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Spring! And How Does Your Garden (Business) Grow?
By Brian Hill and Dee Power

The first step is to map out how large an area you want for your garden (business plan) and what types of seeds (new products) you want to plant (launch). You might try starting the plants indoors (test marketing) before exposing them to the perils of he natural elements (retail market). Don't forget to prepare the soil before you plant. You may need some soil amendments (new marketing VP) to give the seeds (products) the best chance of sprouting (being profitable). Some gardener's (CEOs) maintain a compost heap (last year's marketing ideas and mix that into the soil; others say that compost just gives off gas and smells bad. Fertilizer (advertising) is a must. But how much to add (spend)?

You surely don't want to saturate the earth (market) with manure (your commercials). In fact, successful gardening is a matter of carefully regulating (cost controls) all the raw materials you add-- nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, even water.

Regulating (managing) the sun (the economy) is out of your control, of course. Some tender sprouts (new products) require more shade (patent protection) than others in order to survive first few critical weeks.

Controlling pests (competitors) is a never ending problem. Some of these fly into your garden (market) from out of state, some simply crawl, after all they are vermin. Trouble is, the more bountiful (profitable) your garden, the more they swarm. To rid your garden of pests, you might try making it bigger and stronger (grow by acquisition). The natural methods of pest control (better service, higher quality products) are usually preferable. A strong chemical herbicide (price war) might work temporarily, but could do more harm than good in the garden in the long run, and is bad for the overall environment.

As harvest time approaches (year-end), you can look over your garden (company) with great satisfaction. Look at that yield (ROI)! It's a bumper crop (record profits). All that toil and sweat was certainly worth it -- right?

Now you can enjoy the fruits of your labors (profit distributions) after you pay a few people back who helped you grow your garden. Let's see, the garden supply store gets 20% of our vegetables, for the tools and seeds you bought. The investors who let you use their land (money) get 45% of the crop (investors eat more than normal people). And the government gets 35% because...hmmmm...because they sat there at the edge of the garden and watched you work, I guess.

Well, you get to keep the satisfaction.

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Brian Hill is co-author with Dee Power of "Attracting Capital From Angels" 2009, published by John Wiley & Sons  and "Inside Secrets To Venture Capital" 2001 published by John Wiley & Sons

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