Lessons learned from building electric fences
It never happens when it’s light out and the weather is good. It’s always cold, the wind’s blowing, and usually, a little “icing on the cake” from Mother Nature, it’s always dark as pitch.
“Hey, the neighbor just called, and you’ve got cows out”.
Off the couch on Thanksgiving Day into my coveralls and work boots, grab the dog and head out to get the once captured bovines recaptured (the easy part). Check cows are back in, and now the job of fixing the fence from whence said critters made their escape. If its 5-wire barbed wire fence the job is straightforward. Splice the wire, stretch the fence, put in a few staples and fence stays, or wikerdickers if you’re from Oklahoma, and Voila task completed.
If, however, you are like me and have a good bit of electric fence: the hunt begins. Usually, this hunt involves a spark of electricity and curse words that would make a sailor blush, but it’s just the beginning of settling down and finding out where the fence is grounded out. Finally, the problem is located, and you mend the fence, put in a couple of insulators, and head to the house to eat your cold supper.
Factually, the above scenario usually starts months before when you installed the fence or did yearly maintenance before turnout.
The most common problem with electric fences is the grounding system.
Lack of good grounding can cause a myriad of issues from low voltage that the critters don’t respect to another round of those curse words caused by stray voltage passing into a gate latch on a nice cold wet day. When the latter happens and you have a stout fencer, mine comes from very serious Mennonite gents that take quality fence chargers seriously, the curse words flow like wine in between visions of God returning or at least unleashing his lightning. Either way once my heart starts again, I curse myself for not being dedicated to a serious grounding system that would have avoided the issue and I would still be on the couch enjoying thanksgiving.
What does this have to do with business you ask?
Well, everything! As the Chamber of Commerce CEO, most business issues and or failures I see are because the grounding system didn’t get built. The business plan, the marketing structure, the accounting approach or even the sales structure didn’t get the attention it deserved, and the curse words and vision of the creator come as the shock of failure or near failure is realized. Just as sure as a snap of electricity pouring through wet gloves is a startle, so is the slap of business failure.
The question is what did you do to avoid such catastrophe?
Did you spend ample time going through policies and procedures and plans? Did you insure properly, did you save enough cash, did you pay attention to the details? This scenario looks a bit different in every style of business but the result of lack of grounding has the same results, and they are not good. Take a little time to see if your business is properly grounded. You will find out that it is time well spent.