Think Business — Making It Happen By Mark Richardson

How are you addressing the challenges in today’s marketplace? Proactively? Reactively? Or something else?

When tackling the challenges of a tough business environment, there are three categories that most companies (and people) fall into:

1. Those that make it happen

2. Those that watch it happen

3. Those that wonder what will happen

One can look at this as just clever wordsmithing or you can drill down and find some real meaning. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about these three points of view. I have been observing businesses all over the country and which category they fall into.

This column will address some of my insights on the issue.


“Making it happen” is a mindset. It is a decision you make. “Making it happen” is the difference between a good and a great business. Of course, there are always market-specific exceptions, but for the most part, the basic business environment is the same for most companies.

The question is why are some growing and continuing to see positive returns and others are not? I contend the answer is based on which of the three categories above that the business that chooses to operate in.

“Make it happen” means you adjust your marketing strategy to the environment. Are you?

“Make it happen” means that you don’t abandon your values but you change your sales and production approaches to address your customers’ fears and interests. Are you?

“Making it happen” means you are diversifying and develop products and services that hit a chord for your customers and helping them. Are you?

If you are finding yourself investing much of your energy reacting, losing staff and reducing your marketing costs to get through, then understand those are decisions that you are making not ones that are being forced on you.


Here are a few brief tips and questions to consider if you want to be in the “make it happen” category.

• Are you investing 10 percent of your energy on new stuff? I know it is tough when you are time starved to get out of the trenches, but it is critical for a “make it happen” mindset to make appointments for yourself to focus on new ideas.

Have your product lines or service offerings changed over the last few years? If there is one area that hasn’t changed over the last 10 years, it is in need for “change.” This change could be in how and where your clients can buy your products and services. It also could be the type of programs and products that you are producing. Change may also require different people or talent to deliver these services.

Are you attracting new customers the same way? I think it is fair to say that the market approaches of the past don’t work as well as they used to. Today, you need to help your customers buy, not sell to them. You need to drive them to understand what it is you are providing (and how it is produced) not offer discounts.

Are you really in the wave with the latest technologies? Technology has revolutionized the horticulture industry (as it has in many other areas of our lives). This should be on the top of everyone’s priority list. Being in the wave, however, is about balance (not being ahead and not being behind). Take inventory of what your company is doing and compare yourself to companies inside and outside of the industry.

Is your team rallied behind you with a gung-ho mind set? In these times, your team needs to be more aligned than ever. You need to be investing more time than ever making sure this is happening. Creating this culture requires creative methods that were not needed in the past. Dig deep and make this a priority.

Although it may be part of successful DNA to “make it happen,” it is also a choice that everyone can make.

Don’t let the environment control your success and future … Make it happen!

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson is an author, speaker, columnist and business growth strategist. He has written several books on business management including “How Fit Is Your Business?” and “Fit to Grow.” His latest book is “Control Your Day Before It Controls You: The 7 Steps to Mastering Your Time.” All of his books are available on He can be reached at

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