Doug Slattery is an experienced cattleman, well versed in the complex and shifting needs of today’s livestock industry – from driving improved breed efficiency through genetic advances, to developing thousands of bulls a season that meet the needs of the commercial beef producer, to getting steaks on the table from coast to coast.
Giving back to your community and the people within it usually leaves the giver with a great sense of accomplishment and good will. However, if your business and its employees take time to get involved in community events, it will spread that sense of giving even further and spread brand awareness and business loyalty within your community.
While you and your business are making a societal impact, you are also actually doing good things for your business and employee morale. Studies have shown that a business’s involvement in community outreach will actually strengthen employee retention, especially with younger employees who have been taught the value of giving back through school and other organizations. And, while employee retention might not sound like a big deal, it is actually huge when it comes to the cost of replacing an employee. The recruiting, hiring and training process can cost a company thousands of dollars. Here are four other ways you can make a positive impact on your business while helping others in the community.
Increase Brand/Business Awareness
When you get involved in community events, you represent not only yourself, but your business. Introduce yourself that way. Others that you are working with will likely be curious about what you do/make/sell. And chances are, someone you are volunteering with that day will have a need for some good or service you offer. Remember, a majority of households have pets, and BioZyme ® markets canine products. You can also use the opportunity to promote your good will on your company website or social media. Take photos of your employees giving back and put them out on social media or make a display board in your store. Local customers are more likely to do and continue business with companies that are involved in the community.
Connect with the Community
It seems obvious that if you are participating in community service events that you are making connections. But your connections can lead to an amazing network of professionals, potential customers and employees. Maybe you have been thinking about engaging in social media, but don’t have the time, patience or skill set to post everything you want on your company Facebook or Twitter. When you are volunteering your time, you might just find someone who is capable of working on social media on a part-time basis, or you might be able to find other ways to connect by joining professional organizations or service groups.
Make a Difference
In a day where the nightly news is filled with so much bad isn’t it time to make a difference? You never know what the impact might be of a meal served to a shut-in or volunteering for a community Easter egg hunt will mean to a child who might not ever receive an Easter basket. Although giving back is sometimes thankless, the small smiles, hand squeezes and simplicity of knowing you made the difference to at least one person should make you want to give your time and efforts.
Grow Internal Relationships
At the beginning of this article, it was mentioned that employee retention is just one benefit of community involvement. However, if your business can devote a half-day or day to the community, it will give your employees a chance to build greater bonds, come together outside of work and appreciate one another as humans and not just co-workers. Having strengthened relationships outside the company will increase employee morale and leave a positive impression on the employees, giving them a great sense of ownership in a company that supports its community.
Giving back. It’s good for the soul, and it’s good for business. Not only does it feel good to give your time and talents, it might just help you increase company morale and grow your business at the same time.
Not all great leaders will be recognized with a lengthy title, a big square on the top of an organizational chart or by recognition in the local paper for his or her community service. Some of your company’s best and most brilliant leaders might just work in the back of the building.
It’s true. It takes all types of people to make a business function and it takes all kinds of people to become leaders. And yes, we do need those extroverted leaders who want to set in meetings and make decisions that will impact the business and its employees for years to come. We need the leaders who aren’t afraid to teach others the newest sales and marketing techniques and aren’t afraid to talk to a room of 100 dealers, and we need those leaders who will travel up and down the road to spend nights away from their families to sell our great product.
However, we need leaders that will make things happen that we don’t even think about. Think about the crew in the production plant. They work in there, day after day after day. They know the processes and equipment better than anyone in the building. How many BioZyme® dealers have heard the name Dan Wierzba? Probably not too many raised their hands. Dan is the Director of the Plant. Last fall, he along with Nicholas Fansher, a bagging operator, created an automated Sure Champ® Cattle scoop dispenser with little cost or effort, that would ultimately save the bagging operator hours of time. That is leadership. They saw a need; they acted and accomplished something to improve efficiency. Nobody knows them from a fancy title or a big meeting, but they are leaders.
What if I wrote the name Jody Purvis? A few more of you might recognize her name; she does come to dealer retreat and talks to many of our dealers on the phone. She is the one that makes sure every dealer has supplies; literature, apparel, signage, etc. She makes sure that Action Awards point orders are filled. She works with the BioZyme staff to make sure they have supplies for trade shows and meetings and she rarely says “no” when asked to complete a task. She is at the office early and often stays late. She knows the ins and outs of the company, and she will spend time on the phone with new hires to make sure they get the training they need to complete an expense report correctly. That is leadership. She is there to help. She gets tasks accomplished. She doesn’t always get extra praise or recognition, but she is a leader.
Leadership is not solely a title or a position on an organizational flow chart. Leadership is an action; it is often a sign of passion for helping others and doing the right thing. If you have the right people in the right positions, even the most non-public of your employees can demonstrate their leadership skills and help your business grow.
It’s no secret, “effective leaders outperform ineffective leaders every time.” That is the conclusion of Douglas Day, 30-year leadership consultant and author. He further states that if companies are going to succeed, the CEO or person of highest leadership needs to work to develop leadership skills throughout all levels of the company. Here are three truths that Day offers about leadership and how this trait will help your business grow.
• Leadership is a sustainable competitive advantage. Leaders must develop at a rate that keeps pace with accelerating global change. Development challenges our most cherished beliefs and assumptions. Business performance is directly tied to effective leadership, and the most effective leaders are conscious, authentic leaders. The top leader in any organization should be the most effective, authentic leader, and keep current with changes in the industry, with technology and in business and setting an example for the others that work in the company.
• Authentic leaders create cultures of commitment.“Most people enthusiastically support only what they’ve had an active hand in creating. Disengagement is a huge financial cost, as it deadens spirit, passion, innovation, purpose and commitment,” Day writes. Great leaders are all inclusive. They make sure they offer opportunities for all employees to offer input, especially in their specific areas of expertise, where efficiencies could increase, or production costs could be lowered. The more included the employees are, the more commitment they have to the company.
• The best top leadership teams are all about results and relationships. The best teams leverage tremendous business capability, tap into deep wells of personal and collective knowledge, actively seek strategic interdependencies and relationships, and function together in a circle of key leadership processes. Top teams should ask the question: how effective are we individually and collectively as leaders? How do we know and what are we going to do about it?
Day further states, “Great leadership is a competitive advantage, and high performance is achieved and sustained through effective leadership practices applied with discipline over time.”
Now, what Day isn’t saying that is just because you have a great team of leaders means your business will grow automatically. But since those leaders are training those employees similar business, marketing, communication and leadership skills that the entire team will put into practice, then the business will grow.
Once you have these leadership skills four things must happen for your business to grow.
- Execute your strategy. You know the plan. You’ve got the skills. You’ve set your sales goals. Now, it is time to put those plans and skills to work to achieve your goals.
- Business Rhythm. Day defines this as the “management cycle of leadership processes designed to: track progress against strategy and planning; review status on operational results through clear key metrics; update the strategy regularly, and ensure action is being driven by insight based on relevant, current information, and is focused on achieving the vision. Senior leaders need to build discipline and depth into their leadership process and management cycle, to achieve accountability, predictability, ongoing learning, renewal and sustainability.”
- Operational Performance. Organizations should develop simple processes that are internally efficient, locally responsive and globally adaptable. Complexity is removed from the customer experience to enable them to engage you in ways that are both well-designed and sustaining.This means continually making improvements, increasing efficiencies, developing new products and strategies.
- Strategic Communication. Nothing happens in business without conversation. This can be conversation between customer and employee; employee and employer; employer and board member. Every sale, new product development or product enhancement happens because of a conversation that started somewhere.
Leadership. It starts at the top, and those businesses with the most effective examples of a great leader will show performance and growth. They will implement their strategies through their business rhythm, evaluate their processes and continue the conversation to grow into the future.
Information for this article curated from: https://leadershipcircle.com/en/business-resultsand-effective-leadership-effective-leaders-outperform-ineffective-leaders-every-time/
When a gosling hatches, it immediately looks around until it locates a bright moving object and then instinctively follows that wherever it goes. Following is the most natural thing on earth. Leading, on the other hand, takes work. Leadership is many things, but it is not a target or something that can be figured out or wielded only when a situation demands. It is a skill that needs to be constantly practiced and developed. It is a verb not a noun. John Kennedy said it best when he wrote, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
A couple of years ago I attended the University of Chicago Booth for a week-long executive class called High Performance Leadership. I loved it. As we studied leadership the professor made it clear that about 2% us will never have leadership capacity, and 2% of us can do it in our sleep. However, most of us or 96% have an average level of leadership capacity. It’s the most of us that have the opportunity to develop the courage, capacity and wisdom to increase our leadership capacity. My teacher, Linda Ginzel, believes that very few people are born leaders and very few don’t have the capacity at all. She wrote a very good book called “Choosing Leadership.” Bottom line from the class and the book: you can’t wing leadership. And so that means all the qualities in the diagram are important for leaders to think about and intentionally work on every day.
Let me give you a true Lisa example. In the Chicago Booth class, we had to share something that people who we work with say about us directly to us or what we hear from others about what they say. Mine was easy. The first thing people always say to me when they address me is, “I know you are so busy, but . . . “(this really bothers me as I never want to be too busy for our employees).
The class then asked me to explain my typical day. I leave my house on the phone to one of my BioZyme® colleagues. I drive to work still on the phone. I pull into the parking lot still on the phone, usually to a different colleague. I get all my stuff out of the car still on the phone. I go into the building and walk all the way down the main hall to my office on the phone. That’s where I got stopped by my classmates. They said that my entrance into the building and hall walk sends the message from the git-go that I am busy. That’s winging it. I can’t wing it. So, now I sit in the parking lot until I can be off the phone and come in and continue all the way down the hall saying good morning. This seemed a bit dumb to me as I felt I was just maximizing time, but the more I studied choosing leadership, the more I realized talking on the phone like that is winging it and not focusing on being more sincere.
Taking this type of action (changing) is hard work but choosing leadership as a skill not a trait and honing it through both reflection and practice will change your future, and it’s a verb worth embracing.
Sells Service and a Whole Lot More
At your first glance at the Gatlin Feed website, you would presume this business is a fullservice farm store that specializes in livestock feed and nutrition and a full gamut of farm supplies for every specie. And, they do. But their real specialty is making people’s lives easier.
“I’m in the service business. Everybody wants their life to be easier and that is what we try to do. We don’t promote anything I haven’t used. If I don’t think it works, I would never sell it,” said Jeff Gatlin, owner of Gatlin Feed based in Boque Chitto, Miss.
Jeff has been providing service and selling feed to his customers for more than 40 years. His dad, Charles, started the family business when he started mixing his feed for his cattle, looking for a consistent product that worked year-after-year. His neighbors noticed the higher-performing, healthier looking cattle, and the elder Gatlin was now in the feed business.
Jeff purchased his dad’s share of the business about 15-20 years ago, and just a few years ago started adding Amaferm® into a feed he was giving some cattle he was backgrounding. He noticed a marked difference in efficiency and growth and became a BioZyme® dealer soon after, continuing to add Amaferm into some of the cattle and wildlife feeds his mill makes as well as selling the other supplements to his customers.
Gatlin markets a deer ration with Amaferm to several breeders in the South. He said the conception rates on their does have increased considerably, and the overall health of the deer has improved since including Amaferm in the feed. At the Whitetails of Louisiana breeders’ show the past two years, customers on Gatlin’s deer feed have taken four of the top five awards in antlers and deer size.
“Those awards have helped improve our sales. We are competing against the Purinas and Nutrenas, and it’s pretty neat being a Tier 2 distributor manufacturing our own feed. It’s pretty neat when your product does as well or better,” Jeff said.
In addition to the cattle and deer feed, Jeff also has a growing market for the Vitalize® High Performance mineral. He has several race tracks and breeders in south Louisiana that have been pleased with the product, and he continues to grow within the equine market.
“I’m a visionary, and I see way out sometimes. And I’m real adamant about growth. I feel like if you’re standing still, you’re going backwards,” Jeff said. “I’m a hustler and whatever that takes to get the work done, I’ll do it. If it means loading up mineral on a Sunday afternoon to make a delivery, I’ll do it, even if it means driving 250-300 miles. Usually I find that will turn into additional business. Ten times out of ten, it does.”
When Jeff makes his Sunday afternoon deliveries, he usually will call ahead to see what products besides mineral the customer might need. If a producer needs mineral, they might also need fencing supplies, a feeder or some other farm equipment that Jeff can sell them. And when he delivers it on a Sunday, he’s providing service and making their lives easier.
Professional development opportunities don’t come along every day when you are in the animal nutrition business. However, BioZyme® offers an opportunity that will help you grow your business, allow you to learn more about the products you sell and give you the chance to build valuable relationships with other dealers and the BioZyme staff.
Each June, BioZyme offers a day-and-a-half of professional development to its dealers who have achieved a specific sales goal the year prior. You’ve probably seen some promotional information for the 7th Annual BioZyme Dealer Retreat in the last two VISION newsletters. If you sold at least 50 tons of product in 2018, you’ll want to be watching your mailbox this month for your invitation.
The Dealer Retreat offers educational sessions led by BioZyme staff that covers marketing, selling tools and product highlights. There are also typically times for interactive discussions when dealers can exchange what works best for them in a given scenario or with a specific product.
Mark Johnson, Sleepy Hollow Farm, Centerville, S.D., attended his first Dealer Retreat in 2018. He highly recommends it to anyone that has the chance to attend, especially newer dealers. He said learning more about the products, meeting BioZyme staff in-person to discover who to call for what, and hearing what works for other dealers were the most beneficial parts of the retreat.
“We’ve really interacted more with the home office, mostly just because we figured out who to talk to from personal contact made at the dealer retreat,” Johnson said. “Last year, we really enjoyed getting to know the marketing staff better and realized how much was available to us.”
Johnson took what he learned from the Promoboxx session last year and made his first Facebook post at the Dealer Retreat session. And, due to that Promoboxx post, he made a sale to a new customer before the evening’s casino night was over.
“I would say Promoboxx contributed to almost 50% of our new leads since the last Dealer Retreat,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s experience is just one of many positive experiences that dealers have when they attend the Dealer Retreat. He said if it works into his schedule, he would attend again for further opportunities to grow his business, network and continue learning about the products and programs BioZyme offers.
The Dealer Retreat is not just a great place to learn, network and help grow your business. There are also some inspiring speakers, good food and entertainment and sales awards presented as well. This year dealers will experience a change of venue, moving from Saint Joseph to the Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Kansas City. There will still be BioZyme plant and headquarter tours available to those who wish to tour. And even if you have toured in the past, upgrades and changes are continually made to improve production and efficiency so the tours are always encouraged.
Take the time and action to grow your business.
When you receive your invitation to Dealer Retreat, RSVP with a “Yes” and reap the benefits.
Whether you’ve been a BioZyme® dealer for years or you are in the early stages of being a dealer, there is one thing for certain; the company is here to help you succeed and grow. From your Area Sales Manager to Business Development, Outreach Support, Customer Support, Nutrition Support, Marketing, Quality Control and Production, every employee at BioZyme is here to help you thrive in your dealership.
Jordan Milliren, who represents Iowa and Southwest Minnesota, is just one of the ASMs that makes sure his dealers have the marketing tools and support they need to grow and generate sales. He credits Trent Gabler and Mike Wadle, the previous ASMs in his territory, with building a solid foundation of dealers. Milliren said he works to ensure those dealers have the tools and resources they need to promote their products to current and potential customers.
“My dealers know their customers better than I do. They know if a mailer or touch-point is going to end-user customers, those customers are going to call and usually do business with them,” Milliren said.
Although sometimes unsure at first, he said his dealers are usually willing to work with him on a mailing. After all, it is to their benefit and cost effective for them. He credits the creativity and working relationship he has with the marketing team at BioZyme. He said he often has ideas for mailings or e-blasts, and they put them together to make them happen.
“I think it is important for our dealers to know that marketing does pay. I’d put our marketing team up against anyone in the industry. They have the ability to do some pretty creative stuff for our dealers, and it is to benefit their business, as well as BioZyme’s,” he said.
Brand awareness and education are priorities when it comes to Milliren’s marketing goals. When introducing a new dealer, he likes to introduce the person as a dealer with a small promotion just to help that dealer generate business. And with so many competitors on the market, making the touch-points, creating brand awareness and sharing one or two benefits is important.
“We don’t want to give customers too much information at once, but hit the highlights, like how a stress tub can help your calves at weaning time or why Concept•Aid® is important at breeding,” he said.
Milliren said he likes to send quarterly mailers to keep the brands in front of customers who have busy lifestyles. For instance, during planting and harvest, farmers might need a gentle reminder to check their cattle’s mineral, even though they know it is important. He said monthly e-mails help keep that brand awareness high as well.
Marketing can be a big undertaking. But with the assistance of your ASM and the BioZyme marketing team, you can work together to promote your business. Remember, there are many ways to work with the BioZyme staff. Just reach out to your ASM or the Outreach Support Center and let us know how we can help you grow your business.
If two heads are better than one when it comes to planning, just think how good things could be if we worked together in groups of three or four, or even more? But sometimes as an employee in a small business or a small-business owner, you might just be flying solo. That is why collaborating with others is so important to grow your business.
The connections you form with others, and the different ways you collaborate with those people you formed connections with, will help you grow your business to new levels.
An article from www.thebalancesmb.com offers five ways you might grow your small business through using collaboration, regardless of the industry you are in.
- Collaboration will inspire you. While it is easy to get into the routine of “we’ve always done it that way,” just think, there might be a better way. But how will you learn a different way or technique if your business is unique to you and unique to your location? Ask around. Do you want to find a new customer service tracking software? Or do you need a new way to keep inventory? Chances are there is another dealer who has gone through the same growing pains you are experiencing. Check with your ASM, and he or she can probably point you to someone in the dealer network who would be glad to visit with you about their software or record keeping system.
- Collaboration helps you grow your network. Just like attending the Dealer Retreat provides a great opportunity for you to expand your business relationships with other dealers, collaboration can also help you grow your customer base. Have you considered collaborating with a bull stud or semen company to host a producer meeting? All those producers that breed cattle also need mineral. Collaboration can help you grow your network and grow your sales.
- Collaboration is educational. With almost every interaction you have, you should learn something. This might be something as minor as learning what day the local auction market café serves your favorite meal to discovering someone in the area is going to background 500 stockers and could benefit from the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® program.
- Collaboration can help you save money. Small businesses, or most businesses, often run on tight budgets. Isn’t it nice to know there are others out there that can help you save money? Instead of investing in a high-price marketing firm to help you with advertising and promotion, don’t forget to collaborate with your ASM and the BioZyme® marketing department to create a mailer or promotional ad for you. This is just one of the services BioZyme offers its dealers and it will save money in your marketing budget for other items.
- Collaboration solves problems. Remember that adage of “two heads are better than one.” Sometimes it is nice to have someone to share ideas or look for solutions with. “Think about the last difficult problem you faced in your business. When we get stumped, most of us immediately go to a partner, mentor or other trusted resource who acts as a sounding board and helps us work through the problem. The harder the problem is to solve, the more we can benefit from getting the input of someone outside of the situation. And when you add new viewpoints and experiences to the mix, the end result will often transcend what you originally set out to accomplish,” writes Alyssa Gregory, author of the article.
You might be a small business, but you don’t have to do your business on your own. Collaborate with your ASM, other dealers, the marketing team and other industry professionals. You can even collaborate with others in your community. Get involved with the chamber of commerce or a small business partners organization. With collaboration, you will have many thinkers, and you can watch your business grow.
Information from article: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/collaboration-grows-yourbusiness-2951718