Running a business is a lot like farming – you reap what you sow. From planting the seeds to using the right fertilizer, these are all aspects of farming that business owners can apply to generate revenue for their store. When it comes to getting customers for your quilt shop, we can all learn a thing or two from The Pumpkin Plan, a book by Mike Michalowiz. It explains how pumpkin farming can translate into the business world.
The process for pumpkin farming is a lot like growing your quilt shop. It requires special care and a smart strategy.
The Pumpkin Plan
The first step is, of course, to plant a seed. Leverage your biggest strengths and zero in on your area of innovation. Whether that is quality, price, or convenience, you need a unique selling point that will draw customers in. Leveraging this area of expertise will set a basis for all your sales and marketing techniques later on.
Next, you have to water the seed so that it can grow into something. What you want is a healthy, strong, and sturdy pumpkin. To get there, you can’t just use any water. You’ve got to make sure it’s good, clean, and pure water. Using water that has been contaminated with chemicals or dirt may end up stunting the growth of the pumpkin. To harvest a healthy business, you need a steady and reliable pool of customers that share the same ideals and values as your brand. Having like-minded customers can help you build better relationships, find new sales opportunities and generate lasting connections to benefit your store.
The third step of pumpkin farming is where the farmer examines his vine and gets rid of any distressed vines or weeds that are damaging the pumpkin. This way, the bad vines don’t take up important nutrients. It is crucial for any quilt shop owner that their resources are not bled out by wasting money on elements that impede business growth, such as catering to the wrong type of customer.
Step four is a crucial one. Here, the objective is on identifying the big pumpkin among the lot. When the farmer waters and cares for the plant, the main goal is on the pumpkin, not the squash plants around it. The takeaway from this step is simple: don’t let distractions keep you away from your focus. Whether your quilt shop specializes in wide-back fabrics or notions, classes or kits, and patterns, always remind yourself to stick to what you do best instead of splitting your resources up.
Once you have your giant pumpkin or area of focus, it’s time to branch out. The previous step teaches us to set a reliable foundation to grow. From here, business owners can decide to expand from one pumpkin plant into many other plants, venturing into newer products, newer areas of expertise, newer service offerings, and more.
Expanding the pumpkin farm will also lead you to new opportunities. To assess whether these are actually good opportunities, conduct an analysis and ask yourself if these vines are beneficial or detrimental to the plantation. Ask questions like: are these the type of customers that can bring in business? What are they buying? What are the average prices they are willing to pay? These will help you identify a valuable customer base.
Are you planting the right seeds for your business to grow?
Knowing your target customer is an aspect that you cannot ignore when growing your business. This tells you who you should cater to, how to nurture them, and how to keep them close. Your top customers are the ones that can bring your business to greater heights.
As you can see, farming is a lot like running a business. You have to know where to plant your seeds and how to help them grow.