The protocol for best practice with custom stockyards has shifted over time. There are new demands placed on ownership, yet there are some consistent themes that stay true across generations. This is a chance to see what the fundamentals are and how developers can make a success of the venture.
Invest Extensively in Infrastructure
While money can be tight for business owners, especially at the start of such an ambitious project, it is beneficial to direct most funds of custom stockyards into the infrastructure itself. This means that pens, crushers, gates, catchers, joining systems, posts, panels and more are all in place early. If participants decide to shortchange themselves in this domain, they will be left with designs that might not be up to code and create health and safety hazards. By investing in these utilities, stockyard managers have developed a foundation for success with the strongest materials that are geared towards the needs of the stock and the business.
Have Experienced Professionals Available for Guidance
Some practitioners who are at the embryonic phase of custom stockyards might already bring with them years and years of industry experience. In this context, they have the confidence and assurance to get the job done well with their team members. In the absence of this experience, it is beneficial to connect with local operators who have been based in the industry and recognise the demands of the work that lies ahead. Even if they are not present for the development at every phase, consult with them about what constitutes best practice and what they believe is the right maneuver to make for a long-term sustainable stockyard environment.
Industry Clearance & Authorisation
Managers and owners cannot fast track custom stockyards without doing their due diligence. If shortcuts are made at the early phase of the development, it will often return with damaging consequences that are challenging to recover from. Engage industry bodies and government regulators early in the piece, allowing them to work through all of the regulatory components and to run through the necessary checks and balances. This will include insurance coverage to protect the viability of the venture.
Incorporating Space for Future Development
It is always wise for business practitioners who are developing custom stockyards to leave room for growth. Even though the enterprise might feel as though it has limitations from the outset, there is every possibility that the venture grows and expands, placing added demands on the premises. If professionals identify an area that has room for growth and further development, they won’t be under pressure to pack up and move to an entirely new postcode. It will take a degree of foresight and perhaps even luck in this context, but it will pay dividends for outlets that achieve organic growth.
Trained Staff on the Ground
The expertise of the handlers on the ground is where custom stockyards transition from a general plan to a thriving enterprise. Operators can invest thousands upon thousands of dollars introducing the best equipment and the most rigorous of protocols, but if the handlers on site are unable to execute their tasks, then the project won’t work out. Whether it is sheep, cattle or any other form of stock, ensure that participants have their training and accreditation status available, allowing the organisation to adhere to best practice at a macro and micro level.
Thankfully there are plenty of case studies that illustrate how custom stockyards begin from an initial plan to a successful enterprise inside the space of 6-12 months. It will take time and diligence before those plans show results, but if professionals adhere to these principles, they will be on safe ground moving forward.