I recently saw an article on this topic and it got me pondering!   None of this is new – but always worth revisiting.

Underground growth or invisible growth is when you are putting in the hard work but maybe there is nothing tangible to show for it?

Maybe you have upped your social media content but the traffic isn’t coming?

Maybe you have put in place various measures such as automation, which has been time-consuming and maybe expensive, but your sales haven’t improved?  Maybe you stopped using the new system because it was hard going and not making a difference?

Don’t lose heart – there is often a time-lag between doing these things and reaping the benefits.  Your business is growing “roots” but the shoots have still to grow above ground!  There is nothing showing for months before the tips of the daffodils appear.

roots and shoots

Everything takes time to mature, and it is why I always encourage you to “plant bulbs” or “sow seeds”.  The issue is that sometimes we give up because something “hasn’t worked”.  It is why when I do the quarterly review with my clients I ask them to commit to making a change and sticking to it for 3 months.

Obviously, there are times when you really do have to STOP doing something – there will be times when it is obvious that you shouldn’t continue – but, please remember that it will generally take time – just as it takes time to grow.

Challenging Times

Tough times can also be necessary!  Some plants and seeds need to go through extreme cold temperatures in order to grow – and it can be the same for a business – that coming through difficulties can provide the right conditions for the business to grow!  I know – it’s so hard right now but there really can be good things that we learn during hard times.  It was one of the features of the pandemic.

Take some time now to think about this for your own business.  Think about marketing campaigns which you gave up on, or new processes you have tried to implement and have stopped before they were fully embedded?  We can all be guilty of this – when the business is quiet we look at new, different, better ways to do things – and then fall into the old habits when we get super-busy again.  

What adversities has your business faced – for example the pandemic – that helped it to develop?  Think of the things you changed, did you change back again?  Was that automatically the right thing to do?  I have seen some people saying that they may go back to how they operated during lockdown to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis.

What do you think you might have given up “too early”?  Maybe a marketing tactic that “didn’t work” – you probably didn’t give it enough time.  Have you decided to give something a second go?

If you have given up, what did you learn?  What were the reasons for giving up, and is it now the right time to try again? 

The environment can change (we are facing new challenges) – it may now be the right time to try something new, even if 6 months ago it didn’t work.  And persevere with the new processes – it is building new habits, which is hard – but will likely bring you success in the future!  And – spoiler alert – there will always be new challenges!

So don’t be expecting those shoots to appear immediately – keep persevering and they will appear above ground eventually!

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