• Identify something that you are good at or enjoy doing
  • Look for ways to solve others problems and find solutions
  • Look at what others are doing in the industry
  • By doing the above, is it profitable?
  • Try out your idea on friends and family and then the public

Identify something that you are good at or enjoy doing

No matter what you take on, you need to find something you enjoy doing. Doing something that you have no pleasure at, will soon end in defeat. Like I told my kids growing up… money is not everything! Find something you enjoy doing and make it your job. You will feel energetic each day doing what you enjoy and not be exhausted at the end of the workday.

We talking about farming and marketing a product. Like with any part of farming, farmers wear more than one hat at work, they wear many. They are very independent and strong-willed and are always there to help anyone in need. They get up early and work hard all day 365 days a year. They are the bosses and employees and tend to know every aspect of the job.

With beef producers, your end goal is to get a product to market and get as much as you can to cover the costs. Your product may be feeders, selling them every year at auction barns and feedlots. Your product might be finishing the feeders too butchering weights and selling the meat by the quarter, half, and whole cow to individuals hanging weight at the butcher shop. Your product may be the meat that has gone through a USDA butchering shop, paying the butcher to butcher, cut, and wrap to your specifications. Find the aspect you enjoy doing and do just that and find others that are good at doing the rest.

Look for ways to solve others’ problems and find solutions

Most families go to the grocery store and are forced into buying lessor costs meats because of prices and their budget. You the farmer know that if that same family bought half a cow, their meat bill could be cut in half and they could be eating prime cuts of meat for less than $5.00 a pound when it’s averaged with the other cuts in half a cow.

There are now many families that want grass feed beef that is free of any antibiotics and growth hormones. They are willing to pay a premium on that meat. I see some producers are selling it for $12.00 to $18.00 a pound. These producers are having a USDA butcher shop cut and wrap the meat and these producers sell out of freezers by the cut and pound.

Ask your friends and family what causes the most headaches when it comes to buying meat. Then stop talking and listen to what their needs are. Most consumers have no idea of how to spot quality meat. Slaughterhouses and larger grocery stores use food coloring to make the meat look fresher than it is. You know how beef will start to turn a slight brown color the longer it is exposed to air. Red dye is used to make it a bright red and super fresh looking.

Look at what others are doing in the industry

The biggest and best skill to have is the ability to listen. Search online folks that are already doing what you think you might enjoy doing. Do the same locally and reach out to them directly. It’s all on your approach to asking questions of what answers you will get. Farmers for the most part are willing to help others out and tend to give honest answers. I can tell you right now that the ones doing a great job at it and making a profit in the end, spent many a day working 16 to 18 hours a day to get them where they are now. I am also willing to bet they made mistakes and learned from them to hone their business.

By doing the above, is it profitable?

Is your price point where it needs to be to be competitive and also show a little profit? Doing a niche market is finding what others are not doing or not doing well and capitalizing on it. Remember, your time is worth something as well. Everything needs to be figured into the end cost.

Try out your idea on friends and family and then the public

Doing a couple of small test runs to see if your idea will work. Do you have friends and family willing to start buying from you? It’s easier to make adjustments on a small-scale test run than a large one. Build your business one customer at a time. Listen to their needs and provide creative solutions to help them.

I know we’re talking mainly beef, but this will work with any meat or dairy product. Make sure whatever product you decide to go with, meets or exceeds the customer expectations. Do not do anything subpar nor sell anything you would not eat yourself and be happy with. The adage of good news travels, but bad news travels faster.

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