Much like your garden or flowerbed, your business is a living entity that must be properly cared for to thrive. Neglect leads to flowers that don’t bloom and plants that don’t produce.
As we are firmly in the throws of spring and the peak summer season for many businesses is approaching, below are seven tips from expert gardeners that translate into real-world tips to ensure your business blooms to its fullest potential this year:
1. Feed Your Business — With the right food! One of the best ways to perk up plants or flowers is with some food — but it has to be the right food! You can poison a rose plant by giving it the wrong fertilizer or forever stunt your corn if the wrong elements are added to the soil. The same goes for your business…In order for your business to bloom, it may need an infusion of some kind, be it capital, staffing or technology upgrades. Too often business owners think the best way to solve a problem is to simply staff up or expand. However, that might not be the right ‘food.’ Look at whether things like upgrading your technology solutions or investing in infrastructure improvements within your existing operations will give you that upward growth you are seeking.
2. Know When to Prune — Good gardeners also know sometimes it is necessary to cut things back to ensure successful future growth. While it may be painful, use this springtime to be honest about systems, facilities and/or people that no longer meet your needs. Ditching an outdated POS system in favor of something else or eliminating positions that aren’t necessary any more can free you up to find the right people and tools based on where you want your business to be, not just where it is.
3. Sometimes You Need to Replant — On the flip side of pruning, replanting into a better home (pot) lets a thriving plant grow. Your business may be in need of a replanting too, and that might or might not mean necessarily a bigger space. Moving a plant from a pot that isn’t porous enough or offer ample drainage will allow it to perform better. Moving your business (even with same footprint) to a different, more accessible location or a space with more built in amenities or enhanced light or airflow can help your employees thrive as well.
4. Learn the Power of Grouping — Well-heeled gardeners know that certain plants do better when grouped together; it’s known as “Companion Planting.” The concept is certain plants or vegetables do better when planted near each other. For example, planting beets and garlic together works well because the garlic aroma repels burrowing pests that eat beets and the sulfur released by the garlic also acts as an effective anti-fungal.
Within your workplace, look at grouping complementary teams or employees in a shared workplace or online chat if teams are working virtually. For example, strategically placing your outbound sales team with marketing representatives may uncover unique opportunities to promote additional services or benefits to existing and new customers.
5. Let the Sun Shine! — Nothing grows without sunlight; even the lowest-light tropical or indoor plants need some to succeed. You may be able to boost your entire team with an infusion of sunshine. Can your office space be re-worked to remove window coverings? Could indoor/outdoor work areas be added? Are there dark corners that would benefit from a skylight or solatube? In the past year of pandemic shutdowns and indoor darkness, sunshine was a premium. Make your workplace as sunny as possible to enhance overall mood.
6. Don’t Overdo it (On Anything!) — You’ve most likely encountered it: A plant that suddenly has leaves turn yellow or fall off, or a strawberry bush be full of mushy fruit. You probably overwatered them. Everyone does it. While it’s easy to think that a little water is good so more is likely better, that’s not always the case. The same in your business — If there are policies you wish to change such as 100% permanent remote work or new incentives you want to try, do it a little bit at a time and gauge success. Going all in on something you need to find the right balance for can end up doing more harm than good.
7. Keep Pests at Bay — Pests and critters will destroy even the heartiest plants. In the physical world you might use something like a rabbit fence, pesticides or a scarecrow to protect your assets. At work, make sure you are using all the tools available to keep pests such as cybercriminals, identity thieves, burglars, vandals and more at arm’s length. A thorough review of all your loss mitigation efforts with your insurance broker can help you review potential gaps and opportunities for those ‘pests’ to get into your workplace!