Strategic Management: It's Time to Weed the Garden
When we think of strategic planning and strategic management we think of creating new things and breathing new life into a business. But there is more than one way to keep your business fresh and growing. This alternate strategy is called, 'Weeding the Garden.'
Weeding your business garden is a relatively simple process and needs to be done at least once a year and is completed at the end of a fiscal or calendar year or in the first month of a new fiscal or calendar year.
Here's how the process works.
Let's imagine that last year you started 5 new initiatives in your business. These initiatives could be 5 new processes, 5 new products or 5 new services. Or a combination of the three.
Let's imagine further that your business is a garden. All of your initiatives, processes, products and services are growing in that garden. Just as a farmer inspects his fields for weeds that negatively affect his crop, you need to inspect your business garden to make sure that weeds are not choking out your producing plants.
As the business owner, you need to determine what is a weed and what is a winner.
A winner is something that generates a Return on Your Investment. Generally in business we look at something as being a winner if it creates value. In most cases creating value means it's making money. And then we need to take it a step further to determine that it makes enough money to justify the time and expense that is devoted to making the product or delivering the service.
If that new initiative is generating a handsome profit, it's likely a winner. To stick with our gardening analogy, it is a plant that will continue to grow and bear fruit. You sow the effort and you reap a reward. You have yourself a winner.
A weed is just what you would think. It is the opposite of being a winner. A weed is a product or service that does not generate profit and value for your business.
The problem with many businesses is that the garden is never inspected and the weeds are never picked. Over time, the weeds, which are the products or services that do not generate value and profit continue to use valuable resources. That means less resources for the winners that are making you money.
Overtime, the weeds begin to take over the garden and choke out the winners. This can mean big problems for a business because a weed that could have been removed early on with a hoe, now requires a rototiller because it has become overgrown and deeply rooted.
Don't let weeds grow in your business. Take the time to, 'Weed Your Garden.'