Building your business is like planting a garden
On this first autumn Sunday, I spent the afternoon planting bulbs in my garden, bulbs that – fingers crossed – will bloom in turn from January through August 2011. And many years thereafter.
I have to wait at least 4 months to see the first results of my efforts.
If this autumn is too dry, I will have to remember to water them gently.
And if winter comes cold and early, I will have to remember to add a layer of mulch for protection.
You reap what you sow, and all that jazz.
Building your business is like planting a garden.
It takes visualizing and planning.
What do I want my garden (business) to look like next year? In five years?
It takes choosing the right plant for the right soil and exposure.
What is my ideal client profile? What do I need to do to learn everything about his business and his needs?
It takes attentiveness to shifts in the environment and ability to respond to them in a timely fashion.
What is affecting my client’s business today? How do I adapt to his shifting priorities and constraints to continue to deliver the added value he needs for his business to thrive?
It takes patience and restraint.
It’s not instant soup. Sometimes, things take time. You have to know when to add fertilizer and when to lighten up on watering. The balance between keeping in touch with useful information and being a pain in the neck.
It takes weeding and pruning to let the strong growth blossom.
What shifts do I need to make in my service offering? Which areas should benefit from continuous training and specialization? Which clients should I let go of at this stage?
It takes gratitude and appreciation.
Appreciation begets care – you don’t treat weeds with TLC and admiration, you dream of dousing them with RoundUp!
And so with clients and colleagues. Take care of them. Do favors. Make their life easier. Say thank you. Do a random act of kindness, you’ll get blossoms.