When I was growing up we had a holiday house, where as a family we spend 3 summer months.
The holiday house was in a small village, but still only 30km from our place in town. Hence from a young age, I become a farmer.
We grew everything. We had apple and cherry trees, bushes of blackcurrants and raspberry, strawberries, potatoes, greens and of course flowers. We never went to the shop. As a family, we grew all the produce, everything was organic and tasted amazing. Nowadays I can still grow anything from seed, leaf or root, depending on the plant. A handy skill to have? I say very, but who knows?
Why do I tell you the story about gardening, you might ask? Here is why.
I look at a business like a garden.
In the garden, you have various plants. Some you plant and with minimal effort, they stay in the garden for years or decades. Exactly like in business.
Some plants are seasonal. You plant them every year. More effort is required. And a year later you have to start again. Exactly like in business.
Some plants only give you fruits every second or third year. It also depends on the weather or climate of that particular year. You can plant but no results are guaranteed. Exactly like in business.
Wait, then it weeds. They look green, grow fast and may appear to be a real deal. In reality, they are far from it. The goal is to become a better gardener so you can recognise them earlier before they take all nutrition out of the soil.
Exactly like in business.
Every plant requires different attention, different position and different amount of water.
Some plans, like orchids, look dead for 6 months after flowering. If you don’t know you might chuck it out. Big mistake. They are just taking a break. Keep them safe and water when needed and yet again you will enjoy the beauty of stunning orchids. Exactly like in business.
In business, it’s our job to know what is in our garden. Then we can look after every client in the right way, with minimal effort and maximum results.
Regardless of how good our business is we always need to plan new seeds. We need to trust that if we plant and water enough the harvest will come.
The advanced gardens would know the process called symbioses. The process where you plan certain plants together to achieve better results. In business, we call it collaboration. One of my favourite thing to do. It’s the best leveraging tool that exists. And it’s fun.
As we start a business or campaign are we clear about what people we need to connect with? Do we have tools to qualify them and segment them accordingly? Most importantly do we have a process to develop relationships and stay in touch in a meaningful way? What is our business system for acquisition, retention, referrals and surprise and delight?
Every customer, just like a plant needs a different approach. Best we get strategic and creative so our clients are happy and we are delighted because we look after them the right way.
Happy gardening everyone.
PS: “The garden year has no beginning and no end.” – Elizabeth Lawrence