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Habits of Successful Farm Marketers

The following are the four habits of successful farm marketers:

Habit #1– Look at the BIG PICTURE.

Farming is not a short-term business—it’s a lifetime endeavor.  The overall success of your farming efforts will not be determined by any one year or by any particular instance of selling for a great price.

Each year, each harvest, is one brick in the structure of a successful lifetime of farming.  If looking at the big picture becomes a habit, you will find that you are not as easily caught up in emotional turmoil that can cloud your mind and cause you to make bad decisions.

Habit #2– Focus on PROFIT, NOT PRICE.

In farming, like any business, selling at a profit is the main focus.  Unlike other businesses, though, farmers have to choose between a number of selling prices.

In almost every other manufacturing business, the person who produces a good determines the cost of production, decides on a reasonable profit margin, and sells it at that price.  Farmers, on the other hand, have the freedom to choose from many different prices.  One crop can be worth a widely varied amount from the time it is planted to the time it is sold.  This can make it difficult for any farmer to keep his eyes on a goal.

If you make a habit of determining costs of production, settling on a profit margin, and selling as soon as that margin is reached, you can be sure that you will make a profit consistently. After you have developed a habit of selling at a certain profit level, you will be much less likely to be distracted by movements in price.

Habit #3– Sell WHENEVER your desired profit becomes available.

On many occasions, the price that will allow you to reach your desired profit margin on a crop becomes available well before the crop is harvested, and sometimes even before it is planted.

You can make it easy to sell at these early profitable prices by putting in a target order after you have figured your costs of production and decided on a profit goal. If you enter a target order well before harvest, you won’t have to worry about watching the market. When your price becomes available, your grain will automatically be sold on a forward contract. You can even do this for more than one year at a time!

At first, the decision to sell a crop that isn’t finished growing yet (or that hasn’t even been planted yet) can be a difficult one.  However, as you begin to sell as soon as your target is reached on a regular basis, it will become a habit and be second nature to you. Every year you will figure your production costs, enter a target order, and then just wait for your profit margin to become available.

Habit #4– Manage the FUTURE, don’t worry about the PAST.

It can be very easy to lose focus and start concentrating on the past, especially when the past included as much price volatility and emotional uproar as the past few years have had.

The past is over; it cannot be changed, it will not get any better or any worse, and no amount of wishing will make it go away or come back.

The past cannot be managed, but the future can. Concentrating on the past is a habit that can be very damaging to your ability to focus on capturing opportunities.

Whatever happened last year or even last week cannot be changed. You can, however, make a very real difference in what will happen to you from now on. Making a habit of managing for the future will help you achieve a greater level of success in business and in life than living in the past will.

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