A few years back at our home on the Chesapeake Bay I replaced five KnockOut® rose bushes. For years they had been beautiful bushes, full of continuous color, and tall enough to provide a barrier between our patio and our neighbor’s. Best of all, this rose variety was supposed to be disease resistant and did not need spraying. I am not one for heavy garden maintenance, so it was wonderful to have inherited these easy-care varieties with our home purchase.
The problem was that a couple years earlier we noticed these bright, thick red shoots. Our landscaper suggested pruning and that is what we did with the hope that we could get rid of the rose rosette disease, as it is known.
Unfortunately, the virus spread to the whole plant and we ended up having to pull up all five plants and start over. This time, we choose not to plant the roses.
So, what does this have to do with business? Just like with roses in your garden, your business can use a good pruning if you want it to bloom and prosper. And, you want to do the pruning before it becomes necessary to take more drastic action.
Here are some random thoughts on pruning in your business. Many of these were gleaned from a walk through my yard.
Pruning aids in clarity.
I have a lovely star magnolia outside my office window, and I get it seriously pruned by an arborist every few years. This lets more light in, the tree is healthier, and it grows stronger.
When you let more light into your business, you are likely to see what needs to grow.
Pruning lets you create or re-create.
Have you ever been to a topiary garden? Ladew Gardens in Maryland is one of the “10 incredible topiary gardens around the world,” according to Architectural Digest. It is filled with swans adorning the hedges and dogs racing across the lawn that are meticulously maintained.
By pruning, you are able to create something new, and that applies in your business. You have the ability to create whatever business you want.
Regular pruning means less to pick up.
I have some huge oaks in the back yard and a row of pine trees. All need to have the canopy raised. This will accomplish several things: no place for leaves to get trapped, removal of dead wood and better looking trees.
In your business you might have things that could be eliminated that would make for a cleaner business. This could be difficult vendors. It might be a product line that no longer gets sales, yet you hang on to it. It might be all the noise of information that comes into your inbox in the form of emails or all the social media posts.
Do not put off pruning.
Many of us think that if we keep all the parts of our business, it is a good idea. Instead we should look at what is not working and prune it, so the good has space to blossom.
As you practice pruning in your business, it also lets you look at what it is you should be focusing on. In the beginning, I said yes to lots of work. Today because I have pruned along the way and figured out what I want to create, it is easier to say no to some work. Pruning lets you keep what is working and allows it to thrive, while getting rid of what is not working.
It’s your turn!
Where do you need to do some pruning in your business?