Partnerships and Programs Increase Profit Potential

There are only 24 hours to each day, and seven days in the week. You have a to-do list a mile long, including the desire to increase your BioZyme® sales for the year. Alan Lee, Director of National Sales – South, offers tips to help you grow your business and your profit potential.

Step 1 – Decide to multiply your business this year.

You are the only person who can make this life-changing decision. Don’t be wishy-washy. Make the decision, define how much you want to grow your business and start working.

Step 2 – Once you make the decision, do whatever it takes to get it done.

Develop a plan, write it down and make no excuses as you move forward. A plan or written goal will help you with accountability. And if you need to take that accountability further, talk to your spouse, business partner or even your ASM and let him or her know what your business growth goals are for the future.

Step 3 – Find mutually beneficial business partners to back up the plan.

Work together to build one another’s brand awareness and/or customer base. Until you ask to form a partnership, the answer is always no. Is there an animal health company, semen company or auction company you can partner with to conduct producer meetings? You probably share some customers, but you also share potential customers. Do simple things for one another like share your company links on each other’s websites. Start small, and develop endless opportunities with strong partnerships.

Step 4 – Connect the dots. Do you have a customer who has customers that you need to reach out to? For example, you have a VitaFerm® customer who sells 200 bulls every year. If that producer sells 200 bulls, who is he or she selling to? Have you asked that producer who those customers are? Do those customers use BioZyme products? If not, there are many potential customers who already have a trusting relationship with someone with a success story (the producer who sells 200 bulls) with our products. Connect the dots.

Step 5 – Think of established revenue sources as a partner. Although new customers are important, make sure your core customers are taking advantage of all products and programs. Sure, a cow-calf producer is using a Vita Charge® Stress Tub at weaning, but what about the rest of the year? And what about the other species on that operation? Make sure that customer knows about VitaFerm Concept•Aid®, VitaFerm HEAT, and Gain Smart. Does that operation also have horses and kids with livestock projects? Make sure you tell them about the Vitalize® and Sure Champ® product lines as well. And most of all, try to sell them a program, not just a product.

Make sure your current customers understand the value of using an entire program, not just a single product in their operation. Sell sheets for four key programs are available in the Online Dealer Center that will show the cost per animal vs. the ROI for the producer and the profit potential for the dealer when selling the program. For example, a producer with 40 cows, feeding Concept•Aid most of the year, and HEAT during the hot summer months will spend approximately $56 per cow. However, because of the increase in conception rates, adding more pounds of calves to wean, the producer should see an additional $20.63 profit. Studies show that calves will gain an extra .25 pound per day with the Amaferm® advantage, so higher performing, heavier calves will also result in additional profit to the producer for feeding these two supplements of $76.88 per cow. Now, if you have 10 producers with 40 cows each, your sales for those two products could bring in $22,280. See why it is important to sell the program and not just a product?

Be sure to check out the Retreat Page in the Online Dealer Center by going to www.biozymedealer.com and clicking “Retreat”. Here you will find updated sell sheets for all programs and products as well as Alan’s presentation that includes the profit-potential breakdowns of these four programs: VitaFerm Cow-Calf Program, Gain Smart Stocker Program, Super Start Dairy Calf Program, and the Recovery Programs. The sell sheets will explain more in-depth the benefit of the products and how to best position them when selling.

Potential Customers are Everywhere

As you look for ways to grow your business, it is important to think of everyone you encounter as a potential customer. Are most of your customers cow-calf producers? It is highly likely a lot of them also have horses that need our products. Most households have 1.6 dogs, and BioZyme® offers products for our canine companions.

During the recent Dealer Retreat, Tell Stevens, Digital Marketing Manager, shared with dealers some big picture numbers of the potential they have in their respective areas. What most dealers discovered is they have a lot of potential they had not considered.

“We tried to identify all animal groups attached to a specific product line and aligned our brands to segments of the industry that need them,” Stevens said. “This allowed dealers to visualize where they might have potential utilizing all of the product lines BioZyme offers.”

Working with the USDA to gather numbers, Stevens collaborated with Lisa Norton, BioZyme Vice President, to determine assumed days on a program and the revenue per head at suggested retail to calculate potential revenue. Numbers on the chart assume that BioZyme has 100% of the market share; however, Stevens said to compare the revenue of one segment against other segments to get a more realistic figure.

For example, a horse on Vitalize® year-round, will generate $323 in revenue. Do you know someone with 10 horses? Perhaps you need to reach out to customers who buy the VitaFerm® products for their cattle and also have horses, and educate them on the benefits of Vitalize. It’s a great idea to generate more revenue from those customers who already know about and believe in our products.

Nearly everyone you meet has a dog. And most dog owners treat their dogs like their kids. You can generate nearly $75 of revenue in a year from one dog being on Vitalize products. And that customer will likely continue to buy products from you for years to come.

It is easy to get stuck in a sales routine where you talk to your same customers on a regular basis, but it is time to think outside the box and grow your potential. If your typical audience is the cow-calf sector and you discover a commercial poultry, swine or dairy operation exists or has moved into your area, those are great potential customers. Not sure how to start a conversation with them? Talk to your ASM or someone on the business development and support team to help you make that pitch.

Take the time. Find a way. Find your potential, and grow your business.

If you were not able to attend Dealer Retreat, and would like to know the potential for your dealership, contact Kristi Stevens, Marketing Project Manager, at 816-596-8795 or kstevens@biozymeinc.com.

Feed the Future is One Way for Dealers to Help Give Back

Two of the most fundamental business investments we can make are in our future and in our people. BioZyme Inc. has committed to investing in both of those areas with the creation of the Feed The Future partnership it formed with the Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA).

“Bob and Lisa both feel it is import to make an impact on the next generation of agriculturalists and that is why this program was created,” said Crystal Blin, Marketing Program Manager.

For every receipt BioZyme receives from select VitaFerm® products, BioZyme will donate $1 to the HYFA, with a goal of making a $100,000 donation in October 2017. American Hereford Association members and commercial producers who use purebred Hereford bulls are encouraged to send in copies of their receipts or invoices, and Blin said they can submit receipts as far back as Sept. 1, 2016.

In addition to the program being a great way to make a difference in the young people involved in agriculture, Feed the Future can serve as a great marketing tool for dealers.

“Because most Hereford breeders are extremely passionate about HYFA and supporting their junior members, dealers can mention the Feed the Future program to breeders and it can be a great way to start a dialogue and potentially gain new business,” Blin said.

As of May 1, Blin has collected copies of receipts from Hereford enthusiasts and dealers, equating to nearly $4,800, noting that several dealers will send in the receipts for their customers.

“I will send in the copies of my customers’ receipts for them so it is not an extra burden, yet they feel like they are giving back and helping the youth,” said Sue Kline from The Feed Bunk in LeRoy, Ill.

Kline adds that she typically sells a lot of VitaFerm, but that she has promoted Feed The Future in her store and on social media, and encourages other dealers to do the same to promote the program. All people want to support youth in agriculture; it makes them feel good she said, and so letting them know that their purchase of particular products might help the youth will help spur sales.

Blin said there are several ways to market VitaFerm products while promoting the program. She suggests asking the customers who use Hereford genetics if they do use VitaFerm products, and if not, to consider making the switch, knowing a monetary contribution would be made to an organization the producers are passionate about. Next, she said if they are only using Sure Champ® or they don’t use a VitaFerm product year-round, they might be interested in learning more about qualifying products like Concept•Aid®, Heat™, Cattleman’s Blend, 30:13% Protein Tub, Roughage Fortifier® and Sure Start® Pellet.

Overall, Feed The Future is a win-win-win program for the youth, the producer and the dealer. The youth of the Hereford breed are receiving a great donation, the producer is keeping his or her animals healthier and gaining and the dealer is increasing sales and building relationships.

To learn more about this program, visit www.vitaferm.com/feedthefuture.

Invest Your Passion Into Your Business

You have likely heard the saying, “Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That quote carries a lot of weight, and hopefully if you are reading this, you love your job. You might not like your job every day, but hopefully you chose this career path because you are passionate about agriculture and the people involved in our industry, and you want to help them keep their livestock healthy.

Did you know that you can invest your passion into your business? If you truly are passionate about what you do, and we know you are, you can take that passion to build your business, promote your products and build relationships with customers that will help create sales both now and in the future.

Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy said, “Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new.” It is vital to your business and its success, and ultimately your bottom line to follow those three simple pieces of advice. And it can start with investing your passion into your business.

How can one invest passion? One way is by showing your customers you truly care about them. Follow up your sales with customer calls to make sure the customer is completely satisfied with his or her products. Ask if there are any questions, and furthermore, have a conversation about the customer – his or her operation, family or hobbies. This will show that you are interested in their life, and not just making a dollar. Customers are more likely to do business with those who show an interest in their lives.

Another way to show your passion for your business and share that with customers is to host producer meetings or open houses. Share your passion for the business by highlighting new products in an open house or providing timely information to your customers at a producer meeting. Don’t think of the cost of the meal or refreshments as an expense, but rather an investment in your business and the people who support you.

Are there other ways you can invest your passion into your business? Perhaps you have a large show animal customer base; you can invest in those young people by hosting a feeding and fitting workshop or sponsoring an award at a local show. Offer to have the local FFA chapter have a meeting at your store so they can learn more about your products and at the same time, you will get to know more about the youth in the area.

And never underestimate sharing your passion via social media. Does your company have a website, blog, Facebook or Twitter account? You can share the passion you have for your business with the masses with just the click of a button.

What will these investments bring you? Hopefully, the enthusiasm you show to your customers, employees and others will be contagious. They will see how much you care about the brands you sell and the results that are produced. The investment in your time and energy should return dollars to you in sales. Host events that will make you money, love your job, and you will never work a day in your life.

How to Use Promos Effectively

Everyone is looking for a deal, but does that mean you need to offer regular “deals” or promotions on your BioZyme® products? No, there is a definite time and place to use promotions, and having a regular sale isn’t always the best way to make a sale.

The value of BioZyme products is that they are high quality products that do exactly what they say they do. The products keep your animals healthy, and healthy animals grow faster and more efficiently. If a potential customer is skeptical, share the research or other customer testimonials with them. Chances are, you are going to gain a new customer who becomes a repeat customer.

But, your competitors down the road offer regular sales on their supplement products, and your lack of a “good deal” is the topic of conversation at the local coffee shop. Here are few ways to offer smart promotions, should you feel the need to do so.

Offer a short-term discount on something everyone can use. Most of your customers have a dog, so offer a discount on dog food with the purchase of a certain amount of VitaFerm® or Vitalize® mineral. This gives them the opportunity to try something new they might not have even known BioZyme offers, and makes you look like the good guy for offering a promotion.

Don’t offer a discount on in-season products. Did you order too much VitaFerm® HEAT™ mineral and you are approaching the cooler months? That would be a good time to discount that inventory to get it out of the warehouse, and perhaps customers will want to order more at regular price next summer.

Remember to advertise a “limited time promotion.” If you don’t, your customer might actually like the dog the food they bought last time with their supplement order, and will want you to honor that same price again. Remind the customer that it was a one-time promotion, but you are glad he/she liked the product, and will be glad to sell it to him/her at regular price.

Add value in other ways. Host a producer meeting to share the latest industry information. Invite your customers to a special VIP open house with refreshments and door prizes after store hours. Offer delivery. There are many ways of adding value to your products that won’t hurt your profit potential.

If conducted properly, promotions can be a good marketing tool. But plan them when they will help you, the dealer, boost sales, and use them wisely.

Keep Records Now, Save on Fines Later

You invest a lot of time and energy helping your customers develop nutrition programs that help them put more dollars in their pockets. But, with the introduction of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), now is the time to make sure your records are in order so if you are audited, your checkbook doesn’t take a hit with heavy fines in the future. Have you filed with the FDA? Do you have a person in your dealership to track the directives? And did you know software programs exist to help you track sales of medicated feeds?

All distributors of VFD feed must notify the FDA prior to selling any feed or supplements. Any changes of feed dealership name, ownership or address must be submitted to the FDA within 30 days of the change.

Thsidebare only way you can sell VFD feed or supplements is with a complete written order from a veterinarian, similar to a doctor’s prescription. Once the order is filled, you must retain the directive and proof of sale/distribution. All records must be kept for two years, and be readily available to the FDA if requested for inspection/audit. The BioZyme® staff has created a sample form to make sure that you have a complete directive, and everything is in order before you sell any medicated feed. Visit the Online Dealer Center at www.biozymedealer.com and click on “Regulatory Center” to download the sample forms.

A simple Google search will result in several software and online options for feed distributors to use to track records when selling VFD feed and supplements. You can also create your own document in Excel to track sales and record the directives. However, according to Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales for BioZyme, an actual paper trail needs to exist, and dealers will need to have hard copies of directives on file, not just electronic versions.

Remember, staying on top of your record keeping now, can save you time, headaches and dollars in fines in the future. A proactive approach to good record management will hopefully prevent a check-writing reaction in the future.

Customer Service Strengthens Relationships and Your Bottom Line

We don’t have to tell you the importance of customer service. You already know how vital it is to the success of your business. But did you know it is crucial to your bottom line as well? Businesses spend a lot of time and effort trying to cut expenses and increase profits. However, a December 2014 article on
Taskle.com says that a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. Therefore, companies need to focus a lot more on improving customer satisfaction.

The best part of increasing your customer satisfaction levels is that customers keep coming back. These retained customers cost less than new customers. Why? Because you aren’t spending marketing dollars trying to get them in your stores – services you’re already providing are convincing them to come back.

Just what is that returning customer worth? According to an online article on Lireo.com:

  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase your profits up to 125%
  • Loyal customers are worth 10 times as much as their first purchase on average
  • Companies who make customer service a priority make 60% higher profits than their competitors

How to Improve Your Customers’ Experiences and Retain Them

  • Ask your customers for feedback. When you show that you care and that you’re willing to listen to your customers, they will appreciate it and want to give you their business. Really listen and try to implement their suggestions and
    feedback, and then show what changes you have made based on their suggestions.
  • Offer a good mix of products. Make sure you have the products that your customers use the most on-hand for the time of year and the animals’ nutritional development.
  • Keep your store easy to navigate. Keep your aisles clear and set up a good flow. Keep like or complimentary products together so your customers don’t have to go from store corner to store corner to get the two products they came for.
  • Train your employees to handle complaints better. Negative interactions spread to twice as many people as positive interactions. If an employee handles a complaint well, the chance of the dissatisfied customer spreading his or her discontentment decreases.

Customer service – it is something we strive to perfect each day, but now that you know it can help your profits, be sure to give a little extra attention to the customers. Your customers will surely notice, and your bank account will too.

Sources:
http://www.taskle.com/how-does-
customer-satisfaction-affect-sales/
https://www.lireo.com/how-customer-service-can-impact-your-business-infographic/#keytakeaways

Added Value Should Mean Added Profitablity

Having multiple product lines may allow a growing business to diversify risk and capitalize on its established reputation. Multiple product lines can also strengthen competition in its industry, while at the same time enhancing the company’s checkbook.

Certainly after reading that statement, everyone is interested in expanding their products or product line(s). However, while it may be beneficial to expand a product line or bring in a new product within a line, those benefits do not come without considerable work before the sales start rolling in.  Please note, any one of these 17 steps could cause the ones before it to be reevaluated making the process at times overwhelming.

  1. First, get an idea of what to expand.
  2. Determine the specific needs of customers in that market segment.
  3. Identify the product features that would be most attractive to them.
  4. Assess the market size and the competition.
  5. Create/formulate the product based on science and market research results.
  6. Get team buy-in.
  7. Figure out the best distribution channels to achieve the highest market penetration.
  8. Determine the price to make sure it will be competitive and profitable. (note: many times this step forces you to go back to step 5 or before)
  9. Test the product to determine its effectiveness.
  10. Create a unique value proposition.
  11. Decide how you’ll position the product in the market segment you’ve identified using that proposition.
  12. Make sure that doesn’t conflict with any other products, product lines or brands in your portfolio.
  13. Create the name and “look” to support the positioning.
  14. Create the marketing materials.
  15. Plan the initial launch.
  16. Strategize the actual marketing plan to support it after its launch
  17. Execute, execute, execute and PRAY. Pray the product is positioned and priced correctly, works correctly and sells in the time you predicted.

Of course you are not interested in doing this entire list, so how can making the decision of adding a new product or product line be made in a more simplistic approach? Consider the following:

1. Evaluate the product itself

  • Has the product been thoroughly tested?
  • Did the product deliver consistent results?

2. Identify and evaluate the target market

  • What are the ideal customer’s characteristics?
  • Is there a market for the product?
  • Is there enough of a market to support the product?
  • Does the market available to you have a place for the product?

3. Evaluate the competition

  • Who are the top market competitors?
  • How are their products the same or different?
  • What are their marketing techniques?

4. Consider the product from your customers’ viewpoint

  • What service or product do they choose currently?
  • What are the key differences that would compel customers to select your product over another company’s?

5. Evaluate launch readiness

  • If the launch is successful (and let’s face it – the reason you’re launching a new product is because you want it to be successful) can your company facilitate the increased demand?
  • Do you have resources for handling customer education, inquiries and needs?

In the end, if you do your homework and move forward with an analytical eye, your product or line extension will increase sales, help you reach new markets and build market share overall for your growing business. Go be a “rocket” star!

What’s It Worth? Let’s Do the Math

Typical Customer Rebuttal:
“OK, fine. I can afford a mineral program, but that
VitaFerm® stuff is just too expensive”

While the study at Kansas State University estimates mineral costs at $36.50 per cow, per year, it is true that VitaFerm will be approximately $56.74 if using our top-of-the-line VitaFerm lines, Concept•Aid® and Heat. That’s $20 more per cow. Before you walk away, see the breakdown below so you can fully understand how you and/or your customers can’t afford to NOT feed VitaFerm mineral.

What are More Weaned Pounds Worth?
According to Reinaldo Cooke, PhD, Oregon State University, supplementing cows with organic trace minerals led to weaning weights of 519 lbs. vs 466 lbs. for the control (no supplementation but were not mineral deficient), giving the cows with organic trace mineral supplementation a 53 lb. or $74/hd advantage, or a 28 lb. or $39/hd advantage over the inorganics. VitaFerm uses Optimins® for organic trace minerals in all formulas.

What are Even More Weaned Pounds Worth?

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-32-48-pm

What’s One More Calf Worth?
A 2.5% increase in the calf crop (1 calf per 40 cows), at a 550 lb. weaning weight, would increase the average weight of the calves by 13.75 lbs., and at $1.40/lb., would increase the average revenue per cow by $19.00.

What is Keeping them Cool Worth?

  • 0.4 increase in average days open when beef cows experience heat stress (1.6 to 0 days across the USA)
  • 0.4 more days at 2.5 lbs. of gain per day a calf is on the ground, equates to $1 per cow, per year
  • Donor cows flush less when heat stressed. The typical flush is 8 eggs per cow. A trial on VitaFerm HEAT with 8 donor cows led to 105 eggs instead of the typical 64 in the year before.

What is Keeping them Grazing Worth?
The average producer feeding harvested hay has a per cow, per day cost between $1.25 to $2.00. More days on grass means less days of feeding harvested hay. This is difficult to calculate, so we will just keep this in mind while determining value.

What else can they say:
“OK, OK, OK.”

  • Optimins® Value: $39 more revenue for a heavier calf at weaning
  • Amaferm® Value:
    – $49 more revenue for a heavier calf at weaning
    – $19 more revenue for 1 more calf across the herd
    – $1 more revenue for less average open days
  • A 5 to 1 return before we even talk about forage savings!

The additional investment of $20 per cow translates to $108 more revenue per cow.

Click Here to Download the Understanding the Value brochure that includes all of this information in a format you can share with your customers.

What Does Mineral Supplementation Really Cost?

Typical Customer Objection:
“I understand the nutrition is great… I just don’t have the revenue to cover such a large cost in my operation.”

When cattle producers are trying to cut costs, mineral programs
seem to be the first to go… But should they be?
According to Kansas
State University, the average cost per cow, per year is as follows:

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-3-30-26-pm

According to this cost breakdown:

  • Year Round Mineral Cost = $36.50 per cow
  • Mineral accounts for only 3.9% of total cost
  • Harvested forage is 12.8% of total cost

According to a recent study by Reinaldo Cooke, PhD., Oregon State University, supplementing cows with inorganic trace minerals led to weaning weights of 25 lbs. more than the control (no supplementation but not mineral deficient). Using $1.40/lb., this equates to a $35 per head advantage.

What does this mean?

  • A mineral program will end up costing you $1.50 per year, per cow (=$36.50-$35)
  • That is 0.2% of the total cost per cow, per year

Now that you know what it really costs, do the math to find out what it’s really worth – click here.