Yes you heard me right, business is exactly like gardening. You put in a whole lot of effort for very little return at the beginning of the season, but if your effort is enough you’ll reap the benefit in the fall.
Building a Platform or Preparing the Bed:
Every business needs a good platform, people who believe in the business. Gardens need good platforms as well, though in a garden it’s called soil. If the “platform” is well prepared in the spring, it will increase the likelihood for a good yield in the fall.
Growing the Audience, or Weeding the Garden:
Every garden also has its share of weeds, so do businesses. The weeds in business are the negative people. People who love criticising and dragging others into the mud. They choke the growth of the “good plants” the people who are positive, and will advocate for your business. As with gardening, weeds must be pulled out and removed before they stunt the growth of the good plants, or even worse take over the entire garden. In business, social media venues can enable you to weed out those negative influences and encourage positive interaction and growth.
Cultivating an Audience and Harvesting the Garden:
Weeding is not a once a year thing for the gardener, nor is mulching or fertilizing. These are consistent, and potentially boring, activities that must be done for the health of the garden. In business these are the activities that grow your audience and encourage interaction, the daily blogging, Facebook-ing, and tweeting are examples. It is only through the daily grind and consistent effort that the harvest will come. That one product you wanted to sell, the book you worked so hard to launch. If the platform is well prepared and well-tended, it will bring a harvest.
Winter comes in the garden as well as in the business. During the times of scarcity, it is best to prepare for the next spring. Gardeners browse catalogues and order seeds and new tools. Business owners need to do the same. Did you only use Facebook last year? Add twitter or Google+ as your new tool. Think your audience is too narrow? Research and implement ways to expand your audience. Don’t forget, gardeners can still grow under lights during the winter, and even the driest times can still bring a small harvest.
Back to You:
What is business like to you? What metaphors or similes would you use to describe business? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment.