Raising Your Invisible Ceiling on Growth

Raising Your Invisible Ceiling on Growth

by Sid Raisch

Do you have a plan to break through your Invisible Ceiling this Spring?

The Invisible Ceiling on a garden center reminds me of the story about the flea trainer. The flea trainer starts out training a new batch of fleas by showing the fleas who’s boss. Live fleas are put into a glass canning jar and the lid tightened. The fleas immediately begin jumping and hitting the lid of the jar – pling, pling, pling, pling, and so on. After a short while the plings slow down, and eventually stop, while the fleas continue jumping just not quite so high as to bang their hard head on the lid. The flea trainer removes the lid and guess what happens? No, the fleas don’t jump out. They continue jumping, but not high enough to hit the now invisible lid. I don’t know if you’re identifying right now with the trainer, or the fleas, but give yourself the benefit of the doubt and say you’re the trainer.

In your business something similar is likely happening. You have probably experienced times of high growth of your business, typically following major improvements, like expanding your parking lot, or adding more shopping carts. Then after a couple of years things level out, and the growth stops.

Forget what’s going on right now as you prepare for Spring. You’ll become lost in the chaos of the moments, hours, and days, and not much different will happen -unless you retrain your fleas

Let’s go through a little exercise to see if there is an Invisible Ceiling on your growth (because it is invisible). Do it now because PITTOTMProcrastination is the Thief of Time and Money.” Fill in the blanks below:

Invisible Ceiling Finder

Biggest Day $                   Avg. Sale $                      Transactions  #

2018 -     $: _________    Avg. Sale $: ________    Transactions #:_______

2017 -     $: _________    Avg. Sale $: ________    Transactions #:_______

2016 -     $: _________    Avg. Sale $: ________    Transactions #:_______

2015 -     $: _________    Avg. Sale $: ________    Transactions #:_______

If these numbers are about the same, within 10% from year to year, you’re in the company of most garden centers. Your operation is not growing substantially because of the Invisible Ceiling. The factors that effect the biggest day have spillover effect and a cloud hovers over your invisible ceiling. As a flea trainer, you’ve succeeded in a way - you’ve trained it not to grow.

The limitations of growth are quite visible but also impossible to see to anyone who doesn’t know what to look for, or who can’t see because they are too busy looking at other things.


On March 19th, 2019, Sid presented his ideas on Raising Your Invisible Ceiling. The following is the video presentation.


Presentation Slides Now Available: Sid has made available his slides for your notes and review in PDF format... DOWNLOAD HERE.


How can Sid Help?  Take a picture of the filled in Invisible Ceiling Finder and email or text it to [email protected], or 937-302-0423. Be sure to tell who you are and the company you’re with. I’ll then reach out to schedule a time to help you grow through your Invisible Ceiling.

Sid Raisch is a leading consultant for small business growth, change, and results throughout the US for over 40 years.  He is a consultant to The Garden Center Group and has helped transform both national and local businesses in horticulture into valuable assets with programs that create change in culture, community and company.

Redefining the business future of retail for consumer horticulture by understanding how the end-to-end supply chain needs to be redirected is a skill that Sid has honed into an art.  Participating in international and national educational sessions provides Sid venues where he has a front row seat to see the creation of innovative business models.

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Robert Hendrickson, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!


Share this post:

Comments on "Raising Your Invisible Ceiling on Growth"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment