Knee High By the 4th of July

Knee High By the 4th of July
Do you tend to your business as you would your garden?

I recently planted a rather large veggie garden containing corn, beets, tomatoes, beans, broccoli, radishes, herbs, Asparagus, and peppers of many varieties, squash, zucchini and pumpkins. Every day it needs to be tended to. Weeding, watering, fertilizing, and shooing out the dogs (they seem to like beet greens).  I know that if I miss one day of a little attention, the garden will be overcome by weeds and probably eaten by critters.

Midwest US corn farmers have an expression ‘knee high by the fourth of July’. A crop which is expected to turn out well will be at least knee high in early July — which means the initial growing conditions have been good. If a crop doesn’t get off to as good start it will not turn out well.  That is my goal as well.  By the way, I am happy to report that today I reached that goal.

This garden has definitely been a labor of love and sometimes overwhelming.  I’ve even thought, “Why on earth have I started this project?”  Sometimes I really didn’t “feel” like pulling weeds.  However, in the end I know that I will reap the results of fresh veggies I can be proud of all summer and winter.

When I first decided to plant a garden this year, I had to sit down with pencil and paper in hand and plan it out.  I had to research the types of veggies and the space and care each would need to grow healthy in the space I had and give me a good return.  When I finished the initial planning phase the earth had to be tilled, composted and prepared to increase my success.

Once the seeds were planted, I tend the garden everyday. As a result, I see the progress of each plant.  There have been a few plants that had to be replaced and a few that had to be transplanted to a different area of the garden.  All in all, will constant vigilance it looks like I’ll have a bumper crop!  Success!

Does this process sound somewhat familiar?  Do you tend to your business as you would your garden?

Planning and tending to your business is no different than tending to a garden.  It’s a continuous cycle of decisions, planning, preparing, working, measuring, adjusting and doing it all over again.  If you understand that the business of your business is a cycle, you can easily create good habits, routines and systems around tending to your business.

Here are 3 Tips to help you tend to your business and create “bumper” crop results:

  1.  Focus Time    Each and every day schedule a set amount of time and commit to that schedule to work on your business.  That means working on your marketing, reviewing your results, planning what’s next, etc.   Do not allow yourself to be interrupted by email, the telephone or Facebook!  You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in as little as 30 minutes a day FOCUSED TIME.

  1. Checklists       Develop a checklist of those routine activities you must do every day.  Commit to completing your checklist.  You might decide that you can delegate some of your routine tasks.
  2. Follow up       Create a follow up and reporting system for your business.  Create a system that encourages communication between you and your staff in a positive way.  You might consider a daily reporting system for your team to report the things they got done that day and a weekly all staff meeting that is focused, short and sweet. Commit and place importance to your follow up system.  Don’t give it “lip service” or it won’t happen.

Tending to the business of your business isn’t always fun or sexy however, daily diligence, commitment and care will bring you closer to the level of success you desire… that bumper business.  Remember that this is a necessary cycle… no way of getting around that!  A little focused business TLC each and every day will bring great results.

Not so sure how to start?  Sometimes you might need a planning expert to bounce ideas off of, problem solve or simply ask for some advice. I am ready to help you! Get answers to your questions, when you need them at any time during your planning process.  Go here for more details.

Want to use this article for your blog or newsletter? No problem! Please leave the paragraph below in tact when sharing.

Gail Saseen is an author and information marketing business coach and consultant.  She has a unique ability for communicating complex marketing and technology concepts in simplified and understandable language.  Gail is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of: marketing strategy and planning, systems development, direct mail, social media marketing, website and technology implementation, product development, information marketing and coaching.  Gail assists small business owners and entrepreneurs develop business systems and goals and strategic plans using S.M.A.R.T. Principles. – Free Gift


Spring Has Sprung


Spring Has Sprung… The Grass Is Riz…
I Wonder How My Business Is?


Spring has sprung nearly everywhere now.  Matter of fact, in a few days summer will be upon us.   Have you done a spring cleaning in your business?

There are a few times a year that you should put new projects and milestones on your calendar.  In the fall you should be looking at your programs and plan for the following year.  Getting your game plan, your financial goals, your marketing plan, etc. for the next year or 18 months.


In the spring take a look at your 1st and 2nd quarters of the year.  Ask yourself, what’s going well – what’s not going so well.  What can you eliminate – what can you add. You might want to adjust your plan.


Remember, those things that get measured and monitored get done.  From time to time you must measure and evaluate your own business from the inside out.


Here are the top business areas you should make a habit of evaluating. Hint:  schedule focused planning and evaluation time and put it on your calendar.


1.      Is your marketing plan supporting your:


a.      Financial goals?

 b.      What’s working? What’s not working?

 c.       What needs to go?  What can you change or add?


2.      Is your current team or staff adequately supporting your mission, goals and objectives?


This is sometimes a hard one because it’s can be difficult to release staff who are no longer meeting the higher good and goals of your business. It’s all about performance.  A question you could ask yourself is, “Is this staff member paying for themselves?”, “Is this staff member part of the team or more concerned with the “I”.

3.      What is your focus for the next 90 days and 2nd half of the year? Everyone wants to finish strong in the last half of the year.  What needs to go – what needs to stay? Is your plan congruent or in alignment with your objectives.  Are goals and objectives captured on your calendar?



4.      Are your systems and operations manual up to date and working for you in the way  you want them to? Needless to say, this is not the sexiest part of running your business but it is one of the most important.  The more you systematize your business the more it will run on autopilot.  You will not be interrupted by simple questions over and over again and that alone will help you carve out dedicated FOCUS time to work on your business. 



5.      What additional support do you need in your business to get things done that you haven’t started yet? Does you current team have the skills and knowledge to execute your plan?  Maybe you might need to outsource some additional talent to get your plan moving?  These are questions to ask yourself.  As technology changes and there are new “what’s working now” topics, your team’s skills and knowledge base will need to adjust accordingly. 

If you don’t want to do this yourself, hire the skill out to an expert who will help you get it done.  Because this isn’t the sexy part of your business and you probably struggle with it, it is definitely worth the investment to have an expert do it for you  and with you. One such service is the S.M.A.R.T. Start Partner.  You might want to check it out.


Spring cleaning any time of year is freeing.  It’s those little adjustments that can help you move forward in a big way.

Be S.M.A.R.T.!