Abstein & Associates LLC - Independent Manufacturer Representative
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Business applications for pruning

Weekend landscape maintenance is generally the best therapy for me - especially in the quiet of the morning before all my neighbors have fired up their mowers. This past weekend, it was time to pull the weeds out of the flowerbeds and prune unruly shrubbery. 

Weeds are an obvious problem, they look out of place and crowd out the plants you want to thrive. Because they're easy to spot, there's no question about removing them. In our business, these are the activities that are totally unrelated to success, don't inspire our existing clients, don't engage new clients, and deflate profits. 

But what about pruning? Selectively removing portions of an otherwise healthy plant improves the health of the shrub - after a few weeks or months you'll see new growth, flowers, and improved shape. "Business pruning" can take a little more discernment than weeding, because you can't immediately see the long-term benefit. Accounts that you've pursued for months with no sales to show for it - product lines or categories that aren't producing reasonable profits - not referring a prospect to a more suitable vendor - releasing control over work that is better done by others - being hesitant in "firing" a customer -- (any of these sound familiar?).

Success doesn't occur in a straight line, nor does a flowerbed thrive when left alone for months or years. Time for some weeding & pruning?
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