Gardening makes the perfect analogy for starting and growing a business, because in gardening what you plant is what grows. If you plant beans- you are going to get beans, not cauliflower. The same concept applies for business – how you started and created your organization’s foundation will largely determine how the company grows and prospers. One of the main reasons companies are struggling is the leaders have lost sight of their core business offerings and ventured into expansion based on the wrong indicators. Other organizations have started down one path- refusing to change directions when the signs necessitated another direction. For younger organizations the challenge is to commit to your strategy, while being flexible enough to adapt to market changes. For older, well established companies the challenge is to “weed out” what is no longer working, giving the profitable products/services a chance to expand and grow. Complacency is one of the biggest obstacles for organizations, and business leaders who are not committed to improving their organizations can end up with a bed of weeds, not a producing garden.
I have created the garden tips to help business leaders/owners grow their businesses in 2012 and beyond!
- First, plant three rows of peas: passion, performance, and profitability.
- Three rows of squash: squash gossip, squash complacency, squash negativity.
- Three rows of lettuce: let us be committed, let us be focused, and let us be loyal.
- Next, plant four rows of turnips: turn up with determination, turn up with innovation, turn up your vision, and turn up with a can-do attitude.
- Be generous with thyme: take time for fun, time for family and friends, and time for yourself.
- Weed out old systems, processes, and poor performers.
- Fertilize with constructive feedback, proactive communications, and watch miracles grow.
- Water generously with patience and commitment.
And remember, you reap what you sow.
The economy has stabilized and is showing signs of growing again. It is time to focus on your organization and to “guide” what you want to grow and prosper. If you have ever planted tomato plants you know you have to provide a support structure to keep the plant from toppling over when the fruit gets to big and heavy. The same analogy applies to your business, this recession has given us the opportunity to evaluate and re-evaluate our organizations, and format a strategy on how we want to conduct our business in the future. Take the time to look over your garden, notice what is growing, what needs to be pruned and clear out any weeds that have been overlooked. This is the start of a new growth cycle (with new opportunities), pour on the water and fertilizer, focus the sunshine, and get ready to harvest the fruits of your labors.
Remember to: Plant for profitability...