Do you want your business to grow? Then why not apply some basic gardening know-how to your enterprise?
It’s harvest time here in Canada. And I have a bumper tomato crop. Well, it’s just one pot but it’s outdone itself. It got me thinking that running a business is not unlike nurturing a garden.
Choose appropriate plants. Experienced gardeners know that to grow the healthiest plants they need to select varieties that suit the local climate. How do you select your clients?
- Aim your marketing at those who need your service. There’s no point in wasting time and money going after clients who have little interest in your product or service. Take the time to research carefully who your potential clients are and where you’re likely to find them. If you’re a personal historian, one of your client groups will be older people wanting to leave a legacy for their children or grandchildren. Another group will likely be parents who want a record of Grandma or Grandpa’s story to pass on to their children.
Fertilize. Every garden needs an appropriate amount of good organic fertilizer to replenish the soil and ensure long-term growth. What are you doing to fertilize your business? What would you add to my list?
- Conferences. A good conference is invigorating. It connects you to new people and ideas. That’s why I’m attending this year’s APH Conference in Victoria.
- Courses and workshops. These are great ways to learn how to enhance your business skills.
- Downtime. It can be a mini-break in the day for exercise or meditation or a longer absence such as a vacation or sabbatical. Whatever you decide, downtime is an important way to nourish you and your business.
- Networking. Getting out and meeting people is one of the tried and true methods of growing your business.
Dig out the weeds. If you let the weeds overrun your garden, they soon sap the strength of your plants and in some cases kill them. What weeds are growing in your business? What others would you add to my list?
- clients from hell
- unorganized filing systems
- time-sucking distractions like daytime TV or social networking
- scattered or non-existent marketing plans
Watering. Not all plants need the same amount of water. Over or under-watering can be the downfall of many a gardener. Here are some examples of over-watering or under-watering a business. What are your examples?
- Over-watering. Overwhelming potential clients with too much marketing, e.g. fliers, e-mails, telephone solicitations, and newsletters.
- Under-watering. Failure to acknowledge the person who sent you a referral or not sending former clients a greeting at special times of the year like Christmas or birthdays.
With patience and good gardening practices you can better your chances of growing a flourishing business. How’s your garden growing?
Photo by Ajith Kumar