Benchmark Business Group

Reap What You Sow

May 13, 2014

Last week you were challenged with the following, “So, decide what it is you want to harvest. It may be as simple as something like this: Over the next (enter time frame here) I expect to harvest (enter your goal here - number of sales, amount of revenue, new position(s) hired, another location opened, etc.).”

We went on to point out that in subsequent weeks, “we would look at the planning, planting, and cultivating needed to bring in the bumper harvest you expect.”

This week we will explore the planning.

You have undoubtedly heard the proverbial saying, “You reap what you sow.” In current nomenclature the saying would be something like this, “You will harvest “fruit” of the type of seed you plant.”  In other words, if you plan on harvesting corn, you had better plant corn seed.  Now, you may be thinking, “I thought this week the topic is planning, not planting…so why all the talk of planting?”  Great question!

Reaping what you sow is not simply an analogy of harvesting a particular “fruit” based on the seed planted.  No, it is much, much more than that!  In the planning stage, you will reap (gain, earn, win, secure, obtain, acquire, realize) whatever you sow (plant, spread, propagate, disseminate).  You need, with your harvest in mind, to begin planning what it will take to reap all that you need, not just a portion.  For instance, let’s say that you need a new employee.  Do you want to harvest an average employee or would you rather harvest an employee that has both the skills and personal characteristics to best fit into the culture of your business? Where do you find that person? How long will it take to find that person? How will you find that person?

It is relatively easy to “harvest” a new employee, or another sale, or run another ad, or spend a few more minutes on something, though without planning—exactly what is needed, how you will get it, where you will get it, or when you will get it—your sowing will probably not produce the harvest you desire.

What plan do you need in place to harvest what you expect?  Here are 5 steps to help you plan your harvest:

1)   Set aside the time necessary to plan

2)   Define exactly what needs to be planned

3)   Research where to get what is needed

4)   Set the timeline for the planting and cultivating

5)   Take action on your plan by moving into the planting stage

Next week we will continue by looking at the planting stage needed to ensure you harvest what you expect.

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