Business Ceredigion Style…

Tractor plowing fieldI was testing a random search function on Google and landed on an article about the land of Ceredig. While reading about historic agricultural activities in the spring, it occurred to me that analogies could be made with small business practices…

It’s always best to start a story at the beginning. For this one, that is in the land of Ceredig, for that is what led me to Ceredigion. Ceredig is ancient, but not mythical. Ceredig was a son of Cunedda, a chieftain who re-conquered much of Wales from the Irish around the 5th century. The land of Ceredig became known as Ceredigion as it was ruled by his descendants for over five centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceredigion)

The first analogy I considered was that of branding. Ceredigion changed its name to Seisyllwg in the late 7th century as it expanded and it’s then rulers wanted the name to recognize a larger territory. In the mid-10th century, Seisyllwg merged with Dyfed and changed its name to Deheubarth. Between 1888 and 1974, the county was governed by Cardiganshire county council, and on local government reorganization in 1974, a new Ceredigion district council was formed. On April 1, 1996, the Ceredigion district was made a unitary authority, under the name of Cardiganshire, only to change its name back to ‘Ceredigion’ on April 2. If you have an established, recognized brand, stick with it. Use your brand consistently and prominently as it will serve to distinguish you from the competition.

Back to the story…  after Ceredig lead me to Ceredigion, some further searching lead me to the Ceredigion Museum, which tells the story of the land and its peoples (www.ceredigionmuseum.wales). Ceredigion had a self-sufficient agricultural economy from it’s earliest days. In reading about the agricultural policies and practices of springtime, I was again struck by the analogies to small business needs today.

Springtime was the time for “Ploughing.” Plowing broke up the ground that lay dormant all winter and killed the weeds that were emerging so that the “cash croppe” could be planted. Being located in a northern latitude, most crops in Ceredigion were harvested in July and August, with early September reserved for the last crops of potatoes. After preserving and storing the harvest, October was a time of celebration of the bounty the land provided (Octoberfest), and for preparing the land for planting in the springtime, and planning the layout of the fields as crop rotation was used as early as the mid-fourteenth century in Wales. This might be a good time to review what is dormant in your business, how to rejuvenate it, and what ‘weeds’ might be in the way. Have you reviewed sales and profitability by product or service to determine which ones are the ‘cash crop’ and which are the ‘weeds’?  Continue reading here.

Speaking of Business Blog by Dr. Philip R. Geist, Area Director, Florida SBDC at UNF

 

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