Opinion

Spring is a great time to grow your business

CHAMBER CHAT

Many times in a month a new entrepreneur comes into the office and wants to know the secret to successful business. I wish I could turn to the shelf and pull out the “Can ‘o Success” to give them, but alas, that product isn’t in our inventory. Certainly we have resources and connections to classes, counseling and training that go a long way to educating entrepreneurs and education is a key to success, but I believe there’s more to it than that.

This time of year many of us spend our “off-time” tending to our gardens, getting ready for the bounty to be had whether we grow flowers or produce. My first adventure into gardening at the mini-farm yielded rocks, but I learned from that. Where my first garden wasn’t successful because of the crop of rocks left in my garden space by a long-gone glacier, I figured out that by raising the beds and importing a little TAGRO I could produce pumpkins that needed a wheelbarrow to move and enough zucchini that I could feed a small community.

Business is a lot like that garden, any garden. It’s a good idea to go into it on an annual or more frequent basis, pull the weeds, spread some plant food and set up a schedule for watering. Of course most gardeners know that this does not ensure a successful garden. You’ve got to be ever-vigilant for bugs, weeds and long dry spells.

All this is rather metaphoric for the attention your business needs. Whether you own your business, are a store manager or even a front line employee, your efforts at nurturing and cultivating your business are going to be reflected in the end result. Whether you offer a product or a service, your business could benefit from the same attention you give your begonias.

Review your business plan. Does it meet the needs of your company, is it responsive to your client base, and is it respectful to your employees? Review your marketing plan. Does it represent the vision of your company, can your clients relate to it, are your employees empowered to make it happen?

Look around; is there a noxious weed in your shop or office that makes it hard to see the fruits of your labor? Is your product or service as fresh as it can be for your clients? Do you have a particularly annoying beetle infesting your staff? When was the last time your employees were fed and watered — literally or figuratively?

It’s going to require some time on your part, it might mean you get your hands a little dirty, and it shouldn’t be too terribly hard on your back. The end result will be blooming business, happy customers and satisfied employees. It’s worth the effort.

We’d love to see you at an upcoming Chamber event. Monthly luncheons are open to the public, an excellent resource to network and are an opportunity to get the latest information about issues affecting the community. Event information can always be found at www.silverdalechamber.com. Our weekly e-mail newsletter is available to anyone wishing to stay informed about the activities of the organization, send an e-mail to subscribe@silverdalechamber.com.

Until next month, shop Silverdale!

Darla Murker is the executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. She appears the third Saturday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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