Consultant and RFP School graduate Burke Teichert wrote an article for Beef Magazine he called seven “what if” questions every rancher should ask. RFP instructor Dallas Mount added four questions of his own that every rancher should ask…and answer. Dallas generously gave me permission to share his thoughts with ProfitTips readers.
Burke Teichert posted 7 questions to challenge ranchers. I like his thoughts. However, most of his questions focus on the production side of the business. I find that most of the major struggles for ranching families lie in other areas of managing the business. I’ll take a crack at asking a few questions that touch on these parts of the ranching business.
1. What if ranchers understood the economic side of their business? What if every ranch had a plan for the coming production year projecting the gross margin of each enterprise and the projected profit or loss of the business? What if they had a ranch team meeting to challenge the plan and discuss contingencies should conditions change
2. What if ranchers managed grazing to improve animal distribution and prevent overgrazing so that plants could fully recover after they were grazed?
3. What if management succession happened in a thoughtful, planned way where the incoming generation were allowed to develop and demonstrate competence? What if the outgoing generation could relinquish decision making and control in a way that balanced risk, recognized their experience and invited their input?
4. What if ranchers thought of themselves as business managers first and hired hands second? What if they spent two mornings a week creating plans to produce “owner value,” rather than spending all of their time thinking like hired hands, chained to a unsustainable work load with a “way we do it here” mentality?
I think Dallas hit the nail on the head…four times! I’d be interested in your answers and any other questions you think we ought to be asking ourselves. I encourage you to read Burke’s excellent article: 7 Questions