Special Guest Blog by Ryan Jorden, Business Broker with VR Business Brokers
I grew up on a farm, which is a card I pull out of my sleeve once in awhile to claim dominion over the lawn and garden from my wife. She rolls her eyes with a smile, allowing my delusion of a superior communion with nature. Perhaps it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. But that experience did give me some very valuable perspective on growing something from nothing, how much work is required to make a multifaceted operation function smoothly and how we all have a crucial role in the greater whole. These aspects are central to any business, its internal and external relationships and its plan for moving forward. So let’s revisit some worn-out farm clichés and see how they’re good for you and your business.
Farm Cliches that are Darn Good for Business
1. “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”
Don’t bet the farm on your ability to do it all; embrace a desire to create diversity in your organization. If you want to grow your business to be something more than you’re capable of handling yourself, then you need to break down your business plan into roles and functions, hire specific help and learn to delegate.
2. “When pigs fly.”
Dare to believe the impossible. It may not be happening now, but it will with a solid plan and consistent effort. Change is inevitable and you will engineer your way there with the right help. It’s how Henry Ford built the single-cast V8 and it’s how your business will become something tomorrow that it isn’t today.
3. “Separate the wheat from the chaff.”
You can’t help everyone. The sooner you learn that the better off you’ll be in the long run. Not every potential client is going to be a good fit, nor is every potential employee or supplier. Learn what you do well and stick to that as the basis for your business and don’t be afraid to say No. You can expand later after you’ve mastered the core of your business and served the needs of your natural client base.
4. “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
Many times things simply don’t pan out, so don’t take anything for granted. You should be constantly filling your funnel and creating new opportunities every single day. Keep your eyes looking forward by engaging with new clients, creating new supplier relationships, learning different marketing angles and renewing your business with fresh people and ideas.
5. “The cream rises to the top.”
Employees and clients have something in common. Those that are determined will keep moving forward until they’ve separated themselves from everyone else. Identify and pursue these people. If they’re motivated to go in the same direction as you, then you’re not exhausting your resources by dragging horses to water that don’t want to drink.
6. “Until the cows come home.”
We often talk about plans until we’re blue in the face, but it’s action that’s required to take an idea and make it work. Otherwise it’s just a theory that has yet to be tested by the real world. No plan is going to be perfect, so how are you going to know what adjustments need to be made if you don’t move on it?
7. “Make hay while the sun shines.”
If you’ve got a great idea then its only a matter of time before someone else comes up with something similar. Don’t wait around for conditions to be perfect, start developing it immediately and put it into play. Many successful businesses got that way because they took advantage of favourable circumstances and went for it while their competition shrank back from the challenge. Don’t let the second mouse get your cheese!
8. “Don’t change horses in midstream.”
You have to give your plan time to generate measurable results, so don’t jump from one thing to another without fully testing your original business plan. Get professionals to help you design it and follow your initial instincts. They’re probably close to the mark and will likely succeed with the proper tweaking.
9. “Don’t run around like a chicken with its head cut off.”
Something went wrong? Calm down and keep a level head. You’re not going to inspire confidence in those around you if you panic and respond emotionally with illogical or ill-advised changes. Take a step back, assess your options and deal with it. Don’t bounce around and over-react, you’ll only make a bigger mess of things.
10. “Black sheep of the family.”
Dare to be different. It’s what’s going to distinguish you from your peers and your competition. Embrace whatever makes you or your ideas unique and go for it. Other people may not actively support or even understand your idea until they’ve had a chance to see it in action. Most success stories were misunderstood by even those who knew them best. Keep the faith!
So make hay while the sun shines and head to AgCareers.com to create an account and start searching for excellent potential employees. But be sure to separate the wheat from the chaff!
Ryan Jorden is the Managing Partner with VR Business Brokers in Calgary, Alberta, where he specializes in valuating and facilitating the sale of privately held businesses. Reach him confidentially at email@example.com or visit his website and blog to learn more. Also connect on Twitter.