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Life’s too short, only read what you’re interested in.

Life’s too short, only read what you’re interested in.

Working with corn maze clients across North America and the UK, creating attractions and marketing plans for hundreds more farms and entertainment businesses, plus managing nearly 100 staff across three businesses and 1,400 acres of production, retail, and entertainment in a family business generates a lot of stories. This blog is a connection point for seasonal and family business owners to look inside, learn from our mistakes, and connect on a level only people in the small business community can. Choose what you'd like to read by category or search, then surf around occasionally for something interesting you might not…
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Three 2020 Things I don’t want to change in 2021 – Part 2 of 3

Hey gang,  In Part 1 of this series, "Where do we go from here," We took a look in the rearview mirror at the year that was. In 2020 we dealt with extraordinary uncertainty and considered our reactions to uncertain circumstances; our team's reaction to uncertain circumstances.  The pull to "Get back to the way things were" is powerful. Sometimes I visualize 2019's ease of travel, freedom to go to church gatherings, and family friend get-togethers free of the invisible fear.  My challenge to you in Part 1 was to consider the idea that you DON'T want EVERYTHING to go back to normal. That you do not want…
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Where do we go from here – Future Now – Part 3 of 3

https://youtu.be/yoFYCXXmlcE In Part 1 of this series, "Where do we go from here," https://hughmcpherson.com/seasonal-business-blog/where-do-we-go-from-here-part-1-of-3/ We took a look in the rearview mirror at the year that was. Part 2 challenged us to think about what we did NOT want to go back to normal after this pandemic era is over. Part 3 is about where we go from here, what's going to happen in the future. It's about the Future: NOW. Predictions spoken with certainty are a fool's game. In my current favorite book, "The Art of Thinking Clearly" by Rolf Dobelli, he suggests that one can quickly appear to…
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Where do we go from here – Part 1 of 3

Where do we go from here – Part 1 of 3

Peering into the future, knowing circumstances are out of our control, what are we supposed to do? This 3-part series is a conversation about where we go from here. Hey gang,  Oh, what a difference a year makes. I write to you from the comfort of my home, safe and away from most other people. Being away from people, as you might guess, is NOT my natural state.  So many extrovert agritourism operators like me probably spent last Fall struggling to avoid hugging long-time guests and missing terribly end of the season employee parties.  The New Year is filled with new beginnings, new…
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You never stop growing up.

It was Tuesday the week before we hosted our first event of the season, and it just boiled over. Farmer Hugh's a pretty nice guy most of the time, but he remains completely imperfect. I boiled over. I sharpened my words and darkened my tone. I lit into the crew of teenagers who had worked all summer getting the fun park ready. I was venting frustration I didn't even know I had on a good group of kids. External pressures and circumstances. We are all under a new set of external forces during this incredible change in circumstances with Covid-19. Without careful attention…
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Part 3 – “Farmer Hugh gets burned at the stake.”

In Part 1, we reviewed that I love to help people use data to overcome emotional distress caused by social media pain. If you missed Part 1, please read it FIRST on my blog: CLICK HERE If you missed Part 1 & Part 2 - "Solving the strawberry supply problem." READ Part 2 NEXT on my blog -> CLICK HERE Here's the basic idea: Reviewing the data, the real numbers, is like a vaccine against future social media harassments. Once you know to look at the data, you can temper your emotional response. Then it happened to me. Part 3 - "Farmer Hugh gets…
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Part – 1 “A dose of my own medicine tests my ‘social’ vaccine.”

If you know me, you know that I talk - a lot. I'm opinionated and freely offer advice. Beyond that, I like to ask really tough coaching questions; questions that challenge your assumptions when we talk about business.  Social media is one of the most often requested topics on which I speak. Inevitably during the presentation, someone says, "We changed out [pricing/layout/packages/fruit container sizes/] and we got [bad feedback/attacked/annihilated/lit-up/crucified] on social media. I know we should never have done that.]  Business coach Hugh carefully works through with question after question to find the real data, and most often we discover together that the…
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Part 2 – “Solving the strawberry supply problem.”

In Part 1, we reviewed that I love to help people use data to overcome emotional distress caused by social media pain.  Hundreds of Strawberry Drive-Thru Festival bakery & winery orders await pick-up. If you missed Part 1, please read it FIRST on my blog: CLICK HERE  Here's the basic idea: Reviewing the data, the real numbers, is like a vaccine against future social media harassments. Once you know to look at the data, you can temper your emotional response.  Then it happened to me.  Part 2 - "Solving the strawberry supply problem." The current situation:  Seven days from our festival, we're…
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Close your feed and write.

Close your feed and write.

I do not like being told what to do. Yes, I just gave you a robust declarative statement, but it was for your good: Close your feed and write. We are no longer conditioned to write, yet our consumption of words, posts, videos, pictures is higher than ever. Your mind has become one-way as you push the vast majority of the traffic into your head and offer little back out, aside from a double-tap 'heart' or laughing emoji.  Overwhelm and anxiety stem from this one-way flow. Your mind is struggling to keep all this information in with no safety valve…
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WHAT I LEARNED AT NAFDMA 2020 – PART 3 OF 3 “Conspicuous Leisure” or “Doing it for the ‘Gram”

WHAT I LEARNED AT NAFDMA 2020 – PART 3 OF 3 Hey, ~Contact.FirstName~, Lessons from NAFDMA, the International Association for Agritourism convention in 3 Parts. Your marketing image is entrapping you.Wine, beer & food veto the “Parent Veto”[CHANGED] "Conspicuous Leisure" or "Doing it for the 'Gram" "Conspicuous Leisure" or "Doing it for the 'Gram" You noticed at the Strawberry Festival. Three 20-somethings, dressed to the nines, sauntered out to the patch with a single quart box. They were out there for hours and came back with 13 strawberries, full of giggles and feverishly swiping at their phones. They were "Doing it…
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The Parent Veto

WHAT I LEARNED AT NAFDMA 2020 – PART 2 OF 3 Parents can Veto the children's desire to attend your event. Lessons from NAFDMA, the International Association for Agritourism convention in 3 Parts. Your marketing image is entrapping youWine, beer & food veto the “Parent Veto”Menus, food costs & quality drive profitability Wine, beer & food veto the "Parent Veto." I bet you've done it. Your kids wanted to go to Chuck-E-Cheese, and you issued what Randy White calls, "The Parent Veto." You know the food's going to be bad. NO ONE goes for the pizza. You know it's going to be…
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