I am no master gardener, but as anyone knows who has read my recent blogs, this year I have become more interested in plants.
Recently I bought a Mexican heather plant. It was beautiful. The photo above is not my plant. Why? Doofus here, had it for a while, then forgot to water it for a couple of days. It was a bad move resulting in most of the plant dying.
However, I didn’t give up. I took the challenge to see if maybe, just maybe if I started watering it consistently again, maybe it would live. But the dead stuff had to go, so I carefully cut it out, then replanted it in a larger pot. So far so good.
This got me to thinking about this whole concept of pruning.
Gardeners already know this, that a good pruning is essential for growth. But have you ever thought about how this can apply to business?
As a way to offer you some food for thought toward the goal of healthy business growth, I would like to share the following tips.
3 Ways to Prune Your Business
- Prune the Dead Stuff.
Here’s the best way I can think of to explain this. You have a product idea that you think is super duper. You make said product. You begin to sell said product. Results? It only sells okeydokey. Not a steller seller. Nothing to write home about. To you I say, let it go! It’s dead, Jim! (remember, Trekkies?). Its dead weight and it is only holding you back. Cut it off at the root and move on. Next!
- Prune the Time-Suckers.
We live in the information age, isn’t it wonderful? Yes, I admit. I think it is so cool that I can be connected with so many… family, friends, like-minded business people and soap makers across the country and globe. The internet is a wonderful thing. But like anything, we need to be careful how much of our time it takes up.
Take social media, for example. It’s a great, but can suck the time right out of your day if you don’t watch it. So what is a small business person to do? Oh my! The pressure comes to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. and etc. Is all that really needful? Will having a presence on all those platforms really help your business? This is something you just have to find out for yourself. Test it out. Go with what works and forget the rest. Make sure you are not giving away too much of your precious time that could be spent doing other productive things.
- Learn to say NO!
When we first start our soap businesses and begin acquiring wholesale accounts (or even retail customers), there is this temptation to try to do everything requested of us. If you are new to the business, please heed my words loud and clear … proceed carefully! You need to understand that you absolutely do not have to try to make each and everything that someone asks you to make. Period.
Yes, as you can imagine, I speak from personal experience. Many years back, a gal asked me to make a certain kind of gel that she uses in her business. After three test batches, I told her I would not be making anymore. I simply could not please her.
Lesson learned? There is a reason why someone came up with that old phrase, You can’t please all the people, all the time! So don’t try!
Now if you do choose to take on making a custom product, fine; but set limits for yourself in case you end up with a super picky customer. Such experiments can potentially take up much unnecessary time.
Focus on What You Really Need to Do
These tips are just three ways of pruning your business. There are definitely more, but hopefully this has given you some good food for thought. Implement these practices so you can spend more time focusing on what you really need to be doing in your business.
How will you start pruning?