You may be the best farmer to do business with in your area, but do others know that? Bret Oelke, University of Minnesota Extension educator, says how you position yourself as a farmer will determine your success with buyers and suppliers.
“As a progressive ag business, you need a mission statement,” he says. “You need to have personal and professional missions, visions and goals.”
Oelke says you need to create a positioning statement for your farm or operation, which is a precursor to branding that will allow you to emphasize how you will interact with the businesses that you will negotiate with.
- What do we do best?
- What is our target customer?
- What needs do we fulfill for them?
- Who is our competition?
- What makes us different from them?
“You need to know what sets you apart from your competitors,” he says. “Your competition is anyone that farms around you.”
Once you create your positing statement, Oelke says, you should memorize it and use it when negotiating input costs, lending rates and rental agreements.
Oelke spoke at the 2011 Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference in Chicago, Ill.