Big Grower September 2021 - 10

Making Your Way THROUGh The FOg
The 18-month journey through the pandemic has forced businesses to look at things
differently than they have in the past.
e are always looking for ways to make
sense of things. When the pandemic hit
18 months ago, I tried to get people to
think of the COVID-19 situation like a bridge to
cross - and if you could get your head around
COVID lasting three months, then it was a matter
of just preparing for that three-month distance.
Then about a year ago I began thinking of
the overall dynamics like a perfect storm that
you needed to prepare for (the pandemic, the
election and the economy). Also, around that
time the imagery that came to my mind was that
the impending situation was much like driving
in a dense fog. You did not know what was
ahead. It could have been sunny skies or a cliff.
We all needed to slow down and look shorter
term. I encouraged people to think about a
12-week year (not a 12-month year). We could
look in the rear-view mirror and it all made
sense, but looking forward was not at all clear.
A friend of mine reminded me of this
metaphor that I used last year and said that,
while the fog is not all around us like it was a
year ago, it is still pretty foggy ahead of us.
Now we can see to our left and and we can see
to our right. We can even feel confident about
the next couple of months. But looking beyond
two or three months is fog. We are driving
toward it, but we just don't know exactly what
lies ahead of us. The not knowing provides us
with more questions than answers, which can
be disconcerting.
Is COVID going to hit us hard again? Will we
be forced to move back into lockdown? Will the
government bail us out again? Will all this create
the same demand for horticulture products? Are
team members going to have so many scares
that it is tough to get through it again? How will
the economy respond? Will the supply chain
challenges get worse?
I am not saying this to provide fear of this
uncertainty. I am saying this to encourage you
to think. I am asking these questions not for
answers that we don't know but for you to make
your decisions today with these uncertainties
in mind.
To help you navigate through the fog, here are
a few tips and some advice:
1. Slow down and ask these questions before
making any long-term decisions and
2. Listen. Keep your ear to the ground and
listen to the voices both internally and
externally. They can provide insights.
3. Go strong on the no-brainer decisions and
kick the can down the road a little on the
bigger, more uncertain ones.
4. Join a peer group so you are not alone.
5. Sell more products/programs where you
can control the supply and know you have
the ability to execute.
6. Make sure your marketing message and
strategies are solid and in place.
7. Invest more time in thinking about the
business, not just doing business.
We all would like a sunny day with clear and
beautiful views ahead, but that is not the case
as I write this in late July. The good news is the
fog is no longer totally surrounding us. The good
news is we can see where we are stepping right
in front of us. The good news is we now have
been through this unprecedented time before.
I think it is safe to say we feel grateful we
are in the horticulture industry and consumers
will continue to purchase your products and
enhance their lives.
Mark Richardson is an author, speaker, columnist
and business growth strategist. He has written
several books on business management including
" How Fit Is Your Business? " and " Fit to Grow. "
His latest book is " Control Your Day Before It
Controls You: The 7 Steps to Mastering Your
Time. " All of his books are available on amazon.
com. He can be reached at mrichardson@
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Big Grower September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Grower September 2021

Big Grower September 2021 - 1
Big Grower September 2021 - 2
Big Grower September 2021 - 3
Big Grower September 2021 - 4
Big Grower September 2021 - 5
Big Grower September 2021 - 6
Big Grower September 2021 - 7
Big Grower September 2021 - 8
Big Grower September 2021 - 9
Big Grower September 2021 - 10
Big Grower September 2021 - 11
Big Grower September 2021 - 12