The Pumpkin Plan: Why it works
Pumpkin Plan Primer
Have you heard of The Pumpkin Plan? At Growth Simplified, we are Pumpkin Plan Fanatics! The author, Mike Michalowicz, endorsed GS (watch here) and we are Pumpkin Plan Certified!
We love it so much, that we wanted to share it with you – and offer you a Pumpkin Plan Treat!
Identify Your Differentiator
Farmers plant many pumpkin seeds to maximize their harvest – and their sales revenue – in October. Not every seed produces a pumpkin vine or a plethora of pumpkins. Sometimes, pumpkins are attacked by wild animals or insects, leaving them rotting on the vine. However, it comes down to a mathematical equation: More seeds = more pumpkins = greater ROI.
However, there are certain farmers –colossal pumpkin farmers– that risk everything and only plant one perfect seed so that they have the chance for a colossal pumpkin. They will do everything they can to nurture that seed, so it grows big and strong!
In your business, focus on your strongest idea or concept – and nurture that! Mike said, “Clients don’t notice when we’re better. They notice when we’re different.” He calls it your Area of Innovation (AOI).
Get Rid of Rotten Clients
Do you have rotten, annoying clients? Dare I say, “assholes”? How much time and money do they suck out of your people and business? Do you get any satisfaction from trying to make them happy? What is your ROI with them?
It’s time to fire your rotten clients.
This might surprise you, and you might resist at first, but it’s critical to your success. Mike has a process called, “The Crush or Cringe Community Analysis”. Take a list of your clients, ranked in order of revenue, from highest to lowest. Write “Crush” or “Cringe” next to each one based on how you feel when you interact with them. Based on this analysis, you keep Smith and Johnson and let the other three go:
CRUSH OR CRINGE
Focus on Your Best Clients
Your top clients are your prize-winning pumpkins – nurture them! What’s important to them? Adapt your business approach as needed to fulfill their needs. It might turn Will Co. into a $1M client!
Start with asking, “What am I doing right?” Keep improving on that. Ask, “What’s wrong with the industry?” Then change what you can. Taking these actions differentiates you in the marketplace.
Another idea is to ask them about other vendors they use in a different industry than yours. Talk to the vendors about ways you could collaborate for the benefit of mutual clients. Chances are you both know something about the client that the other company doesn’t know but would help you be a better business partner for your client.
In his book, Mike discusses how his IT company was able to align with a desk company to maximize the cord setup in offices, saving everyone time and money.
Grow With The Pumpkin Plan
The Pumpkin Plan recognizes that entrepreneurs must focus on the big picture. You cannot get bogged down in daily operations. Set a goal of implementing systems that run the business so you can focus on delighting your clients. For a taste of how it works, click here to get Chapter 1 free. You’re welcome!
If that makes you want more, or you’d like help to structure your plan, reach out to Growth Simplified. We were trained by Mike and we are your Certified Pumpkin Planner Coaches.
Happy Pumpkin Season!