Making communication down on the farm easy as a visual GPS
It takes a farmer to understand a farmer and when Gemma Adams married into the industry she found out that townies take a while to fit in. Farmer husband Terry was very patient, but Gemma struggled to grasp what he meant when he told her to “Sort the break feed for that paddock over there!”
In the interests of marital harmony and so Terry didn’t have to strain his voice, Gemma thought, “There must be a better way.”
In today’s www.talkingbetterbusiness.co.nz podcast we chat to Gemma about how the questions of ‘what’s happening on the farm and where’ need to be clear for everyone, not just the man in charge.
We hear how, to make things simpler, Graphic Designer Gemma began drawing up maps on pads of paper, so she could navigate her way around the farm and see what the heck Terry was going on about.
It worked. Terry didn’t need to worry about his tone of voice anymore and Gemma could soon get in behind with the best of them.
“Everybody’s looking at the same thing and understands the layout of the farm. There’s no room for error and it’s the easiest way to communicate.”
What evolved from Gemma’s bits of paper is now a serious enterprise called VizLink.nz, with some big player clients, both farming and retail.
VizLink is all about the visual. If locations, tasks, strategies, hazards, health and safety and personnel are visually identified and geographically pinpointed, knowledge and confidence will grow alongside the cohesion and profitability of the farm.
It’s been a long row to hoe and Gemma says if starting a uniquely original business is not based on your incredibly strong beliefs and passion, then don’t even go there.
But if you have a great idea that you’ve qualified, quantified and researched to be something many people could use or need …
“You have the gut feeling that you’re onto something really good and if the time is right, then do it.”
* Understand that developing your dream business is going to take you a lot longer than you think
* Keep focused every day and stick to a routine
* Be disciplined with work modes
* Create a check list of task priorities and feel the ‘win’ of crossing things off
* Avert burn out exhaustion by instigating a ‘Morning Ritual’
“My mindset predicts the rest of the day and allows me to be the best I can be.”
* Prioritise family, friends and health
* Hold on to your self-belief and keep working on others so they have confidence in you too
* Accept there are days when nothing goes according to plan
* Resist the feeling you’re not getting anywhere just because you’re not making money yet – setting up good systems is laborious work!
Five solid years down the track and VizLink is looking good. Diversification and expansion are definitely on the cards.
Gemma says running a business is hard yakka. But if the passion stays strong and the work processes are well established, you can and should pat yourself firmly on the back.
Our talk highlighted things applicable to all good business practice:
* Do your due diligence and planning
* Seek outside professional support
* Use a ‘lean management’ system
* Know your product
* Find your point of difference
* Listen to your client to understand their problems. Then solve them
* Be the face of your business by attending marketing opportunities like CD Field Days
* Stay on top of your financials
* Use digital (online) tools for remote communication with staff
* Celebrate your successes.
“Being in business is like running a marathon. You just have to keep going!”
Contact Gemma through her website, www.vizlink.nz
And by the way, if you need more help in moving your business from chaos to control visit me, Craig Oliver at: https://www.projecthq.co.nz/
Or read the show notes from our other amazingly informative, inspirational and gritty podcasts at: https://www.talkingbetterbusiness.com/
So many insights, tips and ideas to be had! Just look back, listen and learn.
Go on, smash through the glass ceiling and grow your business into something remarkable