Balancing their Business is a Labor of Love
When you can whole-heartedly see the results of a product and can believe in that product and the company that makes it, it is easy to say “yes” to becoming a dealer, even if it means balancing that with full-time careers and a herd of cattle.
That’s exactly what the mother-daughter duo at Foxfire Feed LLC, Pinetown, N.C., has done, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Mother, Sandra Boyd, works as a secretary for their 5,000-acre row crop farming operation; her oldest daughter, Melinda, is an agronomist, and her youngest daughter and resident-showman, Madison, is away at school at Oklahoma State University. Together, they all work to promote and market feed and mineral and manage the cow herd.
“We just do this on the side, on the weekends, in the afternoons, whenever we get a chance, It’s a fun ‘little hobby’,” Melinda chuckles.
Their little hobby of being BioZyme® dealers started about four years ago. They are dealers for Roy Umbarger & Sons Show Feed and had been purchasing the Sure Champ® products from Umbarger for their own use and having great results with them. Once they started using the products, they were eager to start selling the products. The rest is, as they say, history.
“That worked out really well for us, and now we are selling more than we ever imagined! We just really trusted the products that we purchased, and we wanted to share them with everyone in our area. We first were using the Vita Charge® Cattle Drench and the Sure Champ Cattle.” Melinda said.
She adds that the products speak for themselves, and their success combined with that of their customers has been the best marketing tool that Foxfire Feed has used. She said when they travel to shows, people will often ask them what they do to keep their cattle looking so good.
“We don’t tell them all of our secrets, but we do tell them about the BioZyme products. The Sure Champ keeps them on feed, the green cattle drench, Vita Charge, is really a miracle worker when they do go off feed or are in stressful situations. We use the drench before every show, and we use Vita Charge Climate Control before every show because the heat and humidity are really big factors here in Eastern North Carolina. People notice our livestock and our customers’ livestock. They like what they see, and they buy it from us,” Melinda said.
Not only are they involved in showing their own livestock, but the Boyd family also provides sponsorship to some of the shows in the state. Melinda said the show industry is rapidly growing in Eastern North Carolina. Providing sponsorship to some of the shows not only puts the Foxfire Feed name out there, but it lets their customers know that they believe in them, as much as they believe in the products that the Boyds sell.
She does suggest that anyone that is interested in being a dealer should use the products first, as it helped her family have a greater understanding of how and why they work. However, if that isn’t always possible, she said the resources that BioZyme offers the dealers make being a dealer easy, especially with a busy schedule.
She said the Master Dealer Training Program is great at further explaining products, and the entire staff has been willing to help their dealership during their busy times. Their ASM Justin O’Flaherty always is willing to help them when they have a question.
“The whole company is very helpful if we need something. And with the time management that we have to figure out, it is a juggling act for all of us, that’s for sure,” Melinda said.
Being an outstanding BioZyme dealer is one thing that the Boyds of Foxfire Feed have definitely figured out. They give back to those who trust and use their products and rely on the many resources offered to the dealer network. They are passionate about the products and excited to share them with others. They truly are dealers that exemplify “care that comes full circle.”
When it comes to raising a livestock project from start to finish, every day counts. From the moment your customers bring their projects home, their livestock depend on them to provide superior nutrition that drives appetite and health, and in turn, your customers expect their animals to gain and perform at the highest level. Feeding Sure Champ from the start and consistently can keep livestock on feed and gaining at their full potential despite the challenges of the show environment, providing your customers peace of mind that EVERY DAY will be their animal’s best day.
- Getting Started Guides:
- Take advantage of our amazing resources to help your new feeders get started. There is a guide for each specie, and they have tons of helpful information including:
- Nutrition & Feeding Tips
- Equipment Needs
- Educational Resources.
- Click here for the Getting Started with Show Cattle
- Click here for the Getting Started with Show Pigs
- Click here for the Getting Started with Show Goats
- Click here for the Getting Started with Show Lambs
- Take advantage of our amazing resources to help your new feeders get started. There is a guide for each specie, and they have tons of helpful information including:
- Prep to Win Videos
- How-to videos that will help your customers “prep to win” in the ring with their cattle and pig show projects. Find these online at www.surechamp.com/preptowinvideos
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat
- Join our community of over 100,000 followers to get the latest education and product information
As business owners and leaders in a world of connectivity it is often challenging to have a separation between work and personal life, especially when you are involved in agriculture. Your customers are likely your friends, neighbors and maybe even your relatives. Smart phones and tablets keep you connected to everyone, starting first thing in the morning until late at night. Combine all that with the last-minute needs of many people, and it truly is hard to balance personal and professional lives.
However, everyone does need some type of a break. No one performs to their highest during a season of burnout, and if you are not performing to your best potential, your sales will show. Perhaps instead of a balance, you need to decide the best way to “give-and-take” the time you need to grow your business, while still enjoying life. For instance, a start-up, young business will probably need to work harder, putting forth more effort than a well-established, highly respected company. That is part of the give-and-take or balance of being a business owner or leader.
Megan Sullivan offers seven tips on achieving some type of balance in your work and personal lives.
Set Boundaries and Keep Them. This is critical to your personal wellbeing in many different aspects. Be sure to set a time boundary. If you are typically open from 8 – 5, daily, it is acceptable to answer the phone a little early or even make a delivery. But much later than 5:30 or so, you need to call it quitting time and put up the phone and spend time doing something you enjoy.
When it comes to space boundaries, these are just as important as time boundaries. Make sure you have a space where you can leave work behind, like an office, shed or even in your pickup. Just make sure when you get you home, you don’t bring work with you.
Take Time Off. If you say you’re taking time off or time away, mean it. This is especially true on days you are sick or have medical appointments. If you have let your customers know you are going to be out, they will respect that, and not contact you.
Keep your Social Commitments. You remember what they said about all work and no play? It made Jack a dull boy. And it will make you a dull human being too. Not only are social opportunities a good way to keep up with your friends and what is happening in your community, they are also another way to promote you and your company (remember, life is all about balance).
Take Care of Yourself. Self-care is so important to being able to function properly. Be sure you eat healthy meals and snacks and take breaks throughout the day. If you are at a desk the majority of the day, get up and stretch. Walk around and get some fresh air every few hours. If you are outside in the elements most of the day, be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks when you can.
Part of taking care of yourself is also rejuvenating away from work. Take a vacation. Maybe you can’t afford the time or money for an elaborate trip. But, take time away. Take a long weekend away with your family. Go visit family or friends. Explore some part of the state or country you’ve always wanted to visit. There are several ways to get away and not spend a great deal of money, and ultimately, you will feel better for it.
Set your Own Norms. Remember, what works for your neighbor might not work for you. For instance, you know you have church on Wednesday nights. Make that a night that is set aside for family. It might be a family policy that everyone eats together either before or after church, and no cell phones are allowed. If the other stores in town are open late one night a week, you can choose to stay open or not. It is up to you to set your schedule and what works best for you.
Ask for Help. You don’t wear a cape, and you don’t have to be a superhero. Sometimes you can be more efficient if you ask for help. Or better yet, delegate some responsibility to other employees. Asking for help and delegating are ways that you can get more time back on your calendar or accomplish a task quicker with the help of others.
Know When to Say No. We live in a society of people pleasers and saying “no” to others is hard. But sometimes it is the best thing to do for your own sanity. Weigh the pros and cons. Is it worthwhile to you, your family or your business to say yes? If not, a firm no is always better than giving the asker the false hope of a “maybe.”
Work-life balance isn’t a myth. But it isn’t easy either. It takes some planning and time to achieve, but with the advice of these tips above, you can still grow your business while having a happy, healthy personal life too.
Online source for this story: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/ productivity/12secrets-to-achieving-a-good-work-life-balance-as-a-businessowner/
Getting involved. Giving back. Sharing a passion and her knowledge. These are all actions that have helped Riley Faris, Pueblo, Colo., get her business going during her first summer as a BioZyme® dealer.
Faris, who was involved in youth livestock projects growing up, has stepped up as a volunteer the past three years at the Pueblo County Fair in Southeast Colorado. She showed at this same fair as an exhibitor, and now enjoys coming back as a volunteer, assisting the swine superintendent with the hog show including duties ranging from weighing in the pigs, to breaking classes to helping manage the show on show day.
“I’m trying to help the youth with showing and to learn how to take care of their animals. Coming from an agricultural background, it is important to instill in the youth the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in our everyday life. Plus, when I was growing up, I had a lot of people help me, so now that I’m older I want to return that to the younger kids,” Faris said.
Faris is not only helping youth understand the importance of agriculture and assisting with the annual hog show, but she is also trying to teach the young exhibitors and their parents the importance of keeping their animals healthy with the use of a good nutrition program. As a newer BioZyme dealer, she takes the opportunities of being at the Pueblo County Fair and other surrounding livestock shows to discuss the Sure Champ® line of products and the Amaferm® advantage.
At this year’s Pueblo County Fair, Faris was able to sponsor showmanship awards for the Grand and Reserve Champion showman of each species, while promoting the products that help their livestock stay on feed and water and keep healthy.
“This year because of BioZyme and all of the support they offer, I was able to get showmanship banners for hogs, sheep, goats and beef.
I am also giving each of the winners a little goodie bag with some additional fun things and added information about the Sure Champ line, specifically designed for show animals,” she said. “The kids were so excited. Typically, the grand and reserve champion animals get banners, but they have to give them to the buyers, so the kids were excited they got to bring their showmanship banners home with them.”
In addition to the awards she provided at Pueblo County, she sponsored awards for the Grand and Reserve Grand Market Animal classes at the neighboring Otero County to Fair. Both sponsorships led to product awareness, and with the county fair and state fair about a month a part in Pueblo, she said she sold some additional Sure Champ between the county fairs and the Colorado State Fair.
“The most rewarding part is watching the new kids that come up through the programs or the kids that reach out to me and watching them succeed and seeing the look on their faces when they know they have accomplished something,” Faris said.
Although Faris genuinely enjoys watching the youth grow, learn and succeed, she knows that being involved in the local shows has created awareness for her business, and helped increase her sales.
“Give a little bit of yourself and your time, and people will start supporting your business,” she said.
When it comes to running your business, would you rather have a leader or manager in charge? Seems like a trick question until you really think about it. However, it is best to have someone who can balance both the traits of a leader and a manager and work in the business while also working on the growth of the business.
A leader guides or directs. We often think of leaders setting behind large mahogany desks in big cushy chairs. They set budgets, give inspirational talks at the company’s monthly meetings and cheer on the employees who have reached milestones. Everyone wants to be an all-powerful leader.
A manager on the other hand, sets among the employees in a not so cushy chair, and lives by the budgets set forth for them. They often oversee one team or division of the company, and make sure that tasks are assigned and completed on time, team goals are met. Managing can sound dreary and sometimes like the controlling force behind the worker bees.
However, both leaders and managers are needed in successful business settings. Are you a leader or a manager? The problem with this either-or thinking is that both are needed in a well-run enterprise.
According to a post at www.inpserity.com: “Leaders focus on high-level objectives such as inspiring and motivating the team to success, which can be exciting and powerful. Managers focus on organizing, planning and overseeing daily operations and that can sound mundane.”
You might be thinking back to Lisa’s letter, and wondering, in your position, should you be working in the business or on the business. The answer is, both.
A well-balanced supervisor, regardless of title, will have some traits of both a leader and a manager. Although a manager’s first priority is to make sure employees get their job complete in an efficient order – working in the business; it is also important to the employees to hear from their manager positive feedback on how they accomplished the task – working on the business. That is a good example of how a supervisor needs to balance the roles of both manager and leader.
Here are six questions for you to ask yourself, according to Insperity. com, to help you balance your manager-leader role to make your employees and your business more efficient.
1. Is the work getting done well without my intervention? If yes, concentrate on motivating the team to keep performing well. If not, put on your manager hat and ask the team what’s getting in the way of better performance, then help them implement changes.
2. Do you focus on results or the process (how the job got done)? If you focus on results, good for you. That’s what is most important. If you tend to focus on process more than results, challenge yourself to become more comfortable with the reality that many alternatives may exist to getting the same result.
3. Do colleagues in other parts of the organization come to you for advice? If yes, you’re probably seen as a leader. If not, look at what you can change to support and inspire others. What do you spend the most time talking about? The tasks at hand, processes and deadlines, or the big picture and strategy? Managers need to discuss both but pay attention to whether you’re leaning too hard one direction or the other.
4. What do you spend the most time talking about? The tasks at hand, processes and deadlines, or the big picture and strategy? Managers need to discuss both but pay attention to whether you’re leaning too hard one direction or the other.
5. Do you ask employees to accomplish objectives without explaining the need behind the request? Employees are more likely to go the extra mile if they understand why they’re being asked to do something.
6. Who is responsible when things go wrong? Do you blame the team or yourself? A leader understands that it’s ultimately his or her responsibility for the success or failure of a team.
Remember, there is no one right to lead or manage your team, but you will need to balance your skills so that you can encourage them to get the work done while also serving as a coach and motivator. Being a manager and a leader at the same time will allow you to work in and on the business, achieving the best results for everyone.
Information from this article from: https://www.insperity.com/blog/leadershipvs-management-strike-right-balance-business/
Balance: How to spend time on your business, not just in your business
Balance is defined as “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” To be honest, having all the elements of life in balance has never been easy for me, because I love to work. I am always thinking up a new, amazing change to implement with all sorts of “positive” ramifications, and I just don’t take much time for balance.
I don’t think I will be able to change that about myself, and to be quite honest, I do not desire to change. However, what I also do not do very well, but do desire to change, is the time I spend working on the business versus in the business.
In entrepreneurial circles, there’s a well-known book called “The E-Myth Revisited,” by Michael Gerber. He popularized this concept of working on the business as opposed to in the business. Easily put, working in your business achieves results for your customers, while working on your business achieves results for the company and your customers.
If you want to achieve sustainable long-term results for your business, you’ll need to do both. For me, staying focused on working on the business is hard. I know it is the right way, but before I know it another month is gone, and all I have done is work in the business. One way to check yourself on this is to start a journal and record everything you do for a week and then categorize everything into either an “in” or “on” column. Your time must be weighted to “on” if you want the financial results of the company to continue to grow. Here are some lists to help you choose the right column in your journal and keep you honest.
I know from experience how easy it is to just work IN your business for weeks and weeks and even months without doing anything to work ON your business. Every day stuff happens so you deal with that stuff, and if you aren’t very careful, the day will end without achieving much at all to help your business move forward.
So, give the journal a try. It doesn’t take much to get started, even 30 minutes a day to begin with to get into the habit. The great thing about working ON your business is that very quickly it will make working IN your business a lot easier and more rewarding.