Open yourself to the possibilities

We are working on our new project, "Miss Monica's Garden Valley Pre-School and Daycare". I have had to move my vegetable garden to make way for a playground for the kids. Over all the nursery will shrink by about 10 to 20% in size. Still plenty of space for what I need to do. We also started a webpage for the daycare. Starting a web page or blog is so easy that it was one of the first things we did. I want a place for potential customers to go and find out more about the new business. One of the things I realized over the last few weeks is I have had "nurseryman" blinders on. Everything we have done over the last decade has been through the prism of being nursery people. Rather than see the big picture of possibilities that are out there, we looked at the possibilities only if they advanced our garden center business. I had always thought that the rental units we have in front would be part of the nursery one day. Turns out it will be nursery, just not plant nursery. Why didn't we see this before?

The reason we didn't see the possibilities is what I think is holding back a lot of small businesses.  Not seeing the BIG picture. Lately economic events have forced a lot of us to really dig into what's important. As a garden center owner I read about how we need to re-invent our business to better reflect the the current trends. One such trend is putting a coffee shop in the garden center. Or perhaps a pet center. Maybe a wine bar. Another nursery sells jewelry. So I, like you think, "would this work here."

What we came up with is most likely the only such operation in existence. The businesses will operated separately, so it's not quite like putting a wine bar in the nursery. Never the less we are likely some of the only people who will own and operate two nurseries each raising different things all together. Plants and kids. I have found it liberating! For years we have been building our garden center business. It's fun and challenging. But now we see just how needed daycare is in our area. Monica has already signed up a couple of customers, even before we open. It's quite possible that the kid nursery will one day be as profitable or more so than the garden center.

Look out upon the scene and think like the entrepreneur you are. Not as a nursery man or woman, but as a person who looks out and see's a need, then builds a answer. Is the nursery failing? No. Here in the mountains winter time is very slow, and we need a more steady cash flow, which the kid nursery will provide. This will take the pressure off the nursery to supply us with our sole income.

These days with the slowdown in the economy it would be a great time to re-evaluate who you are, and what you expect to accomplish with your business. Look beyond your industry to see if there are any other possibilities for you.  Maybe you can connect the other possibilities with your garden center business, maybe not. Just don't be so tied to one idea that you don't see all the wonderful possibilities that are available in these most interesting times.