Gaining More Than Money From Running A Business
Tanner and David talk with Matt Brechwald from the Off-Farm Income Podcast. We discuss our way through the benefits you can receive from running a business alongside your farm. We also spend some time with Mark from PivotBio as he shares with you a more optimum way to get nitrogen to your corn.
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- Answer questions
- What’s working for Ag – listener or farmer feedback
- 1) Pivot Bio PROVENTM is predicable – the microbes adhere and colonize on the roots and apply nitrogen every day. Synthetic nitrogen turns to gas, leaches, washes away and is not always in proximity to the roots and, therefore unavailable to the corn. Because it sticks to the roots and works every day – it is highly predicable.
2) Pivot Bio PROVENTM is productive – light, sand soils and fields with sloping topography tend to lose more nitrogen. Most field have many soil zones and varying topography and therefore crop productivity varies widely across a field. Because it adheres directly to the roots – Pivot Bio PROVENTM levels out crop productivity across a range of conditions.
3) It’s weather proof – rain does not wash it away as with synthetic nitrogen.
4) All of these factors add up to improved ROI – and ROI is mission critical for growers.
- Introduce Guest
- At Farm4Profit one of our favorite things to do is inspire others to achieve their goals, build their farm or business, and help you generate higher levels of profitability. Whether you are young or old, I want to encourage you to grow or start your business and achieve your dreams.
- The most important thing to remember is that, no matter your age, if you are alive, you can achieve more. Keep working towards your goals, work hard, stay hungry, and remember to be great.
- These episodes are all stemming from the feedback of our “how to grow your farm” show. That is #24 if you didn’t catch it. We have now talked about becoming a better leader #25, how to market your farm for growth #26, the right way to build your referral network in #27 and now today we will talk about how having a strong business acumen can benefit your farm and set it up for growth.
Elliot Uphoff. @elliotuphoff. (Shelby County, IL)
- Side jobs are great with helping cash flow problems and also allow you to invest more money back into the farm. I will continue to run side businesses until my operation is large enough that it can provide for my family but still then I’ll probably keep doing jobs that are sure money
- For small farmers like myself diversity is key.
The people you admire don't have it figured out, and that's okay.
- You’ll be graced with instant clarity and acute focus. We see others who look like they have it all worked out. They seem successful, they have the perfect social media posts, but in the real world, we are all just figuring it out. Well into your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s, things are still evolving and falling into place.
- Life is an evolution of changes; you can reinvent yourself and change your mind at any time, and it’s okay. Learning who you are is a lifelong journey and a radical adventure at that.
Success Comes To Those Who Work
- Alec Amundson. @alamudson (Osage, Iowa)
- We joke that we have good lights on our equipment because we do most of our farming at night.
- Takes some planning ahead for not only inputs, but transportation and picking kids up
- I would say it’s generally hard to run an ag related business at the same time as farming, but things that can be done off season, ie hardware installation, soil sampling, fertility prescriptions, etc. allow you more time in the cab during the busy seasons.
- Every single time that you put in work, you get a proportional amount of results and successes from that work.
- The more work that you put in, the more success that occurs in your life, the more happy coincidences occur, and the more you realize that you achieve.
- You begin to create your own luck
Sales and Negotiation Are Important Skills To Learn
- Sales is one of the most important, most essential skills that you will learn in your life
- It allows you to convey not only your products, but also your ideas to others in a way that makes them enthusiastic about it too.
- Learning not just to “sell,” but also to communicate with people in a way that makes them interested in an essential skill, not just in business, but also in life.
- “Never Split the Difference” is a book on negotiations
- Negotiating is a talent that can be built up with practice.
- When running a business it gives you more practice to get better for the farm.
Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
- Schedule out your follow up
- Figuring out when you should touch base with prospects, clients, and referrals next.
- This helps not only increase sales, but also develop a better relationship with my clients and vendors.
Manage Your Time
- Jeremy Williams @Wills_Bros_Farms (Martinsville, IL)
- We ran our custom business until it was costing us time and efficiency on our own farm by being away spraying for someone when we need to take care of our own farm
- Be sure it benefits your farm moving forward and holding you back from profit on your own farm by having a side business
- Another thing that we have found essential to the success as a business owner is managing your time correctly.
- It can seem tiring, confusing, and unorganized at times but you need to understand how to create a schedule
- Use a calendar or app for tasks, a to-do list for the morning that you write before you go to bed, and form habits that help you achieve success.
- Having a clear vision will help make prioritizing things easier. Do what is most time sensitive or important first rather than the easiest task first.
- The biggest key to running virtually any business successfully is your ability to concentrate most of your time and effort on the activities that will bring in the most money. That means that you have to minimize the time spent on routine functions.
It takes a village.
- Chad E West @dylangreico (Central Iowa)
- I think one of the most important things in running my business is doing business with people who are looking out for your success and not just trying to sell you something. I always say I deal with people not companies. I have an agronomist that I really enjoy working with if he calls tomorrow and says he's taking a job at a different company I'm going with him no questions asked.
- I always say if I was already doing business with you and I took a box of seed away from you and you had done nothing wrong and your seed performed great would that be right?
- I find that that loyalty has really been beneficial over time
- You won’t ever be able to know it all
- Assemble an amazing team,
- Find the right partner.
- Fill your gaps
- Starting and growing a company means learning to delegate.
- Commit your partnership agreement to writing. Partnerships don’t always work out, so you have to have written procedures on how to run the business, how to settle disputes, and if necessary, how to handle the departure of one of the partners.
- If you’re a sole proprietor, the partnership issue won’t apply to you directly. But anytime you start a business, you will be involved in all kinds of loose and informal partnerships with people you need to rely on. They can be suppliers, vendors, contractors or even major clients. Choose them all wisely, understanding that a bad relationship has the potential to sabotage your business.
Burned bridges stay with you for life.
- Luke lauritsen @lauritsen4440 (Arlington NE)
- Relationship ... People do business with people they trust no matter what the person is selling or service they are providing...
- When you work for yourself, you realize how important all relationships are. A burned bridge will stay with you forever, and you quickly learn forgiveness is the most essential tool for success. Who can you forgive today?
- Your beliefs aren't as important as your behavior.
- Your beliefs and values are important to you, but how you act and talk to others about what you believe in is more important than the actual belief.
- Treat others with kindness and respect no matter how different their views are.
- Contrast can bring clarity.
- However, the more you believe in yourself, the less you need others to.
- You don’t need to lean on others for support. When you have a dream or goal, the most important thing is that you believe in yourself.
- People are going to tell you it can’t be done, but when you connect with your own dreams, you will be unstoppable.
OVERHEAD CAN KILL YOU.
- Impressive features, like premium office space, high end furniture, expensive pictures on the walls, and a streaming live quote system. All that stuff costs money, and when you start a new business, that’s something that’s in short supply.
- When you start a business you have to think “shoe string”, and that means finding less expensive ways to do everything. It might even mean doing without a few things.
- Businesses fail for a lack of positive cash flow more than anything else. The sooner your business starts generating that positive cash flow, the greater your chance of business success.
- You can give yourself a big, fat advantage by determining from the get go that you won’t spend money on stuff you don’t absolutely need.
Continue To Explore New Ideas
- @Brentfwells Brent Wells. (Fonda, Iowa)
- I had to go work somewhere else for 5 years before I came back to the farm. Part of it was to make sure I saw what else was out there, and to gain knowledge from other businesses.
- I learned a great deal about managing people, assets, and cash flow. Sometimes I tell people my story and they make the comment “too bad you wasted all that time getting your MBA just to come back and farm”. I just laugh. It has helped me look at the farm as business and make the right decisions for my operation rather than doing what everyone else is doing.
- If you don’t keep your mind open to new ideas, your business isn’t going to be able to evolve with the market.
- Your business needs to be ahead of the market, and in order to do that, you need to continue to explore new ideas, new concepts, new ways to do business
- Your competition is a poor metric for success, because they are who you are competing against. Copying won’t get you ahead. The best it can do is tie you for first place, not advance you ahead of who was first place.
- Success Is Ever Evolving. Most people want to accomplish more.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOME PAYING CUSTOMERS First
- Before you actually start a business, you might want to test it and treat it more like a side hustle.
- Test it out with your network.
- Find out if you actually have something that people are going to pay money for on an ongoing basis.
Sometimes not getting what you want is the biggest blessing of all.
- Austin @auswms. (SW Minnesota)
- Its helped diversify our risk. It increases the labor needs, but brings added revenue all year.
- A side business is a big help on farming as it helps soften the blow when stuff goes south
- Everything is part of a larger plan. You quickly learn that rejection is actually protection.
- Running a business keeps you close to the ground and you get a firsthand feel on what is working and what isn’t
No one cares as much about your business as you do.
- Think of a business like a baby. Relatives will adore it. Strangers will smile at it. But no one will hover over it, protect it and deeply connect with it like its mother. Yes, owning your own business is like that. No one – not employees, partners, customers or friends – will have the same passion for your company's success as you do. Ever….
Business ideas that others have done.
- Inventing (@farmerman_1 Quick Pins), Card Making/Crafting (@MelNelKeyes Hungary Canyon Design), Seed/Feed Dealer (@elliotuphoff), Lawncare/Landscaping.Snow Removal (@BradPeel3), Consulting/Crop Insurance, Custom Farming (@Wills_Bros_Farms), Trucking Company, Social Media Influencer, Public Speaking, Owning Rental Properties, Livestock Shearing/Showing (@Asuwms – Austin), Tiling (@Citrowske_L – Lance), Equipment Dealership (@marioncofarmer), Preceision Ag (@alamudson), Chemical/Fertilizer Sales (@Brentfwells)
Side Job Ideas Others Have Shared
- Mechanic, Tow Truck Driver, Selling Real Estate, Modeling, Tax Preparation, Writing, School bus Driver, Cleaning/Detailing, Tree Removal Service, Heavy Equipment Operator, and more!
- Don't judge books by their covers, especially if you think they have it all figured out. Work hard as being the best farmer you can be and learn along the way. Becoming a savvy negotiator will pay dividends and remember to make sure you follow-up in every situation. The more you do, the better you will become at managing your time and you will also realize the benefits of having a strong network around you. Take care of that network and don't be afraid to try new things. Just because something doesn't go your way doesn't mean there isn't something to learn from the situation.
- Was there anything we just talked about that you don’t think you are good at? Start now to work on fixing that. Read, listen, and practice until it gets better!
- Remember to leave us a review and share with your friends. Send us your questions or topic ideas to email@example.com