Holly Farm

Holly farm belongs to Charles and Gillian Giles who are farmers who refused to give up when their sales from milk and cereals from their farm diminished. They decided to make better use of their farm and see if it would increase their profits. In the year 2003 the couple renovated the farm and built a car park that could fit 40 cars and also space for buses to cater for the groups that would be visiting them. They also ensured that there was a good view that the public would use to view the milking parlour and got trailers that the public would use to go round the farm. They also catered for children by making them a playground and also building a factory for making ice cream. Family outings were made possible in the farm with the fact that there was a picnic area.

The couple then went out looking for customers by giving lectures to the local schools and organizations to get them to come visit the farm. This worked out well as in the year 2006 the number of visitors was about 15,000 per year and these were visitors who paid to visit and also bought some farm products.

The farm tried to increase their sales as years went by and they actually cut cost by not providing services to visitors in the slow months and also in the other months they did not have visitors during slow days. Charles also looked for better ways to attract people to come view milking of cows by using the new technology. The visitors get an explanation before they start watching which really motivates people to wait for their turn. The farms products are sold to the local retail shops, visitors also buy when they come to visit the farm and the couple has also made it possible for the public who are not visiting the farm to access the products directly from the farm.

The farm product that is mostly purchased is ice cream and as Gillian has stated they make more profits from sales from the farm shop compared to those made when selling to shops.

The couple is still struggling to increase their sales, the positive thing is that they have analysed the market and seen where their income is high. The product that gives them more profit they have analysed and all they have to do is implement new policies. The farm has minimised costs by ensuring that the staff that guides the visitors is also the staff that works in the farm for commercial reasons. This is because they have seen the slow days of the week which should be fully utilized in the farm working on other fields.

Advertising is one key factor that most business owners ought to realize works. People do not want to go out looking for products they want the products to come to them hence the need for advertising. It also helps to include all the services and products that the farm offers and how much they are selling so as to prepare the customers’ minds. Advertising really works in influencing the minds of customers and as long as it is attractive they will follow. It is also prudent to include the benefits and also features of the farm products. Advertising does not have to include the use of billboards but also generating referrals. The existing customers of the farm can be used to get to others by kindly asking them to tell others about the farm.

Holly farm also needs to know its main target in the market, those who will lead to increase in sales of their products. When it comes to visiting the farm they should target families over the weekend by giving discounts to those going to the picnic areas and also having more to offer for the children since most families go out to please their children. Gillian and Charles should also contact organizations that could be interested in their products and offer to be speakers whenever they have seminars.

This way they will get a platform to talk about their products.
The farm can also offer discounts on those visiting the farm as a group to encourage schools and other organizations to come as a group to learn in the farm. This will increase the fees for entry and also other products in the farms. The slow days when the staffs are not doing any other farm work can also be used to guide visitors, how to get visitors to come on these days is simple. There should be offers that are irresistible for visitors who come on these slow days. This can include giving free samples when one buys something in the farm or rather when one pays fees to visit the farm.

It would also be helpful to work hand in hand with the employees who happen to know their job very well. They also know how to solve problems in the farm in the best effective way. The farm’s equipment for freezing ice cream limits the amount of litres that can be made in a day and maybe talking to the employees would help because they may have a solution that would not lead to increasing the cost. The farm can also try to minimize costs for making the ice cream by providing themselves with some of the ingredients that they actually buy out. This would increase their profits after sale.

It is easier and better to keep the existing customers rather than going out to the market to get new ones. Gillian says that they make more profits from sales from the farm shop that when they go out to sell to the shops. They should therefore come with incentives to encourage people to buy from their farm shops and do all they can to retain these customers by offering the best services to them. These are the customers who will make positive remarks about the farm’s products and they can use those testimonials in their marketing materials.
Holly farm can be said to have certain features that has made it outperform its competitors. One of its competitive advantages is quality of the products they offer their customers.

This includes the durability of the product, its value, whether it’s appealing to the customers and also its functionality. There is an international standard of business quality that is used to assure customers that the products sold to them are of good quality hence a requirement for all businesses. Gaining this is not a competitive advantage as all business has it but then not having it would lead to no sales as it increases customer’s confidence in your products. Holly farm are not only profit minded as they find it better to offer less but quality ice cream. They do not overload their machines to increase sales as this would actually lead to low quality ice cream. The product is also durable as the packaging is quite convenient.

The farms packs the ice cream in well-insulated containers so that when one buys at the farm they can eat at home since the container ensure the ice cream does not melt for about two hours. The farm also sells at fair prices and also gives discounts to the outlets that sell to other customers hence increasing the quality of their products.

It is important to minimize costs for all businesses. It’s therefore advisable for businesses to ensure that whenever they discover a defect they should deal with it then to make it less expensive.
Speed is another competitive advantage for the firm. The farm is working hard to increase their production processes. It can be seen that they use a machine in their ice cream factory to fast freeze it to ensure their products are ready on time. Charles is also seen to have gone out of his way and bought a carousel parlour that enabled the cows to be milked on a slow moving turntable making it attractive for visitors to view milking of cows. Therefore the use of all these machines increases the speed of their production.

The fact that the farm makes the products on their farm using their equipment’s and other farm products it makes it easier for customers to depend on them. They are assured that there will be no shortages of ice cream at any period. Holly farm’s ice cream factory works for eight hours per day hence ensuring there is no shortage of their product whether it’s a slow day for or any other ordinary day. Gillian also transports products to the shop outlets making it easier for the retail shops to depend on the farm.

Holly farm knows that it has low seasons and hence looks for other ways to get income during those seasons. The fact that they are flexible makes it easy for them to adjust to changes in the market. The farm has also enabled them to adopt technology to increase their sales.
Cost is another attribute that has made the farm to have a competitive advantage. The farm tries to minimize their production costs so that they can sell to the retail shops at an affordable price. The farm also reduces cost during the low season to ensure they suffer no losses by making their staff work while there are only few visitors coming to the farm.

Balanced score card is performance management tool that most businesses use to ensure that all activities are done as they should by the staff and that consequences of those activities are visible. There are certain perspectives that are used and one is financial which is used to answer the question of how a business appears to its shareholders. This perspective argues that there is need to include certain data that is related to finance like risk assessment and cost benefit in the finance data.

The other perspective is the customer perspective which emphasis is that customers should be analysed in that the business should ensure that all customers are satisfied with their products so as not to go looking for other suppliers. This all goes down to better performance when producing the products something that Holly farm is keen at that they ensure that ice cream is fully frozen so as to retain a good texture. The other perspective is the business process perspective which is more of the internal side of the business. The owner of the business is able to access how the business is going on and how the products are received by the customers.

Holly farm therefore make it their business to know the characteristics of their customers. They observe if those watching the cows are impressed and which part is more amusing to them. There is also the learning and growth perspective that mainly targets the employees training them so as to increase their productivity.
When a business implements a balanced scorecard then it can get software that can be used to manage performance. It is important to measure the operations performance since it gives a view of whether the business is working towards gaining profits or making losses.