Are You a Hunter or a Farmer?

Some business owners hunt for their next sale while others grow from within. Deep down I am a farmer. I love to nurture relationships, to grow the business organically. Just look at my garden. I love perennials, plants that come back year after year. I love color; my garden is full of deep reds, purples and yellow. Once the snow melts and the weather starts to warm my backyard comes to life. My backyard has a rhythm that synchronizes with nature.

To compare my business growth to my garden I see a few similarities

In business, I focus my marketing to attract the client that we can best help to grow and nurture. In my garden, I pick the best plant for the sun exposure, water and dirt that I have available so it will grow to its fullest.

Throughout the year, I monitor the plants in my garden, supplementing what nature doesn’t provide to encourage maximum growth. In business, I monitor the needs of our large clients, mid-sized clients and those we just see once a year at tax time. Their needs are different throughout the year.

Taking advantage of change. My backyard has changed dramatically as trees have come down over the years. It went from full shade to full sun. I have moved plants around, manage those that have taken over and tried a few new plants. As the economic environment and my business continues to change and grow, I start changing the offerings, the method of pricing and development of employees as well as clients.

As I look at my life, I see the signs of a farmer – not a hunter. To shake things up I recently decided to get formal training in sales. I work with many who really enjoy the hunt of a sale. I want to understand that feeling.

We all sell, whether we work for someone or have our own business. Deep down I am a farmer, but sometimes we need to go hunting for what we want.

By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA

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