|Recent warm weather begat fog which begat ice|
So here we are...still in limbo. We broke up with our realtor about a month ago and then started dating the new guy last week. I like the new guy better, probably because he's a little like me, well, to be truthful, he's a LOT like me...oh OK, he IS me.
For Sale By Owner is the new guy and we're getting along pretty well. No sale yet but at least I can check my account as often as I want and see how many people have looked at out listing. Sure, it's probably just some guy with his finger on the "number of times listing viewed" button but it makes me feel like action is being taken.
|Vampires, witches and werewolves are nothing |
compared to the
dreaded Cow Ghosts of Central Illinois
In the meantime it is still business as usual except that like here is never "usual" or "routine" or "stable" It is in fact chaotic and unpredictable. Several months ago another farmer in our area , one who does not raise all his animals on his own farm, and has been known to feed his all natural livestock some very suspicious meals, began undercutting the restaurant business of reputable farmers in this region. Offering his meat for a much cheaper price, the restaurants we had been selling to for a number of years stopped ordering from us.
This could have been disastrous for us but as that door closed another opened rapidly; our farm store business took off. Yes, we could've fought for the restaurant business we worked so hard to build but
why? Driving so often to Chicago was wearing us down. Being gone all day making several deliveries exhausted us and then caused us to get further behind on all that needed to be done HERE.
So, we decided to accept the gift that was being given us. The gift of time, the gift of improved finances (our profit margin is slightly higher with store sales as compared to restaurant sale) the gift of improved customer relations. (More time at home meant more time to visit with our direct farm visitors)
It's not that we have quit the restaurant business, its more that they quit us about the same time we needed to be quit upon. In the last 3 months our farm store sales have increased by 30% , not just in new customers but also in repeat customers who keep showing up...repeatedly. Some days we only have 1-2 customers so we have lots of time to do work in between. Other days we have 8-9 customers and I start fantasizing about hiring a part time person for the store duties.
We are also thinking about starting a bulk buyers club (thank you Doug D. for the idea), building a petting zoo (liability issues be damned, kids need to be able to TOUCH animals) , planting a cutting flower garden around the farm store (I blame Miss Effie for this idea) and maybe taking on some interns. (Spence Farm, you know this one is your fault.)
Sure enough, once we get all this in place the farm will sell.
Mark my herds.