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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    your right in a way WLC. Any time you factor debt out over an extended period of time, that commitment has to be made, regardless of circumstances. One advantage with beekeeping is it is a business that is easy to get into, but the business holds very little equity to leverage on, unlike cattle or grain land. If anyone does not believe me, go talk to your banker and ask how much money he will lend you against your bees hive stock.
    Let me just tell all of you, after all the fees, insurance and high interest rate the bank wanted to tack on to the loan, I decided it would be cheaper to use my credit cards if I needed to bridge the gap! No debt is best of course.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Marble, North Carolina
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Thanks all for your comments!
    It is awesome to read the information and sort through it all. As for my business skills....they are yet to be had. That is why I am starting from the ground up. My plan is to start reinvesting all of my profits this year (instead of keeping them for myself) to increase in number of hives.
    I am sure yall haven't heard of the guy I worked for. He had +-350 hives and sold all of it locally. I really respect him though.
    I love what Jim Lyon said about no risk...no reward.
    You guys are awesome. Thanks for yalls advise. There really isn't anything that anyone could say that would deter me from trying to be a commercial beekeeper. I just like positive advise and thinking.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Well if you love the no risk no reward words then I think you should borrow all the money that you can and get as big as you can as fast as you can. If I were you I would strive for 1000 hives to start off and go from there.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    CW:

    While most would say it's no big deal to reinvest everything the first year, especially when there's only a small number of hives involved, I would urge caution.

    It takes a lot of discipline to pay expenses, grow, and assure yourself of a 'take home' net.

    You want to get into that mindset from day one.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,634

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
    Well if you love the no risk no reward words then I think you should borrow all the money that you can and get as big as you can as fast as you can. If I were you I would strive for 1000 hives to start off and go from there.
    ha ha
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Plenty of folks have used FSA loans to get things started.

    However, I would choose a far more manageable starting number of colonies.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,363

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by CWoods View Post
    Thanks all for your comments!
    It is awesome to read the information and sort through it all. As for my business skills....they are yet to be had. That is why I am starting from the ground up. My plan is to start reinvesting all of my profits this year (instead of keeping them for myself) to increase in number of hives.
    I am sure yall haven't heard of the guy I worked for. He had +-350 hives and sold all of it locally. I really respect him though.
    I love what Jim Lyon said about no risk...no reward.
    You guys are awesome. Thanks for yalls advise. There really isn't anything that anyone could say that would deter me from trying to be a commercial beekeeper. I just like positive advise and thinking.
    He wasn't from Andrews, was he? Or Shooting Creek, near Murphy?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Marble, North Carolina
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    He wasn't from Andrews, was he? Or Shooting Creek, near Murphy?
    Actually yes he was. There is another outfit in Andrews. But he was mainly in Hiawasee. You familiar with this area???

    WLC- I was actually thinking about doing a FSA loan to start with about 50 hives and go from there. My main goal is to pay the loan off....then start some take home from there as I grow

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,363

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by CWoods View Post
    Actually yes he was. There is another outfit in Andrews. But he was mainly in Hiawasee. You familiar with this area???
    Yeah, my wife and I were married on the SJ Garnet Farm just outside of Andrews back in 1976. We lived there a cpl years prior to that and had a Marble Post Office Box. Before that I worked and lived in
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    CW:

    Sounds reasonable. Although I might add that you should sell any increases and honey, then sell some more bees to drop that starting number even lower. You don't just want to pay back the loan. You want to hold on to assets AND have operating money.

    Then you repeat the process.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Lots of bee outfits have been sold on contract. Work for a seasoned beekeeper for a few years. After you know the ins and outs he will set you up. No bank for anything except an operating loan.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Marble, North Carolina
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Good call WLC

    I am going to have to have some experience wintering my own hives through winter before I feel confident in selling bees.

    Don't you have to be state inspected to sell bees? Does anyone have a link/info on qualifications to sell bees?

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,194

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by CWoods View Post
    .

    Don't you have to be state inspected to sell bees? Does anyone have a link/info on qualifications to sell bees?
    In NC if you sell above a certain number you have to be inspected and pay a $25 fee.
    I believe the number is fairly low... about 10. You can find the NCbeekeepers.org site with a link under Local Associations. All the skinny is there.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,769

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by CWoods View Post
    I finished working for a commercial guy this past year and this year I am on my own.
    Did you work the journals, the ledgers, and the financial statements? That part of the business is at least as critical as knowing how to assess the needs of a yard full of hives.

    I used to do what I called "train wreck accounting". I would go into to a business and set up or clean up their books for them, and in many cases transition them from manual systems to computerized systems. These were typically small businesses owned by guys who took off on their own after becoming very good at whatever their particular skill or interest was.

    Almost always, the story played out the same. Guy gets a job as a laborer with a construction company, works up to carpenter, then foreman, then decides he can do better on his own. Starts his own company and immediately forgets that he's no longer a carpenter, he's a manager. A businessman (or woman).

    He can't keep the books, and can't tell if the cute little thing he hired to keep them for him is doing it correctly. Sooner than later he can't make payroll even though the work seems to be coming in and things start to tumble.

    I saw it over and over. People who were really good at something but had no clue about the back room where the money got counted and the bills got paid. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you can buy a copy of Quickbooks and plunk it on your laptop and call it good. You have to really understand the debits and the credits and what they mean. You have to be able to read and interpret financials if you want to know how your business is doing, just like you have to be able to pop a cover off of a hive and read the bees and the comb in order to tell how that colony is doing. I'll never forget getting a guy set up who had built 5 nice big homes each year for over 15 years. He did ok, but knew something wasn't right. After I got a nice job cost system up and running he was able to see that of the 5 homes he finished each year, three lost money, and the other two models carried him. He dropped the losers and almost immediately tripled his net.

    By contrast, I've also seen people who were only mediocre at what they did who were able to prosper because they knew where every penny came from and where it went and why. They could spot trouble before it became fatal and adjust.

    Go for it, and good luck. Just keep in mind you're transitioning from a beekeeper to a business manager.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    2,004

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Thats a nice write up about financials Barry. Speaking of quickbooks, that is the system my wife wants to use. I would prefer just writing my own database/software to track all the costs and setup my own trend analysis with it, but she would rather I concentrate on the bees.

    Only thing I have to say is those pretty little things generally dont have a clue about financials but are fun to look at and can enter the data into the system somewhat accurately. Not hardly worth their pay.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,634

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    Lots of bee outfits have been sold on contract. Work for a seasoned beekeeper for a few years.
    I also know many beekeepers who have bought out 1000 and 2000 hive operations. They were able to keep their bees alive and that is why they are still in business today
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,636

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I also know many beekeepers who have bought out 1000 and 2000 hive operations. They were able to keep their bees alive and that is why they are still in business today
    Agreed. Many commercials I know, first got the necessary experience then took the plunge by purchasing smaller commercial turnkey operations.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,634

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    Cwoods, if you can keep your bees alive, everything else will follow. The trick is when you start looking after hundreds and thousands of hives, the proper attention needs to be put towards each colony, and thats the rub. When your time starts to get stretched, things get overlooked, work starts getting behind and the hives may suffer. Manage that work load, there are many ways of achieving this.
    To find that magic number of hives a beekeeper can comfortably care for is best to find gradually over time. Take 5 years to build to 1000 hives, rather than buying 2000 hives and end up with 1000...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #59
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northfield,MN
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    yea you cant be successful unless you have quick-books and good ledgers. The business thing is the last thing you need to worry about.
    That will come when it needs to because it has to.

    Keeping bees alive is good advice but not going to make much money with out good bee yards and big bees when they need to be.
    Making this 80-100 lb average is not easily attained.

    Good intuition is important.
    Experience and knowledge gives you confidence, also very important.

    i dont even have a printer that works

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Inspiration to keep going

    I'll have to agree with Barry Digman, I've seen many people in many fields who were good at what they do, but not good at running a business. The two are different skills. It's true you probably won't succeed at running your own mechanic shop (or beekeeping operation) if you aren't good at what you do, but it takes more than that. I've seen many Medical Doctors who got out of med school assuming they knew how to run a medical practice. But to learn that you'd have to study business, not medicine... and they often go broke, not because they aren't good doctors but because they assumed that because they were "smart" they knew how to run a business...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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