assets to increase profit and improve the financial health of your business.
RANCHING FOR PROFITis NOT an oxymoron
Many ranchers seem to think that profit is dictated by prices and weather…two things beyond our direct control. Ranching for Profit graduates prove every year that the key to profit is management.
By Charlotte Smith / September 10, 2018 /
You’re Not Selling What You Think You’re Selling…
Most farmers think they sell grass-fed beef, or raw milk, organic chicken or fresh flowers.
But when it comes to marketing, that language won’t help you stand out.
It looks just like your competitor!
What you’re selling is a solution to your customer’s problems.
You’re selling ‘that thing’ your product does for your customers — the reason they buy it.
If I Google “Grass-fed beef near me” I find things like this:
“Beef — 100% grass fed and grass finished. Versatile Dexter breed. Call to purchase”
…or, “We raise our cattle on pasture that’s been fortified with minerals that most soil is lacking. The cows are rotated to fresh grass every 24 hours and they are never fed any grain.”
Unless you’re a farmer and you know this lingo, your eyes have glazed over and you’re ready to click on Facebook for something more entertaining.
But you stumble on my farm’s website and read through everything, finally landing on my Products Page where I describe what I sell.
You read, “Ground Beef: Easily the most versatile product we provide — you should always have plenty to spare for those nights you feel totally and completely uninspired and have no intention of getting there. Grill it, loaf it, fry it up with some kale and sweet potatoes for the ultimate Paleo dinner without much effort.”
And then, “Pastured Chicken: The ultimate in buying bulk, one of our chickens will feed your family for two nights with the effort of only one. Roasted chicken the first night, lettuce wraps, enchiladas, or soup the next. You’ll have enough time on the “leftovers” day to schedule that pedicure your toes are desperate for. And the family still eats!”
In this case, I’m NOT selling Ground Beef and Pastured Chicken.
I’m selling the solution my product offers: quick, easy, healthy meals that any busy mom can make.
How do I know what my product does for people?
I ask them!
When I ask you what you sell, I don’t want to hear that you sell grass-fed beef. I can run down the street to my local grocery store and find grass fed beef, so there’s no reason to drive out of my way to buy from you.
But if you sell a way to get a super healthy dinner on the table fast…or a way to feed their adopted baby formula when they can’t nurse… you are selling so much more than the products you raise.
You are selling a solution your customers are desperate for!
Since this may be a new concept for you, I’ve created an email template for you with the exact questions you can ask your customers to help you discover what your products do for them. Once they respond, you can use their words to market your product to all your other ideal customers.
You can download the email template here. You’ll also find a video I did about how other farmers are using this knowledge and language in their marketing and how they’re attracting new customers because of it. The video is only available for a limited time, so if you’re interested be sure to head on over!
In today’s world, where everyone is looking online for solutions to their struggles and help reaching their goals, you need to make sure your words on your website, your Facebook page, and your Instagram posts, are all connecting with your potential customers in this way.
So, if you’re ready to stand out from every other farmer, grocery store and home delivery meal service, check out the email template and video, and let’s get started.
As always, thanks for being here
An Excel worksheet with Examples comparing the cost of TDN and Crude Protein in different feeds considering transportation and handling costs with losses. It also calculates the feed needed and total cost given herd size and days fed.
This is the Goto software that will give you the Best idea on using your available resources to combine them – Making sure your Livestock are getting the right balance in their DIET – while keeping your costs Low.
I have a great idea for a business! Let me give you some of the details and then tell me if you will be willing to invest! My idea is to have a grocery store with about 70% less square footage than all my competitors. We are going to do no advertising in the community; no newspaper advertising, no radio or TV, no mailers to local households. Our selection will be limited with no nationally known brands like Campbell’s Soup or General Mills, in fact we will only have our personal brand or brands you most likely have never heard of or seen before. Oh! And by the way, we will have only 1/10th the inventory available at a full-size supermarket. Are you ready to line up and hand over your money?
I didn’t think so and neither would I, if I didn’t know “the rest of the story.”
The grocery chain I just described is Trader Joe’s. The chain was created almost by accident or fate! The original Joe was Joe Coulombe, a Stanford University graduate who went to work for Rexall Drug Store, a national chain. In the late 1950s Rexall came up with a novel idea, they would start a “convenience” type store that had small square footage and sold necessities (Yes, we are talking a 7-Eleven style convenience store). Their test market was a chain called Pronto Market and started with half a dozen stores in the Los Angeles area. Joe was over the project and firmly believed it was a great idea.
Unfortunately (but fortunately for Joe!) Rexall gave up on the idea in 1958 and instructed Joe to shut down all the stores. Instead he raised money and bought all the stores (Rexall was happy to get rid of all the locations).
Joe Coulombe grew Pronto Markets to 17 stores before Dallas-based Southland Corporation (creator of the 7-Eleven brand) expanded to Southern California, Joe knew he could never compete with the marketing muscle and economies of scale of 7-Eleven locations. Legend has it that Joe took a trip to Hawaii and came up with the idea of a new kind of grocery store that was laid back and sold specialty items that were organic, quality and well-priced. He named his stores “Trader Joe’s.” The first store opened in 1967, about the time of the “surf movement” and a new generation of laid-back Americans (especially in California) came along. His timing could not have been better and over 20 years he opened one store per year, all with Hawaiian tropical themes. Yes, his employees wore Hawaiian shirts!
In 1979 Trader Joe’s was bought out by a German grocery magnate named Theo Albrecht. He persuaded Joe to remain and did not change the successful model. So how well has the “no marketing, no advertising, limited choices, off brand” concept worked? Well, the average Trader Joe’s is twice as profitable per square foot of store space than the large national chains. To its many loyal customers, it is almost a cult. One customer in Kansas City who traveled to California would fill up a large suitcase on each visit. He even set up a Kansas City Facebook page to try and get a location started in Kansas City. By the way, he was successful!
Trader Joe’s management and ownership refuses to give interviews or release any information to anyone and refuses to do any media interviews. They are now up to over 470 locations in 44 states and growing. Here are a few facts about Trader Joe’s:
- In February 2008, BusinessWeek reported that the company had the highest sales per square foot of any grocer in the United States.
- The May 2009 issue of Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe’s the second-best supermarket chain in the United States (after Wegmans)
- In June 2009, MSN Money released its third annual Customer Service Hall of Fame survey results. Trader Joe’s ranked second in customer service among all companies, not just grocery stores.
A former employee who had owned an advertising agency sold it and, on a whim, went to work for Trader Joe’s with the intent of writing a book. Mark Gardiner became a “crew member” as employees are called but resigned before he published his book knowing the secretive company would fire him. His book, “Build a Brand Like Trader Joe’s” reveals what Gardiner believes to be the success factors of this remarkable and loved company. (The drum roll please!) Here they are:
- They only hire friendly people with relationship-oriented personalities (okay, that makes sense but why doesn’t everyone do it?)
- When you ask for help you are not pointed without emotion to aisle seven, half way down on the right. The crew member, with a smile, walks you to the product, picks it up for you and even gives you details about the product. Before the crew member leaves, he/she offers further assistance.
- If you don’t like what you bought you can return it at any time, no questions asked for a full “cash” refund.
- They pay above average wages and offer solid benefits to employees (Yes, that’s right, employees are treated like customers! Crazy idea!)
- There are no automatic checkout lines (Yes, you have to talk with friendly people! Going to Trader Joe’s is like going to meet a friend).
- They encourage interaction with customers. If you are stocking a shelf you stop what you are doing to assist customers.
Okay, let’s simplify all of this to one thing, “The customer is treated like the most important person in the world while in the store.” I know, too simple, there must be more to it.
Ken Blanchard, the famous business writer and consultant said it best, “Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”
In today’s world, happy customers are your best source of new business, are more powerful that any advertising campaign, and will allow you to grow your business with the greatest profit margin. Happy employees make all this happen! When Circuit City decided to cut staff to save money and cut salaries, they were bankrupt in two years. One of the most powerful brands in the world, Sears, followed the same path and they are on their last breath.
The simplest truths always prevail, put your customer first and the rest falls in place. There is no magic formula, only magical people who go the extra mile and truly care about others. Look for these people and hire them! You won’t be sorry! (by the way, give these magical people the right to make decisions on the spot to help customers) Are you ready to invest? Me too!
Innovating our Operation
As ranchers and farmers we rely on our ability to Innovate.
Everyday we face challenges that require us to use our Brain
to come up with a solution.
So as innovators we are also consumers of information and Ideas.
These Ideas can come in the most unlikely sources.
One of these sources is SETH GODIN.
Seth has ideas and innovation that will open your Brain to an
innovative way of looking at the challenges we face.
Check his Bootstrappes GUIDE – It will come in handy when meeting those
Mention the word “Marketing” to a group of ranchers/farmers – and watch their eyes roll and see them squirm in their seats. Marketing evokes fear and apprehension as it is the one subject that create the most uncomfortableness.
Imagine – what happens when you get 2 more bidders to the sale barn to bid on your cattle. How much more per POUND will you get.
- 12c a pound on a truckload of 500 pound calves equals to just over $5000 for the load.
That is the power of getting 2 more bidders to your sale.
YOU ask? How –
- Simple website that can be be built for $500 ( plus $100 a year ) Find a friend that develops websites for ranchers. ( KitsList.com).
- A couple of 1/4 page ads in Regional Publications ( $1000 a year )
- Pictures of your operation as the calves grow ( on your cell phone )
- Patients/Consistency – this will take time for buyers to notice the difference that sets you cattle apart from everyone elses
- Wean and Pre Condition – It pays for the work put in. Feeders want weaned and vaccinated calves. Check this Article.
For an initial investment of $1500 – YOUR calves will be ” MARKETED “.