Tag: management

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Survival of the Fittest & Natural Selection

Nature has a strict culling policy. If bulls and bucks don’t breed, or if does and cows don’t wean fawns and calves, their genes aren’t passed on. Survival of the fittest. Most commercial ranchers select for fitness too. If a cow is open or dry, she’s culled. If she’s got a bad udder or isn’t […]

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Free Money Can Be Expensive

Letting government programs dictate your management and set priorities can be costly. The most obvious example is probably the emergency feed program. In drought impacted areas, this program incentivizes ranchers not to destock. The result has been severe overstocking during drought, when the impacts of bad management are intensified.   Even programs like EQUIP (Environmental […]

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You Can’t Retire From Ranching

How is the next generation ever supposed to step up if the current generation can’t step down or at least step aside? The short answer is they can’t. It’s one reason managerial authority on many ranches skips a generation. More calamitous, it’s a major reason why young people don’t stay in ranching and multi-generational ranches […]

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Who Will Own What?

There are two big pieces to the estate planning puzzle: who will run what (management succession) and who will own what (the transfer of assets). In my last ProfitTips article I called management succession the more difficult of the two because it involves judging the competency of people you love and holding them accountable to […]

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Succession Success

Most people assume that the biggest estate planning fights involve “Who will own what?” It’s been my experience that, “Who will run what?” is often an even bigger issue. “Who will own what?” is usually a question of perceived fairness. To heirs, “Who will run what?” is a question of  respect. As part of a […]

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Overheads Are Fixed!

What would you have to do to increase profit in a business where you couldn’t control costs? You’d have to increase production per animal, increase the number of animals you carry and hope for higher prices. These are the strategies most ranchers have followed, and Universities have recommended, for generations. It’s a logical approach if […]

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It’s Hard To Find Good Help …

… but it is even harder to find a good boss. I often hear employers complain that it is hard to find good help. I rarely hear them ask how they can be better bosses. Personally, I think most people want to do a good job. I don’t think employees want to be inefficient or […]

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Hiring Good People Isn’t Enough

Good people? What’s that supposed to mean? Compared to what? Bad people? With the exception of the Hillside Strangler and Jack the Ripper, I’m hesitant to label very many people as “bad.” I’d like to think that nearly everyone is mostly good. Almost all of us want to be moral and responsible.  The real problem […]

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You Might Be A Manager If…

Most “ranch managers” aren’t managers. They don’t do the work of a manager, they don’t produce the results a manager would produce and they aren’t paid what a manager would get paid. The result isn’t just poor management. Most American ranches aren’t managed at all! Every business has three levels of issues. The first set […]

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Two Mornings A Week

Several weeks ago I included a WOTB quiz in a ProfitTips column in which readers could score the extent to which they work ON their businesses. Click here to read that column. The column was picked up by some other publications and wound up generating conversations on several other popular blogs. Most of the people making comments said that […]

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