Spring 2013 - A Return to Desired Profitability
So much has taken place this last year in our industry, consolidations, and failures at the grower level as well as for independent garden centers. Of this I am certain, we have not yet fully realized all the failures that will take place. Yet I am so very optimistic about the industry in which we are engaged. The changes that have taken place have created tremendous opportunity for those with courage, vision and passion.
I know for Eaton Farms we have become much better business men and women through these difficult years and I can say the same for many of our clients. I expect continued changes to take place at a pace that is frightening at times, yet not beyond the ability of you and I. I believe the worst is now behind us all in the industry and if you have survived to this date, I would be willing to bet on you going forward and that is exactly what Eaton Fams is doing and will continue to do. I have put all my eggs into the independent garden center basket!
I have a simple message for our customers this year - Return to Profitability! I understand this is much easier said than done in this current environment, but it can be done, has been done and will be done. A return to desired profitability requires Great Business Leadership. This form of leadership demands courage, confidence, vision, passion - but even more it demands truth - truth in numbers.
What gets measured gets done! As a leader in your company, it is no longer about what you like to do, but about what you have to do. And what you have to do is know the truth in your operations and the only way to see truth is in the numbers and those numbers had better be truthful, accurate and consistently delivered on time so you can affect change in your business.
Profitabilty is not a result of your costs of goods, but is instead a result of your ability to generate and support gross margins. Profitability is a result of successfully selling products and services at the highest price possible.
A very wise man gave me the following advice for business... Face the Situation today, not tomorrow and always check your perspective! This is the foundation of great leadership and not so easily built. To develop the ability to see your business objectively is a challenge to say the least and for many, emotion, heart and sweat equity distort their views. I know first hand the result of distorted views and it can be painful to look clearly at the results of your lifetime's work. Humility is often required to bring perspective into absolute clarity, humility is not a sought after trait until you realize how beneficial it can be and in so many ways.
I carry the following with me daily as a reminder of what is important to Business Leadership - I hope you will carry it and perhaps add to it:
Thank you for your business!
SELL WELL! SELL HIGH! SELL OUT! gtG! Don
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