The holidays and the grueling trade show season are over.
Sports are in a lull. The days of cold, wet and dark are getting tiresome. We are all waiting on better weather — or at least seeing the sun.
Depending on your segment within the nursery industry, you have either completed your digging for the season, or you are just opening back up and discovering how much work you still need to do.
At this time of year, good recordkeeping is important. A sense of the history of your business is essential. However, you need to use that information to make your business better. Don’t just file it away! Look at the highlights from last year. Identify areas for possible improvements.
In particular, it’s key to examine the vital problems that you encountered last year. Have you identified causes and come up with solutions to those issues?
As the saying goes, “History usually repeats itself.” Don’t fall into that trap.
As you review history, problems and possible solutions, don’t forget to look inward. It’s important to build upon the skills you already possess. Wherever you are in your career, you probably only reached that point because you made a decision, one way or another, to acquire greater knowledge and to apply what you learned.
After you reach a certain level in your career or business, sneaky complacency can become your enemy. You begin to perceive that the skills that got you this far are “good enough.” The world is constantly in motion. So are marketing. Inertia didn’t get you this far — effort did.
You have experience. You have skills. And these, along with a sense of your business history, can guide you along a path of improvement.
Do not be afraid to express opinions, take chances or be open to new ideas. Just make sure you do your research before diagnosing problems and developing solutions.
With the start of February, we will soon go from being caught up to being behind. Spring is fast approaching. March 20 is the first day of spring this year — tick tock.
As you focus on your business, don’t forget about the work that the Oregon Association of Nurseries does on your behalf. The Oregon Legislature started its 2019 session on January 22, and the OAN is working around the clock to make sure state officials never forget the size, significance and economic impact of Oregon’s nearly $1 billion nursery industry.
The OAN’s seasoned, respected and highly effective Government Relations team analyzes each significant piece of legislation to see how it affects the nursery industry, then makes sure that officials on both sides of the aisle understand the impact.
What you see reported is nothing compared to the tonnage of proposals put in play. If you had hair, like I used to, seeing it all would turn yours white and make it fall out.
We are solution oriented and bipartisan — and people in Salem know it. This gives us the ability to derail harmful legislation or at least remove or mitigate the portions that are harmful to the nursery industry.
But the OAN doesn’t just play defense. It also pushes forward on industry priorities such as industry research, long-term water supplies and more.
OAN advocacy is one of the best reasons to be a member. Our weekly Member Update, sent electronically, keeps you informed about the issues, and aware of when your input can be most effective. Legislators and officials are always aware of our strength and our numbers. Our team makes sure of it, but some of the time, we need your help.
The bottom line, in business and in politics, is that there is no substitute for “you.” Only you possess your experience and your ability to act. If you want change, you have to initiate it. There’s no one else. That’s why it’s so important at this time to look back, realize mistakes, acknowledge weaknesses, strengthen skills and move forward.
I wish you the best of luck with this upcoming season.