Sharing Information

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I tend to get enthusiastic about things and can't keep my mouth shut.

    take my chickens for example....if I get to talking to someone about them, I happily share any and all information about how I raise them, how I sell them, etc.

    Sometimes I see a bit of a gleam in these people's eyes and I start to wonder if I just didn't light the fire under some future competition. Of course, the latest one that did that put his name down on my turkey list, so maybe I'm being paranoid.

    I like being helpful. I like teaching people stuff. I like sharing my experiences, but a little voice in the back of my head is telling me I ought to shut-up a little more often.

    What do you all think? How much information do you share with others and what's your stopping point?

    Jena
     
  2. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Well, I wouldn't tell them how much profit is in something that you were selling.
    If it sounds to good, you might instill competition. I would tell them more of how much work it is :p and what a pain. And show them your hand. That will make them think twice.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Join the club.. I know I post way more answers than may really be called for. The posts you put up are very knowledgeable in my oppinion. Things like chickens, beef cattle and good fences won't get to many answers better than yours. If it required text book perfection, very few answers would appear on the forum. About all my posts come out of past experience. Who knows I may have been doing it wrong all my life. Keep talkin' Jena, I'll listen.
     
  4. leigha

    leigha Well-Known Member

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    I have the same problem, only the people I tell don't get ideas of their own, they just think I'm strange. I get so excited about about how everything works together, and what each animal's job is, that I forget that they aren't as interested in all this stuff as dh and I are. My best friend once told me that I was throwing my pearls before swine, not that those people are swine mind you, but that I didn't need to share all my info with people who really didn't care.
     
  5. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

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    Jena

    I dont think anyone on here is competition to you. For one they are too distant. Another I think you are one of the people who will always get things worked out. You learn what you need to and then apply that knowledge.

    You've helped me in a lot of ideas as has a lot of others. I know I have asked you a lot of questions, including one very long email but I sure dont think you could ever consider me a competitor unless you are going national with your products and are going to sell in the exact same spot I am in. I really doubt that will happen.

    I belong to a guinea board also and we share idea, tips on selling, almost anything you can think of.

    The other day I was watching a show on the "unusual buildings of America". The Corn Palace was on there and they interviewed the man who raises all the corn for it. There are many different varieties and colors and it looks like it is very specific work. He is the ONLY one who grows for them. As I watched and admired the man's knowledge it suddenly occured to me that he wasnt a youngun and I got to wondering and hoping that he is teaching someone out there to carry on his tradition.

    I think of the help provided here in the same light. If I had any knowledge I'd sure love to share it. I consider myself a beginner and not very knowledgeable. The only thing I know much about is ... what my muscles and determination have taught me. KEEP MOVING. NEVER GIVE UP. LOL and that is pretty easy to tell someone and very hard to make someone understand. OK OK I do know a bit about sales and about advertising but that doesnt do much for a homestead except pay the bills. :haha:

    Jena I have always valued your posts.... please dont stop
     
  6. BrushBuster

    BrushBuster Well-Known Member

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    i just like talking about it. if they ask i try to answer. competition is a good thing, it requires me to learn more and do better. i mostley do it just because i enjoy it anyway and if i can make a few bucks at it. thats just icing on the cake.
     
  7. katydidagain

    katydidagain Adventuress--Definition 2 Supporter

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    I'm learning to say 1/8th of what I could and I post even less. Whoops! I used "I" 3x in that sentence--"It's all about you, isn't it?" is what stopped me from sharing. How do you relate your experiences without speaking in the 1st person?

    katy
     
  8. VonWolfen

    VonWolfen Well-Known Member

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    I can only think of 2 ways to out-maneuver you. Wannafingerrastle? :)
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Please keep posting! I really enjoy your posts. I try to share what I know, because a lot of folks really want to do better for themselves and their animals and maybe I can help them a little. As for myself, I can read usda and extension service bulletins all day and not understand half as well as being able to read of a first hand experience, especially if I can ask questions! Most people you talk to that are seeing dollar signs will not implement your programs. There has to be a desire more for your lifestyle than for dollars in order to do what you do.
     
  10. In a person to person, I talk until the other person looks away and then I figure the've heard enough and I have just become boring. So I either change the subject to their endevors or I just say "gotta go".
     
  11. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, I had to go back and read your post because of the responses you are getting. You were talking about people you meet face to face about information right??? Like the guy down the road???

    Your post are great. You have a wealth of information and experience.
     
  12. I am in a similar situation with ebay. I found out when I started selling on there in 1997 to keep my big mouth shut or people were wanting me to teach them to sell on there and even worse bidding against me at auctions.

    7 years later, I don't even use the word ebay when I'm in public ;)

    I would apply that same hesitation here because ebay is a worldwide market and anyone, anywhere, that I teach can become my direct competition.

    But if I ever DO get any animals and actually make a little money (or even alot) I don't think I'd be concerned about talking ON HERE and ever sharing my exact numbers. But in person, I definitely wouldn't be sharing actual numbers.


    Mel-
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I doubt you're going to motivate enough people to start farming to seriously impact your sales. Certainly not with livestock. Besides you have a huge head start and an established business. Nothing like making a few costly mistakes to take away that gleam.
     
  14. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Competition is not a bad thing. It may even help a bit. If you "talk too much" to someone and they get started, they will have to do some serious catching up to even try and compete. To do that, they will either low-ball the price to get your customers in which case, they'll be out of business shortly thereafter, or they'll start a wide range of marketing ideas to get new customers. With this new marketing, more people will start "flocking" to the market and with more customers shopping around, more will be looking in your direction as a larger, more experienced person to do business with.

    But then again, when I talk, most people look at me like I am a special science fiction channel. :cool:
     
  15. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    That was mean!

    but very funny :haha:

    Thanks for the laugh!

    Jena
     
  16. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I need to clarify...

    I was talking about talking to people in person...not on the internet! I don't worry a bit about talking to folks on here!

    It's the locals I was referring too.

    Thanks for all the kind words.

    Jena
     
  17. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Years ago I told my good friend, and expert horse trainer Larry Surrett that he could make good money training people to train horses. He said this was a bad idea, because he would lose training business. He has since established the Minnesota Horse Training Academy and trains students for $3000 each.
     
  18. I think you are a person that knows very well how to run your business operation and how to make it work. Of course all of our information is coming directly from you. I also think that you are a person that NEEDS to be recognigized as one that knows what she's doing and probably KNOWS that she's the only one that can do it the right way. Sooner or later people like you have to watch their P'S and Q'S or they become known as "Know It All's". Maybe you could try to tone it down a bit? You did ask for opinions. Many people are probably envious of your operation. Keep going but don't be so verbal about EVERYTHING.
     
  19. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean Jena, i sell at the local farmers market (no anything big but It works for me) I sell, lye soaps, handmade lipbalms, baked goods, oils, vinegars, jams, jelly and that type of stuff...I always get people who want me to tell them what is in my lipbalm and how to make it. I usually do tell them, Cause i figure they will buy it and try it and decided if they want to make it, but i have to say that most of them just talk about it, they have no real motivation to go out and aquire all the ingredients (you cant get most of it in the area we live in) and actually whip up a batch of lip balm and so they usually return and tell me they want more. I have even had them ask if i would teach a class on how to make stuff.
    The problem i see is the other vendors coming over to my "booth" and asking questions...Last year I sold triple chocolate gourmet brownies in an octagon container with a clear lid. I usually brought 20-25 and sold everyone of them and now, there is a little old man that sells at the market and he sells brownies in the same container (which was hard to find) for the same price i was selling at last year. This was no fluke...he watched the items that i sold and changed his product to the items that i was selling. There isn't much i can do about it but keep trying to come up with new and better products. I have noticed that no one and i do mean no one sampled their goods last year except for me and now this year, everyone samples their stuff.
    What can i say, I cant sell and keep it a secret too...

    Belinda
     
  20. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    I try to quit telling folks about my chickens BEFORE their eyes roll back in their heads. Unfortunately I tend to do this. Anyway ...

    As far as sharing info ... production info is only one part of it. There are a lot of intangibles that many people don't have or takes awhile to acquire. A successful small business person has to be a self-starter, a bit of a gambler, a continuous learner, be willing to try new ventures, and often have good communication skills. And be too stubborn to give up during bad years. (Of which -- speaking of farming in the Midwest -- there will always be some). (This sounds more like DH than me BTW)

    It's a weird set of skills that not everyone has. And not everyone who tries to start a business will stick with it for whatever reason.

    And also, everyone's assets and abilities are different. For instance, DH's cousin got interested in freezer beef but as it turns out they and their kids are all more interested in raisign and selling hogs. And we farmers are all surrounded by thousands of people who all like to eat -- not all of them know what to do with a whole chicken or 300+ pounds of beef, but some do and some are interested.

    I think the locally-grown-natural-almost-sorta-organic segment of the food industry is growing, and hope it continues to do so. And there are immigrant and ethnic communities, unique to each area, that seem to be unsatisfied with meat and poultry from the big chain groceries and big commercial farms.

    Just some thoughts there. We are in transition here on the farm, trying to replace the dairy herd, and so we have been trying different ventures to see what works.

    Ann