So here's reality. Every one on earth is dealing with a problem today! You are. Your customers are. Your vendors and suppliers all have problems too. In an effort to minimize the time and energy spent on fixing problems, here are "10 Questions You Should Always Ask Yourself First" before diving into any new project/expansion/idea/business venture.
1. What do I really want from this?
Let's start with a question for the ages. There are so many things you want to do in your life and so little time to go about it. Think about what you want the end result to be and then draw your road map on how to get there. Highlight any parts that you are not good at/comfortable doing and outsource that to someone that can do it for you. Think about your plan and then lay out a detailed plan on how to get there.
2. Should I really change anything?
Today's younger generation has taken redefining 'self' to another level. Anyone that has an army of teenage people around will tell you that consumer trends can change on a dime. Before you spend a penny of your money on something, ask yourself if this is a passing fad or a long term business strategy.
3. What's the best and worst that can happen?
With so much happening around us all day, there seems to be little room for even considering what could happen. Always look at both the positive and negative side. Openly discuss what can happen with business partners and other business owners. Listen to experience and wisdom, but always plan for both the worst and best outcomes.
4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing all day?
There's always different ways to get tasks accomplished. If you are wasting too much time working on a task that you are not good at/comfortable with, delegate to someone more qualified. Giving up tasks has nothing to do with losing control. Remember where your time is best spent.
5. Have I done enough for myself lately?
Have you done something lately, or is there something else you want to do for yourself? Discontentment can be dangerous in large doses, but in small amounts you will not see how your attitude is affecting your employees or customers. Make sure to take enough time to get yourself in the right frame of mind before dealing with every day business decisions.
6. Am I happy where I am today?
Look at what your business does well currently. Are you happy with this successful part of the business? What do you need to change in order to make it better? Think about what would make you happy both right now and in the future.
7. Am I appealing to my customers needs?
What does your customer expect from your store? What are they not getting from your competition?
8. How much could I have?
How much of the market can you expect to control? How big is the overall playing field?
9. What motivates me? What motivates my team?
What motivates you? It's an answer you have to find out for yourself. The good news is that there are many things that can make people happy. Just as you most likely use money as a scorecard for motivation, consider that other people may want more paid time off, paid lunch breaks, etc. Sometimes the smallest things can make people go above and beyond for you and your business.
10. What Really Makes You Tick?
So? What really makes you tick? You can be anything you always wanted to be in life, but attaining something that is very difficult can be an amazing experience for you to look back on. Always remember, that self-improvement is not just about change. Make sure it's something that you really want to do or will help you take your relationship at home to the next level.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Pine River Bedding!
May the rest of your year be filled with friends, family, fun, and good food!
Pine River Bedding is closed for business on Thanksgiving Day and Friday the 24th. We will be back and ready to go Monday 11/27/17. Thank you.
No time for a long post this week, sorry.
Just a quick reminder that we are booking orders into 2018 already. So if you have not planned out your purchases yet, please give us a call ASAP. The sooner we have your information, the better we can service your needs all winter long. Thanks!
The least favorite time of our business year has come. It's time to project sales and growth for the next year.
Anyone that runs their own business knows that trying to plan for next year is one of the hardest things that any business has to do. Is your business going to grow? Do you need more employees? What new products should you be sourcing? Is there an increased demand for something that you cureently sell?
All of these questions are terribly hard to answer. That's what makes the planning process so hard. So before you do the same thing as every other business owner (read: pull some more hair out), listen to a couple words of advice from all of us here at Pine River Bedding.
If you don't know where you started, how can you plan for more growth? Review your results and be super critical with yourself. What did you do really well? Where did you fall short? Where are there opportunities for growth? Be honest and critical with your business, but be fair about it. Look back proudly on what you achieved and consider where your strengths will help you grow your business going forward.
Don't ever grow your business just to grow! Identify your opportunities for cost savings by buying larger quantities from your vendors. Buy more products from one vendor if it fits your needs going forward. Look at growing your profit dollars, not just sales volume. Add products that your competitiors don't have.
Use a budget to plan the months out. Plan for your income and expenses both. Look back on previous year's for guidance, but look for opportunities to really accelerate your growth in key areas. Again, focus on growing profit, not just revenue. Look for cost savings.
Also, try to determine where your business can add value to your community or area. Become an expert in your field. If you can build up trust from the community as the "go to" place for certain needs, then you and your business will prosper long term.
For most animal owners, the opportunity to save money on feed or shavings would warrant some serious discussion. After all, feeding and caring for your animals is the easily the most costly part of raising them from babies into adults.
One of the things that we hear from time to time is, "I have this local sawmill that provides me with pine sawdust and their price is a lot cheaper than yours". That is most likely the case, and there are several reasons why that may be true. But the low price you are getting on all the sawdust might just be because no one else wants it...
Most independent, local sawmills won't tell you about the dirty little secret called airborne dust particles. This isn't just some crazy made up thing, it's been a major research topic for years. Attention: If you are buying local pine sawdust straight from a sawmill, then this could be a major concern for YOU and your animal's long term health.
In fact, the problem of airborne dust particles is so bad that the World Health Organization released an entire article talking about human consumption of dust during the normal course of work. The article did not specify an particular industries, but farming is one for concern. Here is an excerpt from that specific article:
"Whenever people inhale airborne dust at work, they are at risk of occupational disease. Year after year, both in developed and in developing countries, overexposure to dusts causes disease, temporary and permanent disabilities and deaths. Dusts in the workplace may also contaminate or reduce the quality of products, be the cause of fire and explosion, and damage the environment."
As for your animals? Here is an excerpt from an article discussing airborne dust particles and it's effect on pig health:
"It is well documented in the international scientific literature that airborne dust in pig houses can cause serious health problems for humans as well as for animals."
The article continues later on.
"...Airborne dust has been recognized as a potential risk factor and/or a causal agent for respiratory diseases in pigs. Although the effects on production efficiency are not very well documented, some international reports have suggested a relationship between high dust concentrations, reduced growth rate and increased respiratory health problems in pigs. In a literature review (CIGR, 1994) it was reported that in a study of 12 commercial pig units there were positive correlations between both the respirable and inhalable dust concentrations and the average severity of lung damage in finishing pigs."
So next time you are thinking about trying to save a couple bucks by purchasing some cheaper pine sawdust, think again. It might just be more than your animal's health at risk.
Great pure virgin wood shavings, pellets, and sawdust. Pine River Bedding.
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