Lessons From The Field
Over the years and with enough observation, general themes become apparent can become learning lessons for your family farm. Striving for continuous improvement is the dominant characterization of most financially and organizationally successful companies. Consider the following thoughts and standards and see how you and your family-owned business compare.
Top performers focus on remedies and solutions and don’t dwell in the past. Mistakes happen…of course. Continuously repeating mistakes by walking around the obstacles that help create them instead of finding solutions to remove the obstacles is simply insane.
Getting out of your comfort zone means “You’re on to something good”. Keep it going. Good things happen when you get out of your comfort zone.
Knowing where you want to be in 3, 5, 10 years take time to think about. Not taking the time or not having the time is a poor excuse. Develop a plan, get some advice, refine the plan, understand and celebrate your results, take a few minutes to breathe, refocus, redevelop your strategy…and repeat…over and over and over again. This is easier said than done and doesn’t always work. Is there a better way? Not that we have been able to find. Let us know if you find it. Otherwise, schedule an appointment with yourself and your team and mark your calendar to tackle these types of things after your next harvest season.
The pace of change in your industry is only going to increase in the future. It always does for every industry. You can’t control it. The only control you have is inside your business. What you do. What you plan for. How well you execute those plans. If the pace of change outside your farm business is greater than the pace of change inside it, well then, ”We have a problem Houston.” The time you have to react to change is going to continue to be shorter. You’ll have less and less time to react to changes before they become a crisis for you and your business.
I changed my mind. A few more.
The United States was founded on the principal of independence. What a great concept and sometimes a wonderful personal trait. However, in business, independence can sometimes be deemed reckless. That’s right, I said it. Consider surrounding yourself with the best; the best employees, the best team of advisors and even the best competitors. Learn from everyone.
Make certain you at least entertain someone else's view of a plan or strategy. You might just learn something, even if you don’t recognize it or think so at first. However, be careful of the most hazardous person in your business; the well-spoken, eloquent, clear and expressive communicator…that happens to be an incompetent nincompoop. (Did I spell that right?) Keep them around too long and they multiply…like fruit-flies…then you can never get rid of them!
Lastly, unless your comfort zone is highly profitable or you are never going to die, don't dawdle and remain in your comfort zone. Getting out of your comfort zone means “You’re on to something good”. Keep it going. Good things happen when you get out of your comfort zone.
Know Your Numbers. Know Your Business.