flexiblefullpage - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Are You a Farmer or a Hunter?

billboard -

Are You a Farmer or a Hunter?

Industry advisor Mark Richardson says that over the last year, there’s been a major shift in the remodeling business from a farming mentality to a hunting skill set

By Mark Richardson August 8, 2022
Photo courtesy romankosolapov | stock.adobe.com

Through my studies of the evolution and change of culture and society, there’s a distinction between humanity’s times for hunting and times for farming.

We’ve seen times of food abundance, and the need to leave home to hunt was not required. We have also seen cultures designed around farming efficiencies and seasonal and predictable cycles. 

Whether these differences (hunting vs. farming culture) are brought on by the environment (scarcity or abundance) or man’s thirst for a better way, we need to appreciate the differences between the two.

RELATED: Why Change Orders Are Good

These differences include specific knowledge, skillsets (including attitude), and environmental conditions. If your only means of food is hunting, then feeding your family with a shovel would be tough, if not impossible.

Over the last year, there’s been a major shift in the remodeling business from a farming mentality to a hunting skill set. 

Many remodeling organizations have seen dramatic drops in sales due to this dynamic. There are many business owners (and salespeople) that were quite successful a year ago but breathe out of a straw today. 

The flip side is also true, with some remodelers having a record sales year (though only about 10 to 20% of remodelers). This has come from not just hard work but also adapting a hunter's mindset and disposition. 

The following are a few aspects of each to compare and see if you’re a hunter or a farmer.


Farmers are very methodical (even dogmatic) about the sales and marketing process. 

They believe if you pump out 1,000 direct mail pieces, you should get 10 to 20 leads or inquiries. And if you visit 10 people, you should close two to four prospects. 

This mindset, while comforting and efficient, may be problematic today. Homeowners are not responding to some marketing the way they did in the past and require multiple visits to close (if at all). 


A hunter is creative and flexible. 

A hunter understands process, however, is light-footed and will deviate from the process to make the sale. The hunter understands numbers but will put a laser focus on one prospect if there is the right sense of urgency and all the buying signs are there. 


Farmers are very reactive. 

Farmers tend to sit and wait for the phone to ring (after doing some marketing efforts). When the phone is not ringing—which it is not for many—a farmer points fingers and blames the marketing department, the heat, or the economy for the lack of opportunities. 

The hunter wakes up every day and creates a proactive hunting plan. 

The hunter knows they will not eat if they don’t bring in the clients. The hunter has a radar for opportunities and goes after them rather than sits. The hunter believes they are accountable for generating opportunities, not others (and enjoys this challenge).


RELATED: The Apple (Remodeling) Orchard

Farmers tend to plant the same crops (product), year after year. 

They have become masterful at not only these products, but also the process to give predictable results. 

The farmer will say, “we don’t do X or Y,” and will continue to try to do what they have been doing, but better. The hunter’s product may change. 

The hunter believes his hunting skills are transferable to other “game” and while he may have a preference or competence in a specific type or scale of the project, he remains flexible. 

The hunter may do a smaller project or a commercial project or do a project on a cost-plus arrangement rather than a fixed-price contract. The hunter realizes that a different sale is better than no sale. 


While you may interpret this theme as farmers are behind the times and everyone needs to move toward hunting, the point is more about taking inventory of your business (and sharing why your business is off). 

Many remodelers are thirsty for the answers to those painful questions in marketing and sales. The important theme here is “change and action,” and the question is, are you changing along with the changes in your clients, the marketing world, and the sales strategies? 

And just as, or more important, do you have people on the bus that can be hunters in today’s environment?    

written by

Mark Richardson


Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at mrichardson@mgrichardson.com or 301.275.0208.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
leaderboard2 - default

Related Stories

How this Remodeler Handles Expansion and Contraction Planning

Market contraction and expansion is expected in remodeling. Learn how Medford Remodeling CEO Kourtney Davis preps the company for success either way.

A Blueprint For Business Success

Practices, principles, and processes that design-build businesses and home improvement companies alike share to reach their growth goals

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Don't let concerns of the moment distract you from thinking about the bigger picture

How to Ease Client Fears and Take Control of the Remodeling Process

Industry advisor Mark Richardson offers seven ways to control your client's fantasy of remodeling and, ultimately, minimize their fears and enhance their understanding

3 Things I Learned from a Day with Normandy Remodeling

How Normandy uses numbers to motivate and the power of their showrooms

Making the Decision to Grow a Remodeling Business

Alison McLennan of McLennan Contracting shares the beginning of her journey from $2 million in revenue to $5 million

The Accountability Chart: Better Than an Org Chart

An accountability chart is useful, efficient, and frees up a company leader by providing greater autonomy

Remodeler Tech Stacks 4 Ways

See the approaches and philosophies other remodelers follow in their businesses for better efficiency, growth, and profit

On the Horizon?

A significant percentage of single-family homes sold today are purchased by investment firms­ as rental properties. What does this mean for remodelers in the future?

Avoiding Growing Pains in Your Business

Four remodelers with impressive growth shared expert advice at The Pinnacle Experience. Here's what they said

boombox2 -
halfpage2 -
native1 -

More in Category

native2 -
halfpage1 -
leaderboard1 -