We have all heard the adage, "To measure is to know." How are you doing as a business? How are you doing compared to your peers? What is your return on all the hard work you are doing? Is it worth it? Are you losing or making money year over year? Is this money better off in another type of investment other than growing plants. You can't answer these questions unless you take a little bit of time to do some measurements. Drs. Paul Fisher, Alan Hodges, Charlie Hall and Bill Swanekamp, have written a paper that was in the OFA Bulletin May/June 2012 edition that discusses the importance of benchmarking your business. This article deals with young plant and bedding plant producers. It also gives the stats of their operations to see what is the industry average.
Benchmarking is a process that allows you to see how your business is doing in comparison to others in the same business. This is a great way to find strengths and weaknesses in your operation and take management decisions to improve on the overall outcome of your balance sheet.
If you spend a little time with your annual income statement and this article you might be surprised at how you are doing. Here is the link for the article. http://hillsborough.extension.ufl.edu/Ag/AgOrnProd/documents/MineYourIncomeMay-June2012Bulletin.pdf
For those of you who want to see how a broader perspective of the nursery industry are doing and how you compare there is the Horticulture Business Analysis System. This is a UF/IFAS program that allows you to use your income statement and input your values into the system to see how you compare with others in the same business. Currently the system has data for greenhouse tropical foliage, shadehouse tropical foliage (South Florida), container-grown woody ornamentals, field-grown woody ornamentals, flowering plants, bedding plants and cut foliage (ferneries). Within each commodity group, information is available for subgroups by firm size, profitability, location (state, county) and year. Here is a link to that site. https://hortbusiness.ifas.ufl.edu/analysis/