Here in the midwest it has been a very difficult summer season, the draught conditions have had a huge impact on a wide variety of businesses and the environment. From corn crops that are nonexistent to the cattle industry that was literally starved for food, the extremely high temperatures and lack of rain have caused tremendous strain – most of which we have not even felt all the way yet.
So having spent all day today working in my yard trying to rejuvenate the patches of dead grass by first de-thatching and then prepping for spreading new seed, it got me to thinking about the extreme conditions and how it mirrors what we are finding in general about the economy and the lack of sales. While my own yard is not overly important in the grand scheme of either business or the draught stricken farmers, it does represent how each of us are affected.
Just as the world economy is impacting all of us tremendously, there are thousands of other more local based stories of businesses that are suffering as well. When sales slow down globally, then nationally, it is not long before local businesses begin to pull back and not reinvest or add new hires. There is an overall cautious approach – let’s just wait this out before we get serious about growing again.
It is this concept of growingthat got me started on this blog post in the first place. Just as I was involved in clearing out the old, dead grass and preparing for the new seed, this is what each of us in business need to do right now as well. Start by taking a look at your business and see what is working or not. Concentrate on clearing out the dead areas of your business model (de-thatching) and analyze what you could be doing to focus on new territories, products, services, etc. Then begin to “prep” the new focus with a concentrated marketing effort (seeding, fertilizing). This will take some time and resources (watering), but if done right, the result will be new business opportunities (grass)!
Just like in farming, or in the case of my yard – landscaping, this process needs to happen every year. New crops do not just happen – they are planted and nurtured every year. And so goes the process with new business – we are going to lose some every year, no matter how good we are! Then when you factor in changes with technology or shifts in the marketplace, even more business is susceptible to being lost. If we do not make the effort to find new opportunities and market ourselves to them, then sure enough, we will be needing to de-thatch the dead more often than we would like!