As you scout out new custom harvesting business, take a look at your potential client's homestead, says a young custom operator.

“Is it a nicer farm that isn't all run down and beat up?” he says he asks himself as he checks out new business. If the farm doesn't look prosperous, it might not be, he suggests.

Then check the personalities of the potential customers. “Are they people you're going to get along with? We've turned down some fairly large accounts because, when we met with the people, we could tell there were personality conflicts.”

Most important of all, check out a potential client's finances. “A lot of times we go to implement dealers and say, ‘Do you know so and so? How are they to work with? Do they pay their bills?’

“Nutritionists at feed mills are good ones to talk with, too.”

Finally, if a farmer is shopping for a new custom harvester, find out why, he says.