One of my great passions away from my business is to spend time on my allotment where the main focus is homegrown natural vegetables. As you can imagine we grow a wide range of great vegetables which spans the growing season. It is very much a learning process and whilst there are hundreds of books available from many a well-known TV gardening pundit there really is no replacement for trying and learning as you go.
Over the last 4 years we have had some spectacular failures some self-induced by purely and simply getting it wrong and some down to having the wrong conditions at the wrong time. Then you have to contend with pest infestations such as slugs, the scourge of many a home gardener!
The one thing I have learnt is that even something as simple as growing vegetables on an allotment takes time energy, but most of all planning. Time needs to be allocated to preparing the ground, sowing the seeds or planting the seedlings, time to maintain the plot during the early months of the year and finally harvesting once everything is ready. At each point or step, a lack of attention could prove to be disastrous and unwind the efforts made some months earlier, once started there is a strict need to ensure that the growing crop is closely monitored and to fend off disaster.
So why talk about this in a business article? Well, quite simply growing crops is the same as marketing or promoting your business. OK, so that doesn’t sound like rocket science but it does take planning, who or what are you going to say, to whom and when are you going to do it. Bad timing could mean your carefully chosen words could fall on fallow ground, fail to take root and just simply rot! By preparing the ground first you will ensure that your potential audience is in the right place to best hear what it is you are trying to promote.
The maintenance of your marketing means being consistent and persistent in your approach. Doing a small amount each week will ensure that the final message is well received by your target audience and leads you nearer to doing business with your prospect.
But what about external factors, in the gardening world, the weather, in the marketing world the economy. It’s often been said that only worry about things you can change or alter and to a greater extent as a small business in the UK, there is little you can do by yourself to influence the government and more than that the economic well-being of the UK! In this instance it’s more a case of damage limitation, working to reduce the likelihood of failure and trying to ensure that part of your nurtured crop survives. It is also a time when innovation comes to the fore to protect your position.
I guess the final lesson is when you harvest and have an excess is it not best to preserve and save those extras for more leaner times instead of giving it away or overindulging. I think we have learnt that lesson all too well in recent years.
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About the Author
Rik Parting is the Managing Director of Blueberry Display, based in Watford, Hertfordshire, Blueberry Display specialise in the manufacture of exhibition stands, indoor and outdoor displays, posters and printed boards. Rik’s comments in his blog on business, networking and providing help advice and observations on how to get the most from your Display.
Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici www.freedigitalphotos.net