As you may recall from my last blog, I suggested that this year will present some solid opportunities for you to succeed. Yet, several years ago, I had a conversation with a producer who said, “Gee, I was going to call you, but I wasn’t sure you could help me.”
Wow, I thought, what harm would there be in asking for assistance? He was truly in a jam, financially speaking, and maybe selling would be his best option. However, wouldn’t it make more sense to check out all his options first? Why not give it a try and make some genuine operational changes?
You know what – two years later, he is making some very nice profits. You might say, of course he is. That’s because milk prices have gotten better. I would agree that higher milk prices have helped, but there were a lot of other changes he made to get to a level of solid profitability. Here are the steps he took, which might be worthy of your consideration if you are having some challenges:
- If you are lost, normally the best thing to do is to ask for directions. Talk to someone who knows and can guide you onto a path for success.
- He, like so many of my Clients, is fatigued with hearing me talk about how we need to watch expenses. I’m not advocating a massive cost cutting process, especially if it impairs your herd’s performance in any way, but we already have solid industry standards to compare our performance against. If the industry is averaging $0.65/cwt on Supplies, and your cost is $1.00/cwt, we need to look under the hood and see what is going on… Remember that you can also dilute any cost per cwt by making more milk per cow. That’s not “Cost Cutting.” That’s just enhancing performance, the by-product of which is a lower cost/cwt!
- Are there some items that you spend money on that really aren’t needed? Ask yourself: Is this item really necessary? Does it pay for itself somehow through improved milk production or by reducing some other expense? Think about it.
- Bring your “A-Game!” In one of the first Jason Bourne movies, I recall the line where he was told, “This is not a drill soldier.” Likewise, this is not a scrimmage for you and your Team either. This is the real deal, so bring your best game. As the “Big Dog” clothing line ads used to say, “Attitude is everything.” Better production per cow, more cows per hour through the barn and greater labor efficiencies are the name of the game. It was tough enough to cash flow with $10 per hour labor. Greater efficiency is the only answer when this is changing to $15.
- Need some fresh ideas? Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said that your results will only be as good as the books you read and the people you meet. I believe that this has been true for me, and would challenge you to seek new answers when you are feeling challenged in your business. Perhaps the following paragraph will provide you with a low-cost option to assist you.
I’d like to invite you to sign up for our new Success Strategies Business Navigator Program. If you are open to learning new concepts and discussing them with other producers, you should take a look at this new program that will start soon. It’s completely online, freeing you from travel but offering you an opportunity to learn from industry experts in the areas of milk marketing, management, financial analysis & banking/finance. For the value of the milk production of one 85 lb cow for a month, you can enroll in this quarterly workshop program for one year. What have you got to lose? Check it out at:
You won’t regret it. I wish you the very best for a success-filled year!