How Using The Wrong Fertilizer Can Kill Your Lawn… and Your Business

Fertilize Your Company
Photo attribution to melanieburger on flickr

When my wife and I bought our house at the end of 2008 here in Roseburg, we moved in and the yard was green as green can be.  It was so damn green in fact that I though “hey, this will be easy to keep the yard work up!”.

Over the next year I watered the lawn religiously…

Fertilized it with the “best money can buy” (according to the commercials anyway, because as a marketer I believe all commercials ;-)…

… you know the gig.

Lawns are easy to keep up right?

I Did Everything Right… And My Lawn Turned Brown

So, fast forward to 2010.  That lush green… Irish country-side like yard that helped sell me on buying the house in the first place was now…

… thin

… browning in spots

… bug filled

… and drank water like a fish but never got any greener

Again, I was doing all of the right things.

  • I watered more than enough
  • I fertilized just like the trusty Scotts Turf-Builder bag told me to
  • And I even thought about just hiring someone to come in and make my lawn green just like all of the neighbors

All the right things… and the results sucked.

What Do You Do When You’re Doing All Of The Right Things?

Ha, yes… this does have everything to do with business (and if your lawn sucks it’ll have a tip for ya to try out ;-).

When you’re doing all of the right things… you need to start to look at your ingredients.

In this case…

  • Water – The water was the same water the previous owners used.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t fly in some pristine Chilean mountain spring water or anything. And I was watering 4-5 times a week some weeks just to make for damn sure the lawn got enough water.  So, I ruled the water out.
  • Maintenance – I mowed weekly, and that spring I aerated and de-thatched the lawn. So, maintenance… check.
  • Fertilizer – This is really the main variable that I didn’t know what the previous owners used.  But, I was doing what Mr. Scott told me to do. And the lawn still looked like a little league field in late August after 800 games have been played on it.

So, to make a long metaphor short… I tried a different fertilizer to help my lawn grow.

This time it was a 16-16-16 blend.

Same Techniques. Different Fertilizer.

So, I took that big ‘ol sack of triple 16 and fertilized the heck out of the lawn.


The lawn is now green, lush, less maintenance, takes less water, and ready for our 7 month old girl to play on it this summer.

Have You Tried Changing Your Fertilizer?

Just like with your lawn… there are a ton of different options on things to help you grow your business.

Heck, here are just a few…

  • Email marketing
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Social media
  • Person to person sales
  • Pay per click
  • Media buying
  • Joint ventures
  • Focusing on the *right* parts of your business
  • … there’s a bagillion more.

If your business isn’t growing as fast as you’d like or just is falling flat… make sure your business is of course isn’t killing itself from the inside out from bad people on the bus, poor systems, poor products, etc… but then look at the ways you’re relying on to feed the growth of your business.

If the “fertilizer” (marketing)  you’re pouring on your business isn’t producing the green you want… try something else.

Sticking with the wrong fertilizer almost killed my lawn.  Sticking with the wrong marketing can kill your business.

Here in the next month or two I’ll be diving into some of the “fertilizer” we’re using in my companies to grow with no extra effort.

So that way you can pick and choose things to test and see what works best to put the most green in your pocket (while at the same time giving your customers and partners an awesome place to frolic around on 🙂

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