Duck Farming – Importance of Keeping Farm Records If You Want a Profitable Duck Business

It is worth keeping a record of what happens on your farm. Not every one finds keeping records easy or useful. It seems a hassle, but it is fun. Normally for a short term and for a small flock you can remember the most important information. But if you are planning to keep ducks for a longer time and if you want to make a business you need to keep track of what happens.

Depending on your type of business you can keep track of:

– how many eggs are laid every day
– how much food you give every day
– the costs you make on feeding and health care
– the investment you have made to build a shed
– which ducks are good breeders and which are not
– how many eggs you incubate and the date you have put them to incubate
– how many eggs hatch
– how many of the hatched ducklings survive and how many die

This is not a complete list, neither a compulsory list. You decide yourself of which information you keep a record, depending on the type of your business.

The information you gather can help you to make management decisions or help you to find a solution to a problem. For example:

– When you know when you put eggs to incubate, you can calculate the date that they will hatch. You can then prepare for caring for the ducklings in time..
– You can estimate when you will need to replace ducks as they reach the end of their productive period.

What Ducks Can Teach You About Branding and Business Success

Of all the mascots I would expect a high-end luxury hotel to have, the lowly mallard duck is certainly not one of them. And yet, that was what greeted me when I stepped into the Peabody Orlando Hotel.

There is an actual story behind the ducks (which is printed on the napkins) but the reality is the story is less interesting than how the hotel has built a brand around ducks.

First, you have the “March of the Ducks” — at 11 am the ducks “march” (or more accurately waddle) on a red carpet to spend the day in a luxurious fountain. This fountain is located in the middle of the hotel and is actually quite a nice place to get a little work done or enjoy a coffee and cupcake (while watching the ducks splash around). At 5 pm they then “march” (waddle) back to their Duck Palace to enjoy a duck dinner and a “quiet evening” together.

Now the fact they make this an event — with marching music, a red carpet and an actual Duck Master (which is trademarked — yes if you were thinking about hiring a Duck Master for your own Duck March you would be out of luck) is one thing. But the ducks are also front and center to their branding.

There are ducks on the carpet, duck soaps in the rooms, drinks named after ducks, ducks embroidered on the staff’s clothes — the list goes on and on. It’s all quite tastefully done and the ducks are elegantly and subtly woven throughout the hotel’s brand and image.

Now the real question is, of course, is it worth it? Only the Peabody knows for sure but from the outside it certainly appears like it is.

First off, remember where the Peabody Orlando is — it’s in Orlando competing against Disney World (who knows a thing or 2 about branding themselves) Universal Studios and other theme-oriented attractions. Without the ducks, the Peabody would be a very nice, high-end hotel that would be like every other very nice, high-end hotel. With the ducks, now you have your own attraction. Now you have something to talk about. Now you have something your kids might want to see almost as much as Mickey Mouse.

(Now there is another Peabody, complete with ducks, in Atlanta as well. The Atlanta Peabody certainly wouldn’t be in competition with Mickey and company, but I suspect there’s enough other competition with high-end hotels and history that the ducks earn their keep there as well.)

One of the main ways you can successfully market yourself to an affluent clientele is to provide an experience. People like experiences. It gives them something to talk about (or write ezine articles about). And if you wrap an experience inside your brand, you just transformed yourself from a “good” business to something extraordinary. And extraordinary is what gets people to notice, to “take a chance on” if nothing else to witness that experience for themselves.

So, for you, what can you do to create an experience for your clients? And is this something that can be woven into your branding strategy? (And if you can make it unexpected or off-the-wall even better.) Or maybe it was an accident you overlooked at the time — with the ducks Mr. Peabody came back from hunting and was enjoying some Jack Daniels with a friend, when they decided it would be a nifty idea to put the duck decoys in the fountain. Well everyone loved the decoys floating around so now we have actual ducks in the fountain. (See what I mean about how lame that story is? But no matter, the point is they saw an opportunity and seized it — do you have any of those “happy accidents” in your own business you can capitalize on?)

Remember the point of a good brand is to make yourself memorable to your ideal clients. And a great way to make yourself very memorable is to wrap your brand around an experience.

A Duck Or an Eagle, What Will I Be Today?

I read something today that simultaneously inspired and educated me. Whilst reading it, I was able to relate much of it to how I went about my daily life in my job as a corporate leader.  

It was a story about a cab driver in the USA and written by one of his passengers who was so blown away by the actions of this one cab driver that at the end of the ride, he made an immediate decision that he would effect immediate change in both his thoughts and behaviour.  

He was waiting in line for a cab and as this immaculate cab drew up, the door opened and out stepped a driver dressed in immaculate white shirt, black tie and trousers with razor sharp creases in them. The driver rushed to open the back door and in doing so handed the passenger a car that read; “I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk, I’d like you to read my mission statement.”   

Wally’s Mission Statement:To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.  

This totally blew the passenger away and even more so that on entering the cab, the pristine condition inside matched that of the exterior. Once behind the wheel, Wally said “would you like a coffee, I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf”. The passenger jokingly said “no, I’d actually prefer a soft drink”. Wally’s reply to this was “no problem, I have a cooler here with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice”.  

As they were about to set off, Wally offered a choice of daily newspapers and handing the passenger another laminated card, he was pleasantly surprised to read about the various music stations available and the music each played.  

Setting off, the passenger was informed of the best route to his destination considering the time of day and a further offer to show the sights or leave him to his own thoughts if this was preferred.  

Obviously a number of questions were now in the passengers head and on asking Wally how long he had been in business and how his business had evolved, he was informed that Wally had been a regular cab driver like all the others for about 5 years. He said he spent his time complaining like most of the cab drivers do then one day happened to listen to a personal growth guru called Wayne Dyer on the radio. Liking what he heard, he purchased one of Wayne’ books. The real message Wally said he took from this was ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain, eagles soar above the crowd.’ He went on to tell the passenger that he looked around at other cabs; they were dirty, drivers unfriendly and customers generally unhappy. He immediately began to put in changes and as the customers responded well, he put in some more.  

I related to much of this story as I read it and above is only a short excerpt. In my place of work and being a leader, I love to innovate, get the team on board and make things happen. I used to get frustrated by senior management’s reluctance to make decisions, move things forward and generally suppressing innovation. One of my favourite thoughts was “how can I soar with the eagles when I’m tied to the turkeys.” So I suppose it was the eagle analogy that caught my eye in this article I’m writing about today.  

Once I mastered the rules of the business in my organisation, I adopted the philosophy ‘it’s best to just do it and beg forgiveness later than to ask and be refused.’ If my gut instinct tells me I need to do something, change something then I just do it. It has not let me down; to the contrary, I have won accolades and also an award for leadership, innovation and producing results. I always recruited like minded people and we constantly sought out new and better ways of delivering to our customers, to our stakeholders and to ourselves. I quickly recognised my eagles and constantly fed their hunger.  

So are you a duck or are you an eagle? Do you spend your day complaining, whining and generally stalling? Do you seek out like minded ducks that wallow with you in procrastination? Do you like to have long conversations that have a basic theme running through them i.e. ‘100 reasons why we can’t do this.’  

Or are you an eagle? Are you constantly seeking out new and better ways of developing your life and business? Do you surround yourself with positive and like minded achievers? Do you just go for it, make lots of mistakes, laugh at them and continue to learn and grow?  

Ducks, you don’t have to sit around in the water then, every now and then giving a wee kick with your webbed feet under water. Start flapping your wings, raise yourself up a wee bit at a time, and move away from all the others who are content to sit there. Look up at the birds in the sky; aren’t they having fun seeing how high they can really fly? Ducking and diving, trying new heights a small distance at a time. Try it, you may find a whole bunch of people who see much more from where they are; learn something new every minute of the day. Move away from your fellow ducks who sit there, reliant on people bringing bits of bread or food to them, get out there and seek your own, you can then eat anything you want because you’ve made it happen. Don’t rely on others, it’s far more rewarding when you’ve learnt something for yourself and the rewards are then all yours.