Growth takes more than water

Posted by Jackie Russell

Without exception water is the essential element required to ensure everything biological can survive but to really thrive a few more things need to be added.

Our hardy mānuka will survive when thrown into the harshest conditions and it will positively bloom when given a little more than torrential rain.

Business is much the same.

You can launch a great product or service that can survive with limited commercial nous but if you add some entrepreneurial energy – your business is more likely to experience healthy growth.


It’s not rocket science, but people often forget the basics.

Location, location, location

Like growing mānuka, the first principle is to put the right plant in the right place.

You need to understand where your product or service needs to be to achieve the best growth.

If you sell mānuka honey you need to be where mānuka honey shoppers hangout. That could be at a health shop, supermarket, ecommerce site, social media channel, duty-free store, café, farmers market and roadside stall.

Put it in one place and you’re unlikely to sell loads. A few well-chosen distribution channels are likely to be much more successful.

It’s a bit of a stereotype but put a $120 pottle of mānuka honey at the counter of a Carl’s Jr and it’s likely to stay put for a while.

Show-off your style

If you want your product or service to be noticed, you must do something to make it stand out.

When our trusty mānuka wants to get noticed it smothers its branches with a glorious white and pink floral display that bees can’t resist.

Its bedazzling show throughout spring and summer coincides with the bees’ feasting season and your marketing activities should do the same.

Do something with alluring oomph and do it when your punters are most likely to notice.

Keep up the sustenance

Mānuka are remarkably resilient and in acidic clay mānuka is happy as a tui in spring.

However, if the soil is too alkaline (basic) it will need some sulphur to produce higher levels of methylglyoxal (MGO), the natural compound that makes mānuka honey magic.

It also needs sunshine and protection from competition to really grow well.

What are the marketing additives your business needs to create magic?

  • Better planning to get maximum bang for your marketing buck?
  • More creative contact with customers?
  • Better stories about your product and people?
  • Improved employee motivation and skills?
  • Better relationships with beneficial organisations?
  • Follow up sales calls?

In today’s competitive market your customers have more options than ever before.

They can buy products and services from anywhere in the world, and in a post-consumerist society people may not even want that much.

They are swamped by information, they have limited time to read everything and only the outstanding stuff will grab your customers’ attention.

Successfully growing your business is less about mass communication, and more about targeted communication that resonates with your loyal supporters.

Get inside your target audience’s head and consider what will stop them in their tracks and make them come back to you time and again.

And, do more than one thing. If your first effort has limited or no success, review – revamp – reconnect.

In Winston Churchill’s words, “Never, never, never give up.”