The Farm Compare team of Karen and Oliver McDonald are delighted to have been selected to participate in the 2020 Ignite Propel programme which recognises entrepreneurial start-up businesses and supports them on a six month journey towards success. As they embark on this exciting new phase of growth Karen reflects on the first few days takeaways.
Being pushed outside of your comfort zone is what challenges you to learn fast and overcome fear…and this was very much the case as within the first minutes of the welcome session all team members were tasked with introducing and pitching their business to the wider Propel group all of which was captured on camera! Starting at the deep end but all for our own learning and development (so we kept telling ourselves!).
Pitching should become so natural it happens in every conservation and interaction. It should be authentic yet confident so when someone spots the Farm Compare logo and asks, ‘What’s that about?’ you can deliver a clear and concise response - which can be difficult when you are describing something that is disruptive and new to the market! The focus for the Farm Compare team will be sharing our business story, our brand values and unique business proposition in everyday contexts for our customers, dealers and manufacturers. We want those we communicate with to experience the energy and belief we have in Farm Compare.
They say great things happen outside your comfort zone and let’s hope that’s true as this will be a reoccurring experience throughout our Propel journey! Coming from professional backgrounds of being employed to going out and starting a new business has been a massive change for the Farm Compare team but one that has brought great opportunity and learning. Despite leaving a career, friends and doing a job you know well and love (and are maybe kind of good at too) to starting your own business - it ignites a passion for success that demands you to step outside of your comfort zone rather than ask politely…we’re still getting used to this part!
Being all about efficiency this day one learning resonates so well for Farm Compare. Farm Compare was born from the idea of simplifying the process for farmers to find new equipment and machinery. Our aim is to take the hassle out of searching, evaluating, comparing quotes so that farmers can find the products that best suits their needs. Simplification = All round success
As a husband and wife team setting up a new business means that constructive criticism (and some less than constructive criticism) is on tap! This can be a good thing as there’s, trust and honesty so issues can be discussed and dealt with quickly however it can be challenging to switch between personal and business life, it becomes one! We always welcome and encourage feedback from our network and sometimes what can seem negative is actually an opportunity. While we might not always want to hear the negative comments as Farm Compare is our baby, we know that there is much more to be gained from exploring it to see if there is validity. A lot of the times feedback from our customers, suppliers and partners does inform a change or something totally new, so we would encourage identifying weaknesses as the starting point to make changes.
Addressing all of these themes may seem daunting but we are in a good place to do so with our own experience, with the team delivering the programme and further within the cohort and the wider Alumni at Propel HQ in Ormeau Baths. It's a privilege to be stationed here in what will be our office for the next 6 months and we look forward to sharing more exciting updates as we progress each week.