I was going to write some more website spring cleaning tips for 2010 but got sidetracked while thinking about the variety of plant life in my backyard. I started thinking about trees, which I have a lot of, and weeds, which I have even more of.
You didn’t know I was into gardening, did you?
Without going too far out on a limb (pun intended), I started thinking about my clients’ businesses in terms of plants and trees that I could see fro my patio. Most seemed to fall into one of the following two categories.
Oak trees are strong, stable, predictable and sturdy. Their massive trunks can weather fierce storms that would wash away or knock over less established plants. Their growth potential is nearly unlimited but it’s so slow that hardly anybody notices at first.
However, they take a long time to grow, are difficult to move and not very adaptable to new or extreme conditions. Their foliage is utilitarian and not very showy.
Dandelions, on the other hand, are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide variety of conditions. Their ability to grow and spread quickly allows them to adapt and survive in sub-optimal soil or even between the cracks in a sidewalk. Plus, they evolved to be interactive! Their seeds are meant to be spread when the wind whips up to scatter them far and wide.
Life’s not easy for a dandelion though. Their slender stalks are fragile and easily trampled underfoot. They don’t live long in one place and have been known to appear and disappear without anybody noticing.
Life at the Extremes
Sure, these are extreme examples but I’ve found most of my clients exist closer to one end of the spectrum or another. Neither business model is right or wrong, just suited to meet different needs in different ways.
How would you classify your business? Am I missing an entire category?