Close your eyes and think with me for a moment. You are hungry and standing at the bottom of an apple tree. Are you going to leave the apple tree to go look for a ladder? Of course not. Instead, you will simply and conveniently pick the low-hanging fruit, those apples that are the easiest to grab.

Be careful with overusing this approach in your business. We might be spending so much time picking low-hanging fruit in our business that we no longer focus on the high-level, more profitable fruit. Why do we do this? Because it’s easier; it’s comfortable.

Many producers (and companies, too) stay in a certain market because they don’t feel they’re worth more. But take courage and stretch! Upwards! Higher!

Don’t get confused. I am not saying that you shouldn’t pick any of the low-hanging fruit. I am saying that as you pick the low-hanging fruit, keep the ladder handy for other opportunities. Don’t get lazy. Remember that picking low-hanging fruit is a complacent, low-energy, passive activity. Picking high-ladder fruit is a strategic, high-energy, proactive activity.

The low-hanging fruit will not always be readily available. To prevent large slumps, another diversified strategy must be implemented that will allow you to bring in revenue and use sales volume from a different source.

Consider identifying a niche market in your area. Choose one that is either not being served at all or one that is being served by a competitor whose efforts you know you can improve upon.

Consider assigning some of your team members to picking the low-hanging fruit. Others may be specialized and held accountable to focus on harvesting “high fruit.” If I spoke to all your team members separately, would they all clearly know who is responsible for what? That kind of clarity is a big part of gaining team focus. To sustain growth, your business model will need to have that type of balance and agility.

Remember the Titanic. You remember that huge boat that no one ever thought would sink. Well, it sunk. What sank the Titanic was not the ice they could see. It was the ice that they could not see, the ice they didn’t anticipate or plan for. So many people died that day because they did not have enough ladders to get into the rescue boats. Plan to have your ladder with you and available at all times in your business. You and your company will die if you do not have other sustainable alternatives.

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