Golden Touch Alpaca Farm

  (Westport, Massachusetts)
A glimpse into everyday life at our Alpaca farm
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Video: The End of Mass-Marketing w/ Seth Godin

As a small farm constantly looking for new ways to connect with our local communities through grass roots approaches, we found this video very inspiring. Most certainly worth the 15 minutes! 

Breif Synopsis: Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so. 

 

 

 
 

10 Entrepreneurial Concepts to Live By

While browsing the Internet this morning I stumbled across a great list that really rings true in our neck of the woods. Over the years as we have ventured into different agricultural businesses and industries, the same general ideas and attitudes are needed to succeed. I agree with all of these points so I figured it would be a great resource to pass along. 

10 Entrepreneurial Concepts to Live By
by Andrew Baron via dembot.com

1. Always work with people who are better than you. You can only do a few things really well. One of them should be understanding your weaknesses and looking for the best possible help to fill the gaps. Seek help to manage MOST of everything else it takes to run a successful business. Hire people who will do a better job than you.

2. Treat everyone with the highest regards and pay the people who work for you greater than their value. While most people do not want to be leaders, most people want to feel good about themselves and be fulfilled. If people are paid better than normal, have good benefits and get a lot of appraisal and bonuses, they will be happier in life and in return will likely be more productive too. The smallest gestures, even for a poor company such as adding a bit more onto a pay check (giving surprise bonuses), paying for a cab - paying for lunch, all go a really long way. The greatest implementation of value for people is to have positions that allow for infinite growth. Nobody that works for you should ever have a fixed ceiling of opportunity. Consider cutting back on material expenses and pay more for people. Aspire for everyone to have a greater life-style. No matter how important your business is, this is life we are talking about and it’s short. While being caught up with speed towards the future, remember others who live for the day.

3. Do everything right and fair. Make sure that you are always honorable, especially with yourself. Live up to your oral agreements. When it comes to operating your business, make sure and set it up correctly - pay every cent of tax that you legally owe. As long as you take the extra effort to do things right, you will eliminate a huge amount of stress. Even knowing yourself that you are keeping everything in order will make you feel better about yourself on a day-to-day basis. The people that work for you will also take you more seriously and also feel better themselves.

4. Learn to love consequence and happenstance. Things will happen all the time that will throw off your plans. Turn the stress around and into a challenge. Use the opportunity to think of new opportunities. Perhaps there are many new paths to take that you would like even more. Consequence is the stuff that artists dream of; It’s what creates new technologies and drives innovation.

5. Be transparent. This is almost cliche now, though this is why it is important and should not be missed: Without disregard for being humble, the more you reveal, the more people will understand where you are coming from. It’s not about blurting out some statement suddenly. It takes time to show yourself, who you really are. This motto applies to most aspects of life and business. The idea behind transparency is much more of a human personality trait. It’s for you yourself and the people that you care about; It’s for the audience that want to know when they ask; It gets to be that you no longer even think of this idea, it just becomes a part of your lifestyle. When you are fair, transparency will occur naturally because you will be proud and secure to reveal your true thinking.

6. Create a comfortable environment. A girl friend once told me about a miserable phase she went though when she and one of her girl friends were living in a basement with no windows, lots of dogs, mildew, low ceilings, old carpet, low lighting, etc. It sounded dreary to say the least. She wasn’t aware of the concept of space enough to understand that it was drastically effecting her mood. When she moved into a more comfortable apartment that was full of light and had higher ceilings, she regained her spirit. Having a great work environment is just the same. And websites are like spaces too. When you create your physical space or your space online, consider making it comfortable as possible.

7. Listen to your audience, friends and advisors. The more you can get feedback and audience participation, the more you will understand the positive and negative effects of your efforts. The more you understand the effects you are having, the more you can understand what to do in the future. If you trust yourself to filter the ideas and information that others give you, be quiet and listen more often. Allow the audience/journalists/experts in your field to describe your activity for you.

8. Have spirit and passion for what you do!

9. Time is of the essence. It starts with the age-old model of speed that can be applied to everything in life. In a war, for instance, the side that obtains the information first about where the other side is will have the advantage; The investor who knows the news first will have the stock advantage. The technologist who creates the first this-or-that will have that advantage to begin with. Speed=Potential. If you have something new, take action before it becomes old.

10. Stay in control by giving control away. The more you give up control to others, the happier everyone will be. Not only will the people who work for you be happier, it will allow you more time to focus on the things you do best.
 
 

Marketing Research - Using Google Insights

Recently we have discovered Google Insights which is a great way to gauge internet search trends for certain keywords, which are then mapped out for you. This is a great tool to find out what terms and ideas are growing in popularity. For us in particular, Made in USA is important as we are committed to keeping all of products made in this country by Certified Green Manufacturers. As the country gets back to the basics, more and more people are realizing the importance of supporting their local and regional economies.

You can plug any keywords that suit your needs and get data going back to 2004. You can also pinpoint your searches to local communities or as broad as the entire world. It's a great little tool, and the more you play with it the more powerful it becomes.

When you have some free time head to Google Insights and do some of your own investigation work, it just might help you plan that next big regional marketing push!

 
 

Promote your Farm/Services/Products by Networking!

After getting a great response from yesterday's post regarding some great ways to utilize Online Video to showcase your farm and services, I am going to continue to post some great business advice that has helped us get to where we are today. 

Today's topic is Networking, and more specifically, Networking in your local communities.

networking 

One great and efficient way of promoting your Farm, Animals, Services, and Finished Products is by networking. And how do we network efficiently? By becoming involved with our community! Participating in local activities not only helps promote brand awareness, it can also leave you feeling great for giving back to a supportive community. Here are five tips for getting your Farm involved with the community:

1. Volunteer Time or Space
It doesn't take much space for a small group to meet. Consider volunteering your facilities to local clubs or related organizations. One great example of this would be to invite the Local Art or Spinning Group to the Farm for a day. Besides getting the personal satisfaction of helping others, you'll be interacting with a few potential customers.

2. Teach a Class
Most of you are experts about the Animals and Products you raise and have a wealth of information to share. Check with the local college or library about teaching a class in your expertise. Another way to share all of that knowledge is by holding your own clinics right on the farm. Holding How-To weekends and seminars is a proven method of networking and connecting with the community.

3. Host or Sponsor an Event
Whether it's the Local Alpaca Show, Relay for Life, Red Ribbon Week or some other local program, most communities have at least one large event in need of sponsors. Read the local newspaper for upcoming events and browse AOBA's show listings. Can't find a local event that fits your business? Host your own.

4. Adopt a Project
Once you start looking for an organization to become involved with, you will probably find your community has many projects, big and small, that could use your hands-on help. Don't forget to contact the media outlets for additional exposure.

5. Join a Group
Getting involved can help build a bond between your business and the community. It also lets you meet others who may share common interests and needs. Become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or another club to make some business connections, as well as some friends. Many states have Breeder's Associations that are a great stepping stone.

 
 
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