Do you want to grow your business?
All businesses start with a seed of an idea. As that idea is nurtured and grown, it produces fruit. The vision and objective of any entrepreneur is abundance and replication. Sounds a lot like farming, doesn’t it?
Indeed it does. Let’s dissect the business of farming to see what wisdom we can gain from it.
20 Ways to Grow a Business Like a Real Farmer
As you read through these 20 points, think about how they might parallel your business.
- Farmers live by core principles. They see their family, community, and even the world as interconnected and interdependent, just like the natural world they observe every day. They know firsthand the importance of hard work, perseverance, and adaptability. What core principles guide your life and business? How do you live them out?
- Farmers cooperate with the seasons. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter each have their own rhythms. As King Solomon said long ago, there is a time to plant and a time to harvest. You plan in winter and execute those plans during the growing season. What cycles make up your business year? What season of development is your business in? Do your processes support each?
- Farmers understand their products. They know the growing requirements of each species: how to prepare the soil, when to plant, how to fertilize, when to harvest for optimal bounty, and what nutrition and living conditions will result in healthy livestock. How intimately do you know your products or services? How do you assure consistent quality?
- Farmers understand the market. They know it isn’t guaranteed, but they do their homework to watch trends, track changes, and adjust their plans accordingly when possible. How closely do you watch market data for your industry?
- Farmers budget. They do their best to minimize costs and lock in profits so they can project their expected income. How easily does your back-office financial software sync with your process and sales management solutions?
- Farmers maintain their equipment. You can’t farm with tractors that break down every other day. A farm’s revenue production requires tools that are up to the challenges of growing a profitable crop. Are all your tools, from hardware to software, reliable and fully functional for your needs?
- Farmers look for growth opportunities. If they lease or purchase that additional land, they can add to their herd or grow more of a crop that is or will be in high demand. Where can you open up new business for existing products or services? What new one can you create to meet shifting demand?
- Farmers implement new tech. Just like other businesses, agriculture has experienced a digital transformation. Innovations are available to farmers that utilize GPS and drones to analyze crops and instantly report their need for appropriate, timely attention that will maximize harvest and minimize waste. Have you explored how new technology could increase your visibility into the data and analytics of your business and alert you to required action?
- Farmers tap outside resources as needed. They may take soil samples to be analyzed. If they raise livestock, the veterinarian is on their priority contact list. They listen to market analysts as they plan. Temporary staffing can help them navigate a busy season, and leasing specialized equipment for a project might make more sense than purchasing it. What experts do you partner with for specialized knowledge and guidance?
- Farmers do their research. They function like scientists: performing controlled A/B tests, revising plans, changing varieties of seeds to be planted depending on the results. Have you done your own market research to learn what messaging resonates best with your customers? Have you asked them what they love about their experience with you and what you can improve?
- Farmers innovate. They are constantly seeking ways to improve productivity in their crops, shave their costs, and boost their revenue. Plus, they look for ways to improve their soil and breeding stock. Are you open to new ideas and new methods? How can you boost productivity and efficiency?
- Farmers build alliances. The idea of alliances ties directly back to the core value of being part of an interdependent community. The Farm Bureau was created more than a century ago because farmers saw the benefit all would gain if they worked together. That ethos continues among agriculturalists. How can you improve your investment in networking activities to build more mutually beneficial partnerships?
- Farmers manage their commodity. Some alliances they form are cooperatives and producer forums focused on mutual support and promotion of the products they grow. What professional and industry associations will increase your knowledge and influence?
- Farmers get involved in the world. They know that what happens in governmental affects them, as do initiatives of other national or regional organizations. They support higher education because of its value in preparing for the business and science of farming. How inform your citizenship through reliable news sources? Could you mentor a young person informally or through a formal internship program?
- Farmers adapt. As important as planning is, things happen that they cannot control. Hail destroys the young corn, an extra rainy spring delays planting, or an international trade war closes a market they were counting on to buy what they grow. Hopefully the farmer can recalibrate and find another way. How easily and fast can your business adapt when challenges arise? Can you modify your digital platforms such as CRM without the time and expense of calling on a specialized app developer?
- Farmers manage their inventory. Each season they plan purchase of seed and other supplies in quantities to match their need. They want to grow enough to meet market demand but not so much that they can’t sell all they produce. Do your existing processes perform as you want them to as you plan and track the ebb and flow of your inventory?
- Farmers are true to the basics. They might need to adapt and revise, and sometimes they try new crops or methods. But they know the laws of nature and basic good business practices never change. How do you reinforce best business practices in your company culture?
- Farmers love the rewards. They get to work with and for their families. They are respected in their communities. They get to play with big green tractors (or red, depending on your brand allegiance). They spend their days outside instead of cooped up in an office. What do you find most rewarding in your professional life? How can you plan to do more of it?
- Farmers have fun. Slow seasons make time for travel. Group tours and conferences create shared experiences and opportunities to learn while developing and renewing friendships. What professional development or community celebration events can you participate in this year?
- Farmers experience deep satisfaction. Farming is hard work, but they know they are producing something that others value from the tiny seeds they plant and nurture. Farmers understand that while they cannot control all the circumstances that one growing season might bring, next year will come just as surely as the sunrise and the new moon. How do you keep front of mind, for yourself and for your team, the value you are providing for customers?
Enjoy your Harvest, celebrate:
Julie and I come from long line of 5 generational farming families. We delight in seeing businesses like yours grow and flourish. Our core purpose is to help organizations do so by fully leveraging CRM to manage their business processes and customer relationships.
We hope the questions above have given you some food for thought as you strategize next steps in your business development. If you need to consider new or upgraded technology, let’s talk about the potential of Creatio CRM to accelerate your digital transformation and deliver an impressive return on investment.