We moved into our house 10 years ago and the house and garden are on-going projects. This is the first time I have owned a proper garden and it is only now that I am seeing the benefit of some of the effort I have put in. I am not and will never be a gardener, I still must ask my wife to remind me the names of even the most standard of plants, but I can dig a hole put them in the ground and somehow keep them alive with some attention.
So where am I going with this, well whilst I am mowing and watering, I thought that particularly at this time of the year gardening could be analogous to running a business.
Designing the layout and budgeting
Where does the hedge go, should we have a veggie patch, can a vine grow in England? This reminds me of the planning we should all be doing regularly in our own businesses. This isn’t a one-off process but should be reviewed regularly. My mother-in-law is a keen gardener and is always a great resource to guide me and I may just have stolen some ideas from her amazing garden. Peer review is always helpful.
Planting and Building
Putting those plans into action and getting the hands dirty, whether it be buying new decking, placing contracts to get the patio laid or planting those newly purchased begonias. This is like the bit of business that you are probably already skilled in i.e. delivering the product whether that be IT support or bespoke furniture it is the hands-on work.
Maintenance takes the time and commitment, cutting the grass, trimming the hedge, jet washing the patio. In a business I see this as similar to staff appraisals and reviewing your marketplace and your relevance to it. They are all very easy to delay because something else is more important but if we don’t keep on top of these jobs it can become costly.
The real point of this article is about the lesson I have learned about gardening is that if you don’t stand back every so often and plant some seeds then you will have the same garden you had last year. So if I want Broad beans in June and Pumpkins in October then I need to plant them now.
So I ask you what are you planting today for your business so that it has fruit and flowers in the months and years to come?
Stuart McCulloch – TAB (Farnborough & Haslemere)