How to reduce your biggest cost on the farm
Are you wasting time without even knowing it?
Years ago, when I lived in Brisbane, I got up at 4:30 in the morning. I woke up before the sun so I could meet a mate of mine and train with him at the gym.
After six months of doing this, I happened to mention to him the route I took to the gym. He looked at me and said, “Andrew, you’re missing the shortcut! Just take this turn here and it’ll save you a heap of time.”
I tried the new route the next morning and I kid you not, it was 15 minutes quicker. I did some quick math and worked it out, it was like two weeks a year that I was wasting by taking the longer route — plus the extra petrol.
I asked myself, “Why did I never even think to look at my route?!”
It’s because I was on autopilot, because I wasn’t paying attention.
So many farmers do the same thing on their farms…
They keep doing the same things in the same way…because it’s always been done like that…not realising they could save a whole heap of time, energy, and stress if they “took another route.”
This is what the Organise Infrastructure step of the TOP Producers Model is all about.
When you organise your infrastructure and streamline your farm, that leads to a massive labour savings. Labour’s the most expensive cost on the farm so this is an enormous way to save money as well as time and stress.
Why you need to take a step back to analyse your
Here’s an important fact about improving efficiency:
You can’t fix a problem in the same environment it’s being created.
Imagine there’s a guy sitting by a river. Suddenly, he sees a kid flailing around in the water, screaming out for help. He jumps in, swims over to the kid, and pulls him out.
Two minutes later, there’s another kid drowning in the river. So he jumps in and pulls that kid out, too.
The cycle continues – the man sees a kid drowning, jumps in, pulls them out.
A woman walks past and he yells out, “Help! These kids are drowning. Get in the river, let’s get busy saving them!”
But instead of diving into the river, the woman says, “No. Something doesn’t feel right and I want to understand what’s going on first.”
She walks upstream and analyses the situation, looking to see what’s causing this problem.
Eventually, she finds a man who’s grabbing kids and throwing them into the river. She stops him…and the whole problem stops with it.
Now, I know that’s a weird example. But you get the idea, right?
If you’re spending all your time pulling kids out of the river, you can’t see what’s causing the issue in the first place.
To optimise your farm, you need the ability to remove yourself out of the busyness and look back and see
Where are we being inefficient?
How could we make things simpler?
What could we invest in to save us time?
That’s what Organise Infrastructure is all about.
3 examples of ways to organise infrastructure
This concept of optimising infrastructure is a bit abstract. So before we go any further, let’s make this real…
To give you an example, here are three ways a sheep farmer could create more efficiency. These might not apply to you (because every farm is different) but use them as a springboard to imagine areas you can organise:
- Organise laneways
You’ve got to move sheep around all the time, right? So why not create laneways to make it really efficient for you to move sheep in between paddocks?
- Organise the shearing shed
You’ve got to shear the wool off the sheep. How can you make that as efficient as possible so you get the sheep in and get them out quickly?
- Organise the yards
You have to put sheep into the yards every 3 months (or more). How can you make that as efficient as possible? What can you do to lay it all out so everything’s simple?
Improving these efficiencies could easily save you 10 hours each week — which works out to 65 x 8-hour workdays each year. Imagine what you could do with 65 extra days!
2 simple ways to improve your inefficiencies
Hopefully you’re starting to see how powerful it is to organise your infrastructure and how much time, money, and stress it will save you.
But how do you actually DO it?
The simplest way is to start paying attention.
As you go about your day, notice everything that you do and ask yourself:
Is this the smartest way I could be doing this?
Consider WHY you’re doing it that way. Is it because it’s truly efficient? If not, explore possible solutions of ways you could do it differently.
Here’s another strategy…
The best way to learn how efficient farmers organise their infrastructure…is by copying efficient farms!
You want to find a farmer that’s doing better than you and copy them. It sounds like cheating but it’s actually a success strategy I learned in business school!
The titans of the business world copy what’s working for others. And you should, too.
Who are the top-performing farmers in your area? Almost always, they’re using the latest technologies and efficiencies and innovations. So visit those farms, watch what they’re doing, and see how you can apply those lessons to your farm.
Inside the Platinum Mastermind, we share the top-performing farmers and tell our members to go visit their farms. They learn so much by studying what the leaders are doing. That’s why it’s such a powerful program, because we have 150 farmers all sharing their best ideas with each other.
So here’s your challenge…
For the next week on the farm, constantly question everything you’re doing through this lens of efficiency.
When you start a new task, ask yourself:
Is this the smartest way to do this?
What other technologies are out there that could make my job easier?
What am I missing?
You’ll be surprised what you realise when you take a step back and start paying attention to your efficiencies!
Have a FOA consultant analyse your inefficiencies & help
you improve them
When you’re working in your farm every day, it’s very hard to take a step back and see where you can organise infrastructure.
That’s why the Platinum Mastermind Program includes a farm tour! You get a fresh outside perspective to dissect your whole farm, discover where you’re being inefficient, and give you proven solutions from top farmers to increase your efficiency and organise your infrastructure.
It’s invaluable insight and it’s all included when you join the Platinum Mastermind program.
Click here to learn more about the Platinum Mastermind.