When you set out to start a business is there a road map you can follow or a recipe for success?
A set of steps you can take to go from where you are to where you want to be. Simply do them, and success follows.
It’s a nice thought. And that’s about all it, a nice thought. Because when it comes to business there isn’t a roadmap to success, but despite that, we all want the roadmap to success.
Maybe it’s just human nature, the just tell me how to do it approach.
It’s a dangerous approach because no two approaches are the same. There are too many variables at stake to create a recipe. But again, everyone wants the recipe.
As someone once said on a podcast that I did the danger of following a recipe is that you if you buy into the recipe then you become the recipe, a really, really pale copy of what you are trying to emulate.
In life and in business, there are recipes, but recipes rarely lead to success, but also in life there are base principles, universals which recipes are built on.
Today, we aren’t focusing on the recipes, we’re focusing on the base principles when it comes to starting a business. It’s a topic which I will take on with that aforementioned someone, being Javan Bernakevitch, along with our friend Rob Avis.
Javan and Rob have developed a set of 12 base principles of business and join me to talk about the first 6 of those principles.
This episode is Part 1 of a multi-part series with Javan and Rob.
The Six Principles
1) We are profitable, we do not subsidize
The survival of any business requires profit. Being profitable requires a deep and truthful understanding of time, material and land costs on the farm. These hard costs allow you to set prices that make you money. These prices are likely going to be higher than your competition’s. Anything less than that and you are giving your life energy to your clients at a loss. You are not in business to lose money, you are in business to grow nutrient-dense food for awesome people at a profit.
2) We know our value and communicate clearly and concisely
The confused mind says no. Products and their benefits should be communicated in a way that a grade 5 student can understand. We should spend time and effort to craft our story and explain the value that we provide. If our products look like our competitions then we will subconsciously be viewed as equivalent.
There is no point in producing if you can’t sell it and it is harder to sell if you don’t have a good brand and reputation. If our price is our offer we need to explain why we are charging this price by communicating the value. Very successful enterprises put an equivalent amount of effort into crafting their story and marketing as they do into creating their products.
This value is closely tied to our differentiated factors in principle 2.
3) We differentiate.
Differentiation is important to marketing a product because it helps your product stand out in a crowd. You can do this with price, innovation in production, benefits, customer service and/or convenience. Your differentiation should appeal to the market segment that we choose: fitness, health and high-end restaurants. We can also partner with specific people to strengthen your differentiated product. Because we are unique we are not associated with potential competition.
4) We remain indifferent to the sale, we will not pitch
This is one of the most important principles. Clients can smell desperation and will run away from it. One of the most valuable characteristics about your situation is that you do not rely on farm income for your livelihood. It is better to reduce your supply, increase your price and sell to clients who are excited to purchase a high-quality product than to hard sell a discounted product. Selling is all about finding a fit with clients who are seeking specific products, features or services that solve their problem at a price that works for both parties.
5) We are selective about our clients.
The moment you’re a fit for everyone you are a fit for no one. It is important to know who you are producing for. Once you know who your perfect client is you can seek them out. For example, we grow beyond organic, nutrient-dense meat for high performance athletes.
It is important to be selective about who you produce for, as this makes it easier to focus your marketing dollars because it is easier to locate your clientele. In addition, you want to choose clients that will recognize the value that you provide. Think about Mercedes: they don’t produce cars for everyone, but almost everyone wants to drive one as they are viewed as the best. I recommend you choose Naturopathic Doctors and MDs practicing functional medicine, Cross Fit or equivalent, and potentially doulas and midwives. You should not produce for more than one restaurant and you should choose the restaurant only for strategic brand establishment and marketing purposes. Price is one variable, but only a small one
6) Our client process is smooth, effective and efficient and communicate clearly. (This creates trust and confidence in our clients.)
Consistent communication and transaction ease and velocity are important to create a great experience for our clients. A client wants well-communicated product benefits and they want it to be easy and problem free. Most of your clients are ignorant to meat cuts, weights and processes. We should provide them with a quantity for one price at a specific time. That should require one transaction, likely before the animal is delivered. Pre-season purchases can be rewarded with additional value to encourage early sales. Options within the purchase process should be simplified to two or three options. Each option can add value to the package and give choice – but not too much choice. In addition to making it easy for your clients you make it easy for yourself.