Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

by Sid Raisch

My “body guy” (body shop, not gym) has not had such a good year this year. With commuting and shopping trips down overall, there are fewer accidents, especially deer hits that tend to happen more during commuting hours. This means his business and his family hasn’t been spending as much locally or otherwise. Same for his employees, suppliers, and their employees.

While this writing is heading down a not-so-positive path, it is for a good purpose, so please hang in here with me. Every cloud has a silver lining, even 2020. Our industry has been the silver lining as compared to many others. There’s a tendency to revel in glory and a good year, no matter how it happens, is certainly to be appreciated and celebrated. From what I’ve seen and heard, you don’t need more encouragement to do that.

As every cloud has a Silver Lining, so goes 2020. It is still a cloud and there is more to it than the Silver Lining, but let’s begin with a recap of what that’s taught us before dealing with what we’ve learned from the cloud itself.

Learning from the Silver Lining around the COVID-19 Cloud:

People have shown us that plants and gardening have far greater value than even I believed and you should know that I believe very much in the benefits of plants and gardening. Many more IGC’s have learned that people will pay more for their product than they thought they would have. That understanding came too late to reap the reward of it with higher prices, and even higher prices commensurate with the value perceived because those who had increased prices were simply pleased as punch they did, but didn’t step up to an even higher opportunity. Who was it that said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”?

If you’re with me on this you’re realizing that the money that’s been left on the table with underpricing all these years is a silver lining because you now have the opportunity to catch up like never before. Unfortunately, the time value of money can’t work in reverse to capture the power of all that value lost in the past for you now. The money on the table vaporized. What could it have bought?

  a.  Peace of mind from retirement savings?
  b.  Efficiency and a hedge against future increases in costs of doing business?
  c.  Improvements that increase perceived value?
  d.  Eliminate debt and interest costs?

Learning from the COVID-19 Cloud itself:

We should never have and should never again doubt the Essentiality of our businesses. Nearly everyone had to be convinced, and had to convince themselves that without question, gardening is essential. If you’re still not sure let’s talk. If you’re sure, make sure you’re doing what you should be doing to position well for it, because this question is likely to come around again.

Being Essential:

  1. Food Security zeroes in on an unarguable essential position. This is gained with home grown vegetable plants, seeds, and the basic growing supplies. Most IGC’s were already prepared for this, just not so early and as much volume as their customers wanted. Still it is wise to further develop this area and to promote it.
  2. Psychological benefits of being around and working with plants also has a physiological benefit of improved resistance and overall health.
  3. An emerging issue is the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Again, plants and landscaping have been well proven to be effective to improve mental health in many ways from attention and focus to mood, and resiliency, which is even more essential  during these times of distress and duress.
  4. Economic benefits of plants are plentiful and well documented. The ROI is unquestionable.

This fall being an essential business came into question again in some areas, and it should be anticipated that it will yet again, without advance notice. There is no reason, nor excuse, for being unprepared. Prepare well.

Will 2021 also be a COVID-19 Year?

Only a few months ago I would have been giving this question a 30-40% chance, and now I give 2021 a 70-80% chance of being another COVID-19 year. Why?

  1. Several vaccines have been announced but distribution is only beginning. The ability of our government and medical systems to get people to take it, correctly, in a timely manner, and in sufficient numbers to make a real difference is questionable, especially by spring. There is a lot of doubt about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines rushed to market like it was 1919 that causes people to be skeptical about it. The US has only been successful getting 50 some percent of people to take flu vaccines, and from what I’ve read, over 70% would be needed to effectively eradicate the virus, over sufficient time. The efforts to slow the spread thus far mean a very large part of our population has not yet been exposed, and is therefore susceptible. The reported high numbers of infection may actually work in favor if enough people have already been exposed and have developed the antibodies, and the virus doesn’t “morph” as many have suggested it may.
  2. Spring fever begins in the mind. There is a “Psychological Spring” that occurs before spring itself, starting in January when the vacuum of Christmas decorations leaving homes and businesses, is met with winter dreariness. Spring in earnest typically begins by late February for our Deep South clients. Arrival of spring is later further north, but as we saw in 2020, earlier than it previously did. The Great Earliest Tomato plant hunt will likely begin even earlier in 2021. I know online vegetable seed companies are already getting more orders than ever before. Once the momentum begins to begin, there’s no turning around or of turning Spring Fever off.
Make Luck – Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity – PREPARE NOW by adopting the new rules and build your future with them. Text, call email or Message. I can help.





Want Help? I’m here for you. Text or call now while you are in the mood to Raise the Bar by becoming Exceptionally Exceptional.

Sid Raisch
Cell: 937-302-0423
[email protected]

Sid Raisch is a leading consultant for 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.

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

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