How to Survive and Grow in Hard Times

It has become rather evident to most everyone (except maybe the government) that we are in hard economic times.

Whatever you call it, whether recession, inflation, or some other word, businesses are suffering and that can eventually mean that all people may suffer.

Much of the time survival and growth are a matter of how we think about things. I heard a story one time of two shoe salesmen that went to a foreign country. When the first guy got off the plane and walked around he noticed that nobody wore shoes. He promptly called the home office and said “This is a terrible idea. There is no opportunity here because nobody wears shoes!” The second salesman got off the plane and as he walked around he noticed the same thing, nobody wore shoe. He promptly called back to his home office and excitedly reported that this was a great idea and there was opportunity everywhere because nobody wore shoes.

I believe that every solid principle has its roots in the scripture. Even the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon said, as a man thinketh in his heart so is he…. Pro. 23:7

So, we need to think properly.

Some people say “think positive” and that is correct, but that is not all. We have to think “right” and then go and do something about it. Take action…work. Again the Bible says in the book of James 2:20 that faith without works is dead. We could say faith, belief, and right thinking, but without action, effort, and work it is of no avail, no use, and worthless.

So we need to think right and work, but there is also a need for understanding, knowledge or truth. Jesus was talking in a little different light when he said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, but it still applies very well to being successful in any business or in life in general.

We need to know the facts and to have a good understanding of whatever we are doing, from growing a business, to sawing lumber, to raising children. If we are in an important endeavor we need to know the facts. We need to try to put away as much of our presuppositions as possible and examine the evidence to see what the real truth or facts are. If we have a positive attitude and a good work ethic, but believe the wrong things (the wrong facts) we will end up doing the wrong things. Again, it doesn’t matter if it is sawmilling, farming, raising children, or religion.

Often, and I suppose nearly always we think we know the facts. Because of our past experience we think we are doing something the best way. But technology can and often does change, and we have to continually examine the evidence to see what the facts are so we will know how to react. Wise farmers rotate crops, add fertilizer, and often add irrigation to help insure that they will make a good crop. As new pesticides come out or better seeds are bred up, the farmer has to change to stay in business. The sawmiller is no different. Especially in hard times. That is why the thin kerf industry even came about. We needed to save more lumber and we wanted to be more portable as well as many other things. Even with us, when we started building portable sawmills we were using 24 HP Onan engines. Those mills are slow compared to the ones that we put 51hp and even 62hp on today. So there are always decisions to make and to stay a strong company one needs to be continually educating himself as to what is the best and most efficient way to make lumber accurate and fast.

How do we learn these things in the least amount of time? One thing that I have learned lately and have been using is consultants. These are people that have been down paths that are similar to where I am going. They have knowledge that I need and will shorten my learning curve tremendously. As I write this article, I have an appointment set to talk to a company on the phone about a consultant working for me on some business projects that I believe will make me more efficient. I have an appointment tomorrow with a consultant to see if we can improve on our production and quality of products and service. I have found the right consultants can provide tremendous benefits.

One thing that is hard to overcome is that they can be somewhat expensive, so there has to be a balance. There may be several ways to overcome this. Find someone in a different area than you that also sawmills and compare notes. See if they have better ideas for what you are doing. I can guarantee that you will have good ideas for them as well. You will find that the old saying ‘The more you help others the more you help yourself’, is true.

You can also read magazines and periodicals that are helpful.

One thing that we offer and want to encourage you to do is to take advantage of the free consultation that we offer here at Cook’s Saw. We have dealt with so many different sawmills around the country and even the world now, that we feel we have much to offer. The greatest thing is that we offer this service free. We want to give as much as we can back to this industry. By the same token we believe that this will benefit you very much and in turn it will be a benefit to our company. We even ask that as we help you that you continue to buy form us as long as we provide you a benefit. We have to make a living for ourselves and those that work for us by selling products. This way we can keep consultations free.

One product that you probably have heard of is the Cook's Super Sharp blade. Some people will not use it because th ey believe they have all the facts and there can’t be something better. This is the case of falling behind in Technology. We call ourselves 'Leaders in Bandsaw Technology' and we believe it. We have been the first to introduce many things in the industry over the years such as: debarkers on sawmills, board drag back, band blade roller, and a heavy duty personal sharpener. We continue to bring innovation to the market with some of our newer projects like our new 52” sawmill, and our patent pending Super Sharp blade to name a few. We know from our experience that the Super Sharp blade will out perform anything on the market. If you will give us a chance we will prove it to you and we guarantee it. Even if you have tried it and it didn’t do what you thought, there is a reason and we can still make it work for you.

So how do you determine who to listen to and who is feeding you a sales line? No need to deny it, there is plenty of snake oil pushers out there. Well, it’s pretty simple really; who has been in business a while and has innovative products? Who has been telling you the truth and helping you all along? Who is fair and reasonable and seems to truly want to help you make more money? I know that is what Cook’s strives to do and from the testimonials that we receive I believe that we do a good job at it. We are always working to improve and I have consultants who actually push us to do better.

I mentioned educating yourself a little earlier. I have come to believe that this is near the top of what will keep a business growing and competitive in any market, whether good or bad. We have mentioned some things above, but maybe one of the simplest and cheap ways to be self educated is to try a new product form time to time and see if technology has changed or not. We guarantee our products so you don’t have anything to lose with us and possibly everything to gain.

To your success,

 

 

Co-Owner CooksSaw.com
Leaders in Bandsaw Technology!