Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
For your reading pleasure, here’s our latest collection of interesting stuff from the web. Have a great weekend!
- The richest metro areas in the United States.
- Top social media trends of 2013.
- Great training opportunity on tap in Colorado from L&L columnist Jim Huston.
- The latest edition of MOWmentum is live! Get it for iOS and Android tablets today.
- Learn how to best use local search.
- 5 invasive plants you can eat. (via Bates Nursery)
- Pantone releases its official color of 2013.
- Above: Bill and Ed discuss the foundation of a plan for profit.
If you’re not in Louisville now for the GIC and GIE+EXPO (which start today), you can follow along with us throughout the week.
We’ll be sending out e-newsletter round-ups to readers starting tomorrow. They’ll have the latest product introductions, news from the show and the editors’ commentary. Watch your inbox for those.
Our great contributing editor Kristen Hampshire put together some strategies for contractors to get the most out of a conference or trade show after they get back home. After all, a few days out of the office is nice and all, but the idea of heading to a national or regional event is to bring back some knowledge or tactics or ideas that you can actually use in your company.
So, as the industry gears up for the trade show season, here are some of those ideas:
Conferences, trade shows and small-group meetings with industry peers can become a huge brain dump. You’ll take notes on more ideas than you can count. With your motivation and mojo for the business completely stoked, you head back to the office – and deal with the daily fires.
Sound familiar? All of those great ideas are filed away for “later.” The problem is, that time to implement never comes. John Rennels, president, A Plus Lawn and Landscaping, knows the feeling. “You get bombarded with ideas,” he says. “Your list is so overwhelming that you do nothing.”
There’s a constructive way to deal with that list of 50 things so you actually take action on ideas that will better your business. “Boil your ideas down to three or five action items,” Rennels suggests as a starter. “Work through them one at a time.”
Prioritize the ideas. Go through your notes and decide which ideas could be implemented in the short-term, and which are more visionary, long-term concepts. From there, choose a few ideas you’d like to implement right away.
Ask for feedback. Consult with trusted advisers, whether industry peers or an informal board – talk to your banker, accountant, fellow managers. Gather their input on the priorities you selected. How feasible are they to implement? What must be done to take action? “Evaluate those ideas and decide which ones will have the biggest impact right now,” Rennels says.
Set some deadlines. By sharing your ideas with others, you create a system of accountability. Ask those individuals to hold you to your promise to implement the ideas, and set a timeline. “Perhaps you meet with them regularly in person or over the phone to discuss your progress,” Rennels says.
Watch for your November issue in the next couple of weeks to learn more about how Rennels and other contractors make the most of their time away from their companies.
We’re proud to say that we knew Chris Couri back when. The landscaper-turned-parking lot painter was featured recently in Businessweek.
While Couri admits that painting lines isn’t “rocket science,” he claims to bring a level of professionalism and organization to an industry sorely lacking in both. As co-owner of a landscaping operation in Connecticut, he had “horrible experiences with line painters.” He soon proposed a new business venture to his landscaping partners, Daniel Rella and Tom Darrow. “One of the things that attracted us about line painting was that it’s largely off the radar,” he says. “There’s virtually no competition. Everybody knows that parking lots have lines, but nobody knows how they get there. There’s no premier provider.”
Check him out now that he’s a “Picasso of parking lots.”
Regardless of your service mix, water has an impact on your business. And, in a world of weirder weather, increasingly tight supplies and even tighter regulations, water is one of the most important resources for anyone in the green industry.
So, to help our readers stay on top of the issue, we’ve brought on the very talented Richard Restuccia, Martha Golea and Alan Harris – all contributors to the must-read ValleyCrest Takes On. Based in San Diego, Phoenix and Atlanta, respectively, our three latest contributors will address the most important and pressing issues pertaining to water for the average landscape contractor.
I’m excited to work with these three writers, and proud to bring them to the L&L readers. Stay tuned for your October issue (hitting newsstands soon!) for Richard’s inaugural piece on the future of water, and what landscape contractors need to do now to make sure they’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to increasing regulations. In November, Alan will discuss the seven reasons people hate irrigation systems.
But, if you can’t wait for the mail, you have a few chances to see us in real life.
This week, the team is on the road at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, where they’re discussing best practices on social media. If you can’t make it out west, we’ll all be at the IA Show in Orlando in early November and you can catch us there.
Most crews take down trees because they’re diseased or infested. These guys in L.A. are taking down more than 400 so the decommissioned space shuttle Endeavour can make it to it’s final resting place.
Space shuttle Endeavour’s final 12-mile journey through the streets of South Los Angeles already promises to be a meticulously planned spectacle: a two-day parade, an overnight slumber party in Inglewood and enough hoopla to create a giant traffic mess.
But for some residents in South L.A., the excitement of the shuttle rumbling through their neighborhoods quickly faded when they learned that 400 trees will be chopped down to make room for the behemoth.
The California Science Center — Endeavour’s final home — has agreed to replant twice as many trees along the route from the shuttle’s docking place at Los Angeles International Airport to Exposition Park.
But that’s not enough to satisfy some tree lovers.
I’m in Fargo to try out some Bobcat equipment. But in between digging holes and working in the forest, I had a chance to speak with Mike Fitzgerald,a product specialist with the company, about Interim Tier IV. Here’s a tip on what you need to do to be ready.
“Something they will want to pay attention to is making sure they have clean fuels for the machine. We’ve always recommended having clean fuels, but today with these electronically injected engines, we want to make sure they have filters on their transfer tank either in the pickup or on their trailer where they are moving that to get clean fuel into the machine. We have a finer filtering fuel filter on this machine, so it makes sure the particles don’t get into the engine. Again. if you put clean fuel into that then you don’t have to worry about plugging that filter at a premature time frame.”
Stay tuned to future issues of L&L to find out what else you can expect from these changes.
No matter where you stand on the remarks Chick-fil-A’s CEO made recently about marriage, it’s a fair statement that the company’s employees provide great customer service. Example A, the way this drive-thru attendee handled this encounter. Completely professional, and never once became confrontational. There are two lessons here.
- What you say and do as a business owner trickles down to your employees, even if they had nothing to do with your statements.
- Your employees deal with customers a lot, and it only takes one unhappy customer and an employee having a bad day to create a volatile situation. Imagine if the employee would have thrown the water in his face. This story would have played out completely differently in the media. So make sure your employees know how to handle unhappy customers and prep them if you know they are going to get complaints out on a job.
The folks who make up the Colorado association – both on the administrative side and the member companies – are top notch.
Congrats, again, to ALCC on 50 years.