People hold back from trying SPIN-Farming for many reasons. The # 1 fear we’ve heard over the years is this one – losing money. A negative bottom line for a start up business is probably the norm. You have to factor in your capital costs, and your lack of experience. The fact that you didn’t “make money” doesn’t mean you failed, it just means you need to build on what you have experienced. After 30+ years in business, I put my self through a soul searching exercise every winter, in terms of what do I need to do differently to make more money next year.
Year 1 can be difficult, there is no question about that. Success is having not too bad of a year that you get totally discouraged about going into Year 2. It helps to have a measurable revenue target and a context in which to apply it. That’s where SPIN’s benchmarks and standardized system of production come in handy.
To measure your progress and figure out how to do better, you need performance goals that are quantifiable. SPIN’s benchmarks provide that, whether you are starting at the backyard level or looking to scale up to several acres. They also help get past another doubt, common to both beginning and experienced farmers alike, which is this one: “I really feel lost. I don’t know if I am fairly successful relative to other farms or how much money is reasonable to expect to make.”
Financial performance is now something farmers can actually brag about, if they know they measure up. Do you know how well you’re doing? Do you know if it’s possible to do better? How much better? SPIN’s benchmarks aren’t achievable in every situation. Some have already been far surpassed. The specific numbers don’t really matter. What does is the recognition that farming is a whole new game now, one you can actually make money at. But you have to know how to keep score.
TO SEE HOW YOU MEASURE UP, START WITH THE BENCHMARKS IN SPIN’s GUIDE # 18, CROP PROFILES. THEN LET US KNOW HOW WELL YOU’RE DOING IN THE SPIN ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP. FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP COMES WITH ANY SPIN GUIDE PURCHASE.