Hi, I’m Joshua MacLeod. Founder of the Growability model. Did you know that there are 12 fundamentals necessary for cultivating health and accelerating growth at your business? Today we’re going to talk about the first fundamental, understanding your business season.
When my wife Sarah and I bought our first house, everything was perfect. Except this one little spot in the front yard where there was no grass growing. Apparently the builders have dumped some debris and things in the front yard when they built the house and so, the grass hadn’t grown. I researched the internet, I looked at what kind of grass seed to get in our area, I looked at how to aerate the lawn, I got the grass seed, I got the fertilizer, I aerated and then I began to water the lawn. After two to three weeks, nothing happened. Four weeks, nothing happened. And I was so frustrated because I had done all of the right things and still, the grass wasn’t growing. What I learned is that if you plant grass in late summer when it’s really hot in Tennessee, there’s no chance that you’re gonna get your grass to grow.
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This taught me a really important lesson in life but particularly in business. It’s not enough to do the right things. You have to do the right things at the right time. If you are starting a new business, or adding a new product or service to your business, there are four stages that you will go through to bring that product to market. I call these the four business seasons. The first stage is where you learn what to do. I call this spring. The second phase is where you launch your initiative or your business. This is the summer. The third stage is where you leverage and you maximize what you’ve put into the business so far. This is your fall. And finally, there’s your legacy stage or your winter.
It’s really important to understand what business season that you are in so that you can understand what you should be focusing on right now in your business.
Before launching a business, you should always start with the spring or a learn phase. The primary question to ask yourself if you are in the spring or learn season is, can I create, produce, and distribute a product that someone will buy? If you can’t answer each one of these questions, don’t start a business. So many people launch into initiatives that they can’t really sustain and that’s why our statistic for failed businesses are so high.
The primary questions before you launch a business or move into the summer season, can I deliver the product and service I’ve created with convenience and consistency? In our market, people are ready to have products come to them. It’s not enough to make a great product, it has to be easy for the customer to acquire that product. And consistency in any business is a must. I can’t just make a really great hamburger, I have to make a really great hamburger 1,000 times over and have ’em all taste exactly the same.
The primary question of your fall, or leverage season is what can I do to maintain a competitive advantage? If there’s not a lot of competition in your space, there’s a good chance that there’s not a lot of demand for that product or service. If there is a lot of competition in the space, you have to ask yourself, what can I do to set my services? What can I do to make my business perform better than those others? I mean, you might, for example, give away really amazing free business videos so that people will buy your workbook or get consulting.
And finally, there is your winter or legacy season. This is where you’re thinking about what’s next? What is the legacy that I want to leave with what I’ve done at my business? I don’t know about you but I am a fan of movies where they have a really great ending. Like every Star Wars movie, just everything seems to work out. When I go to a movie and it has a terrible ending, I leave the movie theater just totally depressed. I mean, everybody dies? This is how you wanna end the movie? In business, you don’t wanna have a bad ending. You spend your whole career doing this thing where you put so much effort into this product or service. What are you doing to leave a legacy, to hand this off to the next person? Having a plan is critical. In the next four videos, we’re gonna take a deeper dive into each one of these business seasons and think through what you should do in each season.
If you wanna maximize your business growth, visit growability.net to get your hands on a copy of the Growability workbook. This workbook is designed to help organizations grow leaders and leaders grow organizations. While you’re there, please sign up for the daily business question video blog. This blog is designed to answer common and not so common business and non profit leader questions. We set it up to come directly to your inbox. Thanks for watching.[/read]