Ever hear yourself saying any of the following?
“I can only sell my eggs for XX amount because in my area that’s all the market will bear.”
“The going rate for pork in my area is XX per lb. so I hate to charge much more than that.”
“I am competing with farms who have sprung up as tax write offs for wealthy realtors and bankers in the area who are charging as much as $2 less a pound for their meat. I am considering closing up shop.”
“People can’t/won’t pay what I need to charge to make a profit.”
I want you to be a huge success, and I know you can, so if you find yourself saying any of these things then I encourage you to pause and just think about a few things.
Don’t give away control to outside influence
When you say this, you are giving away your control of your own success and putting it completely under the control of outside forces. If you don’t think you have control over your pricing — if you hold the belief that the market determines what you should charge, then you’ll most likely go under.
Thoughts like this give you a ‘victim’ mindset – as if your livelihood is at the mercy of someone else other than you. Subconsciously you’ll feel helpless — like you can’t increase your prices, as if it’s out of your control.
If you think these thoughts then you also have closed your mind to new opportunities and new perspectives that would have helped you figure out how to be sustainable. You’ll miss opportunities that come along.
It can be very difficult to recognize that our thoughts are what’s holding us back. If you say things like the statements above, then that’s exactly what’s happening in your business.
Your lack of customers is completely under your control
It’s not the neighbor’s cheap prices or the lack of foodies in your community. It’s your thoughts that are stopping your business from being successful. Your farm can be successful no matter where you live and who surrounds you. You can make it that way!
That mindset, or limiting belief — the one that says, “this won’t work for me because of (fill in blank)” is going to do you in.
By now you may be thinking – “why is Charlotte writing about thoughts and mindset yet again??” It’s because every time I write a post with some marketing tactics that I know work really well, I get some comments from people saying they tried them and they are working and their farm is growing and doing great…
…and yet I also get comments from some who say “this sounds good but won’t work for me because…” fill in the blank with any reason (or excuse) as to why implementing new ideas and new techniques won’t work for them.
And I want EVERYONE out there with a farm to be successful so I keep trying to reach y’all 🙂
It’s hard to step outside and see yourself
And it can be so difficult to see that in yourself. So if you’ve ever thought that you’d like to try this stuff but it won’t work for you because of XX – then you’re exactly the person I’m talking with!! I hope you’ll pause for just a moment, check in and see if that’s you, and just that recognition alone will help shift you into a mindset of possibility.
There will always be cheaper farms surrounding you
There are always going to be people around you undercutting you. There are trust-fund babies in every single industry that need a tax write-off and are quite happy charging less than production costs just so they can move product.
I have them all around me where I live and yet I and other farmers like me still sell out our products at a price they warrant to a devoted group of customers who support us in developing a sustainable farm.
Those trust fund babies or cheaper priced farmers have their “tribe”, a loyal following of customers or price shoppers, and guess what?? There’s a ‘tribe’ out there for you, too!
Your ideal customers are all around you, ready to pay what you need to be sustainable and they want to support you. But it starts with you and your mindset, then use relationship building techniques and you can be successful.
Here’s Anna’s story of success!
I’d like to share a story of one of our graduates, Anna, who runs a CSA in South Dakota. She recently went to a farm tour in her community and in our Facebook group she posted about how depressing it was. Listening to all the local growers it was as if she lives in a different world!
Other farmers all complained and agreed that the “climate” for local food in the area is poor, vegetable consumption is declining and farmers market turn-out is extremely poor. Also, the CSA’s say their retention rate of customers is about 30% from year to year. The money they spend on marketing to constantly get more customers is jaw-dropping.
However our student, Anna, had no idea this was going on all around her. She said she feels like “Little Miss Optimistic” because her business is going great!! Her business is growing, excited customers are telling their friends, her sales model works great, and since she incorporated our relationship based marketing plan she can retain most of her customers from season to season.
I tell you my heart SOARED when I heard Anna’s testimony!! This is what I experience, too, thousands of miles away. Farmers complaining all around me that they can’t sell their product at the price they need and they can’t find customers.
Yet right next door are farmers who incorporate relationship based marketing and enjoy growth and profits.
If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right
If you just shift that one thought right there, then guess what?? You’ll be open to hearing and incorporating new things that will make your business flourish.
When your perceptions shift your personal story shifts. All those farmers around Anna perceive that the local food climate is bad, people aren’t eating as many veggies, and they can’t retain their customers. So that’s their reality!
Anna’s perception is different and therefore her story is different and her CSA is a success, while all around her others fail with the same pool of customers (just a different perception.)
One thing I know for sure is things become better because of you, not because of something external to you. If you’re waiting for your food climate to shift or the economy, or veggies to become more trendy, then you won’t become better nor will your farm.
You will feel a huge burden lift just by shifting your perspective. I hope you can try! And again, I know it’s not easy and it’s not a ‘once and done’ thing either. I have to shift my perspective regularly. And when I do, it opens up new doors and opportunities for growth.
I really, truly want the best for you. Be encouraged. Be open to growth and change. When you are, then your business will grow and change and thrive. And it starts with changing your mind, which sounds so easy but I know is not. Yet that’s the key to gaining back your customers and having a profitable farm.
I wish you all the best!
If you haven’t yet taken our free training, here’s what one attendee said,
“Although this was a mini- course and free, it didn’t lack in content. I learned that being personal and building a relationship with your customers is the most important thing you can do for your business. I’ve already started building my future e-mail list! Your course really helped me with how I should address my customers.”
Now that you’ve shifted your perspective and are open to growth and change and profit, why not give the free training a try? Click here to sign up.