The Lesson of the Summer Tomatoes for Your Business
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
By Pattie Baker
It’s that time of year when homegrown tomatoes line the windowsill in my kitchen, each at a varying stage of ripeness, each promising a delicious meal—a cheese, tomato and basil sandwich; a pasta dinner with a sauce made from roasted tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant; a tomato and last-of-the-lettuce salad. Mmmmm.
But those tomatoes remind me of something else, too–your pipeline of new business leads. Do you have metaphoric “tomatoes on your windowsill” all year long or just during “the season,” whenever that is for your particular industry?
I am the person who interviews small business owners nationwide for the Kudzu testimonials that are featured on the Kudzu Business Success Center, and elsewhere. I am hearing, over and over again, that “Kudzu keeps me alive” during the off-season. Many owners tell me Kudzu has helped level out the dips from a challenging economic time in general, and keeps a steady stream of new business leads coming at specific times during the year when it is desperately needed. In short, Kudzu helps keep “tomatoes on the windowsill.”
Here in Atlanta, the first tomato crop is turning red right now, yet tomatoes can grow well for another three months or so. A sure way to put tomatoes on my Thanksgiving table would be to put new tomato plants in the ground now. Some sure ways of putting new business in your pipeline months away from now is to invest in your marketing efforts now. Update your Kudzu profile. Add videos, photos and deals. Encourage your customers to post reviews. Link to your website and highlight your Kudzu profile on any other advertising you do. These are the things that folks I interview are telling me they do in order to “keep those tomatoes coming.”
As for all the “tomatoes on your windowsill” today, make sure you are taking good care of them. These leads are ripe right now. Contact them immediately. Service them as soon as possible. Be grateful for their business. Encourage them to post a review and to spread the word about your company.
As for me and my bounty, I’m making sauce. I’m freezing casseroles. And I’m preparing for the winter ahead, when I will be hungry for these tomatoes that seem so abundant today but will be gone before I know it.