Are You Getting By or Getting Away - Part 2

Are You Getting By or Getting Away? – Part 2

by Sid Raisch

[If you missed Part 1 of this series you can read it HERE.]

Part 2 – Get By or Get Away 
RE-setting Your Value Proposition Post COVID-19

Are we creating our own new normal, or are we allowing it to be created for us?

“The only way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

This seems like a logical approach – to create the future. Why then is it that the most common path to the future is to pretend it isn’t coming, then respond to it as if it didn’t?  

Is it really surprising how things are today, when we look at how long these things have been going on? 
  • Roomba/iRobot -  Patented 2002, almost 20 years ago. Do you have two? Just one? None? We’re time-starved and slow to accept time-saving devices.  
  • 56k Dial-up Modem Internet started in 1979, 42 years ago. I personally started using it in 1988. Crrzzzwwwccccrrwwrrrrcccc… sounds like fingernails on chalkboard to those of us who suffered through it. Many waited that phase out. They're change laggards.  Now thanks to increased high-speed bandwidth and coverage, working remotely from home is possible nearly everywhere. If you started with the Internet after Dial-Up, check out the actual sounds HERE.
  • Work from home is where work began as cottage industry was industry, before the Industrial Age.  WFH was already celebrating a renaissance  pre-COVID for several years. It’s not just a COVID thing, and it won’t go back to the old normal either.  
  • Boomer spending on consumer goods, is declining as they move into (delayed) retirement – is that a surprise? No and it isn’t a big problem because the greatest transfer of generational wealth ever is underway as the longest living generation yet is leaving their savings and other wealth behind for boomers to spend on their own offspring.
  • Remember how the Echo Boom birth rate was larger than the Baby Boom? That would mean there would be more workers wouldn’t it? New technologies, burgeoning service industry demand, and more government dependence (instead of working) have apparently exceeded even that supply. Thank God for robots! Meet more of our new Robot friends and colleagues HERE. And a new era of Social Robots with a demo of Moxie HERE. Take the time, you need to know this.
  • Houseplant interest of teens and young adults – The movie Inconvenient Truth came out 11 years ago. 21-year olds have been taught all about Global Warming since they were in 5th grade. 16-year olds have been “learned” the same since they started school but unlike previous fads, the peer pressure didn’t come from the hallways, it came through social media, YKWIM? You’re welcome Boomers! They have had iPads, iPhones, and iWatches since they were toddlers and stream entertainment on their parents accounts, freeing some disposable income for this.  
So much change has been coming so long. Let’s get real though... little has changed for most operators in our beloved garden industry. We still have a lot of unacceptable by modern standards, Modus Operandi (modes of operation) among us.  

  • MO of reaching customers where they were and where we think they are looking or listening for us. Great grandma caught up with her grandkids on Facebook, now they’re going over to where their kids are over on TikTok. It’s not that they abandoned FB, but they are opening TikTok accounts and are splitting their time – when they’re not over on LinkedIn for professional use. Still social isn’t as fragmented as television, or radio, but it’s pulling away what’s left from both of those. What’s next? Google does own “it”, and is morphing with YouTube Music and YouTube TV and becoming a giant awakening. Not really, they’ve been quite awake but we didn’t notice what they’ve been up to.  
  • MO of looking too much like we’ve looked for far too long with outdated logo’s, signs, storefronts, signage, websites, e-commerce stores, email template, etc.  
  • MO of operating with the same old tools, display fixtures, floor plans, restrooms, offices, storefronts, processes. Old today is over 7 years if you missed the memo.
  • MO of the same people doing the same things the same way the same as everyone else, or what they read or saw about somebody else, not necessarily everybody else (and surprised that it works), but in denial that it is mostly because of COVID and your hard work rather than smart work that has made it possible. The barely affordable organization structure will again be barely affordable post the COVID surge.
  • MO of the state of our minds is the most concerning. In my opinion, we are not ready to embrace and take advantage of the greatest opportunities in the lifetimes of all of us. Thomas Edison once said,

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

That’s appropriated for his time, but work looks a lot different today.

What are we? Who are we? Are you a garden center of the past repeating the same MO’s, with higher numbers behind the dollar sign? Many years of the same experience are not the same as years of increasingly preparing, building, and growing personal and professional organizational maturity with focus and skill.

Courageously take a look at pictures of your place that are revealed in them from 7 years ago and longer  (specifically, the things mentioned above). It may be embarrassing. The rule of renewal of retail renovation has been violated, even for companies that renovated to get their customers attention back following the Great Recession. That was how many years ago?  2021 – 2009 = 12. It kind of snuck up on you didn’t it?

We’re not afraid of hard, but are we afraid of the hard work of creating the future? Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Some people embrace that thought because they are avoiding the hard work of creating a future they can’t see, and try to cover for it by doing the hard work of the past extra hard.   

There are a lot of ways to deal with the future. Someone once said, “Denial is under-rated as a coping mechanism”. They have that way-wrong. It’s more like this; “Denial is OVER-rated as a coping mechanism. Denial that things are more the same than they are different as we procrastinate. Denial that things shouldn’t be much better than they are, as good as they’ve been. Get this - getting by with it is not getting away with it.  

Living in the past is useless. Living in the future isn’t much better because it isn’t here. Taking actions today, living in the now/present to prepare for the future we believe is coming because we are actively creating it is the best way to prepare for it. That’s a lot of words that say something, but what do they say?  

This is where grounding your thinking about the past, present, and future comes in. (We’ll be raising the bar on your thinking about the past, present, and future at Fall Event ’21.) A clear and present understanding is the foundation of any real growth.  

The bar you’re raising is heavy and unwieldily after two years of raising it – wait a minute! Did we actually raise it, or was it all we could do just to hang on to the darn thing while COVID raised it? The bar of revenue may be much higher, and teams are fatigued, and a little wobbly as it is. What happens if COVID doesn’t provide its lift any longer? As we go to raise our bars even higher, how will we do? What if our team isn’t ready to raise it on our own because we don’t see where we’re raising it to?

It’s past time to get your people focused and aligned on your concept. Are we using the present to determine our own future? Will we “wing it” or will we do the work to see the bar up there where we can raise it? Get a steady grip on that bar now, and align your team for the teamwork it takes to raise it.   

It’s 2022 that you’re working on. Twenty-Twenty-TWO!  There’s a good chance you’re working on a repeat performance of two years that are very unlike the one ahead, especially when we determine what that looks like, between the present level of our bar, and the place we could be raising it to.  A “(our company)” of the now and future? Are we going to be more about the business of running (our company) of the present, in a way that it is actively creating our future while it takes care of today? (Hint – that would raise our bar.)

If we ever truly were exceptional, now we’re not again.  We may be providing what’s now expected of us? What is expected today? WiFi, Online shopping, Squeaky Clean Sanitized restrooms, live online chat, texting with customers, Messenger, appointments, at-home consultations, payment forms of all kinds, political correctness, information, flex-time, WFH hybrid, signing bonus, staying bonus, livable wages, commissions and incentives, learning opportunities, advancement potential, days off, birthday off. There’s a lot of expectation – a high bar already. And that’s just what’s expected – nothing special anymore. Where will we raise the bar to above that? What will we (see and) do between the present level of our bar, and the future level of our bar? Seeing it is believing it, and the only way it can happen.

RVP – Resetting our Value Proposition  

How will we exceed the expectations of our customers in 2022? Think on these items. What are we doing to advance ourselves in these areas? How will we do them? 

  • Create greater value with less labor - the magic of creating specific moments that matter.  
  • Create greater (and controllable) value with improvement -  the Power of the Place.
  • Automate with equipment investments.
  • Streamline assortments to what really matters, selling only what is excellent.
  • Stop doing things we can’t do really well at the price we need to do them that well while earning a higher profit.
  • Do more of what we do really well much better, by doing ONLY that which we can do really well. 

Resetting our value proposition will be a big part of our Fall Event ’21 session titled. “See It To Believe It! What will be above your bar in 2022?” I can’t wait to see it.





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, Tim Quebedeaux, Robert Hendrickson, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!

Share this post:

Comments on "Are You Getting By or Getting Away - Part 2"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment