The Four Plant Growth Stages: A Business Development Analogy

Learn how, similar to the six plant growth stages; business follows the same rules of nature.

For the last 17 years, I have had the opportunity to work in the business development landscape for numerous businesses and non-profit organizations worldwide. Since my childhood, I have always been labeled as the “perfect student.” This, followed by my competitive nature, has led me to seek any opportunity to present myself as a high achiever and the best in my field since I began my career.

Like many others experience, this drive deep in my core has fueled me to get to where I am today. However, you must remember that while this fuel may seem inspirational and pure, it may also cause you to burn out before you know it. This greed of wanting to accomplish more, of being in a state of lack, can distract us from what matters in success. Before you know it, both your personal and business life has been adversely compromised.

With this in mind, I would like to draw your attention to simple biological processes that we have all learned at least once or twice throughout our education: The Four Plant Growth Stages. I will be using this natural process to form an analogy of how business development follows the rules of nature.

1.    Sprout Your Unique Ideas & Selling Points

Whether you’ve recently joined a new company or are present at a company that you have been

employed for years, it is crucial to identify a unique

selling proposition for your company’s products or services by linking your objectives to the pain-points your target consumers have. You must then brainstorm and discover a meaningful message that will incite your target audience’s emotions in a way that they will understand and inherently relate to –the sprout of your operations.

2.    Plant Your Business Roots

Once we have determined our company’s products or services’ selling points, we must now create our foundation. We assess market conditions and identify our target customers’ profiles who will benefit from our business, along with who will be fruitful for our operations from a budget perspective. As a business, we want to avoid seeking customers who have limited budgets. This will prevent us from nurturing our “seed” as they will not be able to commit to your ideas from a financial standpoint.  

3.    We Begin to Grow Taller

In business, we may utilize numerous channels and tactics to engage in communication with our target audience during our first encounter with our target audience, including lead generation, outsourced services, social media and digital marketing, networking, and events. We generate our pipeline, introducing our products and services while creating a need even if it does not exist yet. This process is when we begin to expand our business ideas and make them fruitful.

4.    Continued Growth & Development

Lastly, we come to the moment where you must ensure your client is happy. We have received our payment while your product or service has been delivered. Where do you go from here? We must ensure that we continue to obtain fruits from the same plant. How can we do this? We continue our engagement with the client by offering additional benefits, including an extended warranty, complimentary products, knowledge sessions, and invitations to events. The more we invest in fertilizing the soil, the greater the harvest will be at the end of the season. However, do not forget that pollination is also applicable in business as you can increase your clientele with references and recommendations from your growing “garden.”

Final Thoughts

Nature has developed processes to ensure life develops at speed required with a logical sequence. The same is applied to business. Remember not to rush or push unless you are in a critical phase of your business development. Even more critical is to no take things so personally. I have made a mistake in the past because I always had trouble overcoming moments where massive deals were abandoned out of the blue. External factors evidently out of my control affected my self-confidence and made me doubt my skills as a

professional –do not let this happen to you. They say business is business; however, sometimes plants die.

We must accept the aftermath and live with it, growing another bunch of business ideas in parallel. The more we grow simultaneously, the more of a solid foundation we will have in the end. If two die out of ten, it can be quite noticeable. However, if two die out of 100, likely, that will not be noticeable in the end.

Remember to take care of your business as you would take care of your garden!

Maria has been in the Marketing space for the last 15 years with a focus on Business Strategy and Brand positioning. She is certified by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, CIM (UK) to support her clients across the MEA region across various industries. Maria helps businesses get their messages out clearly, concisely and accurately through the unique DNA of the brand. Starting this engagement right from developing the concept, visualizing the brand & creating an identity, then defining the Business Strategy aligning with the Marketing Plan to achieve business objectives.