Entrepreneurship is Like Farming

Written by on Jan 31 2017

Entrepreneurship is a lot like farming.

Marketing is the seeds entrepreneurs plant into the dirt.

As entrepreneurs we hope these seeds grow into crops, because crops are money. We often need to be reminded you don’t put seeds in the ground when you need the crop…when you need food…when you need client leads.

A wise farmer purposefully plants these seeds months or years in advance. Some seeds never bear fruit, some seeds bloom into money. My advice is to plant your marketing seeds now, today…here’s why.

Different seeds take different amounts of time to germinate, bloom, mature and bear fruit and different marketing tactics takes different amounts of time to mature into a client lead.

  • Cold Calling: cold calling is something entrepreneurs hate, loathe…despise. But the good news is the delay to cash flow is super super short, 1-10 day delay/maturity time to bloom into a client lead.
  • Social Media Posts: how long it takes for a social media follower to see your posts and then buy? I’m guessing it’s a 30-180 day delay, in this window you have to repeatedly make contact with them via social media. These seeds need a lot of sun and water.
  • Blogging: blogging is another long tail marketing effort, it’s a 30-365 day delay. You’ll need to write 1-2 posts per week for 6 months to even start reaping a benefit from blogging. These seeds need a lot of sun and water as well.
  • Word of Mouth Marketing: Word of mouth is when your current customers tell their friends about your service. Once they tell their friends “OMG the Greek restaurant is so tasty” it’ll take you 3-20 weeks to have that new customer come try your falafels, or web design services. You can speed up word of mouth marketing by asking your best customers for referrals.
  • Paid Advertising: paid ads can be a pretty quick way to generate leads. These can be expensive seeds but can work.

So looking at these marketing tactics again as a farmer plants crops you need MONTHS of consistent planting, watering, sunlight to have these marketing seeds start to grow revenue for you.

Let’s continue to work thru the harvest process. You’ve harvested your crops, how long does it take to get the crops to market and get paid for them? Well, here’s how a typical LessFilms sales process goes, yours is probably different.

  • Day 1: Initial contact from website
  • Day 2: Phone call
  • Day 2: Proposal
  • Day 4: No word back from the client…I follow up
  • Day 8: No word back from the client…I follow up again.
  • Day 9: Client emails me back and says “Let’s do it”
  • Day 9: Client receives invoice and contract
  • Day 11: Client wires first payment and signs contract.
  • Day 14: Money actually clears into our account.

That’s 14 days from initial contact to us getting paid. Your sales process might be slower or quicker, but it’s something to consider when you’re thinking about cash flow.

Farming/Entrepreneurship is a game of patience and consistent/constant marketing, plant the seeds, do the work.

Businesses That Die

Businesses that die are lead by people who are waiting for the phone to ring. They’re keeping “busy” doing the work…so they think. They’re not planting seeds for next season. They’re not looking forward, forecasting cash flow issues, predicting outcomes. They’re managing the day to day operations keeping busy. A farmer who looks seasons away stays fed, a business owner who looks seasons ahead stays in business. Stay hungry, stay profitable, stay in business.


Hi I'm Allan,

I wrote the article you're reading... I'm one of the co-founders of LessEverything. I love my family more than breathing and I love creating videos about our family adventures.

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