Spring isn’t technically here yet, but we’ve made it through the longest shortest month, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. This week I’ve brought you a solid reading list, a video to share with your friends and a great post on marketing.
- Lead gen tips for your sales team.
- Jim McCutcheon explains that you can make real money as a landscaper. (via Chris Heiler)
- Late winter reading list from Marty.
- Medieval flower clock.
- Rainscaping is growing more popular out east.
- Marketing means answering this question: Who do we want to change?
- Learn more about how to figure that out in our Grow the Market report.
- Above: Some pre-spring blooms to get you through the rest of winter.
Football’s a long way off, opening day still feels like it won’t ever get here and this hockey season is just weird.
So how to get a sports fix in the depth of winter?
Two words: Fantasy timbersports.
You get all the fun of following a team and watching them compete without being hampered by any knowledge about the sport. It’s a win-win!
Good news today from the big boxes. Home Depot reported fourth-quarter sales up 32% thanks to a revival in the nation’s housing market:
Home Depot, like its peers, has been benefiting from recent improvements in the housing market. The broad revival has made the retailer a popular choice with investors, pushing the stock up 36% in the past 12 months.
“We ended the year with a strong performance as our business benefited from a continued recovery in the housing market coupled with sales related to repairs in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said on Tuesday.
The boys in blue are up, too:
Lowe’s chief executive, Robert A. Niblock, said the company was seeing a pickup in spending even in areas of the country hit hardest by the housing slump, like Florida, Arizona and California.
“Rising home values have given homeowners additional confidence in spending on their homes,” Mr. Niblock said in an interview.
I’m not an economist, but these numbers are consistent with what I’ve been hearing from landscape contractors around the country: Business is picking up again, if slowly, and consumers are starting to spend again.
Some pricing information, business strategy and how to use your extra leaf blowers to make high art. Have a great weekend.
- Find out what customers will pay.
- How to say no.
- Terrible social media advice. (via Chris Heiler)
- Sometimes you have to disappear to run your business better.
- The mother of all terraria.
- Above: Leaf blower portraits.
Great post this week from Jim McCutcheon at his blog:
I am not running a company; I am building a business.
How many business owners can truthfully say this? I am proud to say I can. It has not always been this way but it has always been a goal. The moves I have made over the years have gotten me to this point. This is a critical step in building an enduring enterprise.
I believe that business owners must have a personal vision and a vision for their business. And it goes without saying that they must be aligned.
The personal vision starts with deciding what kind of company you want to build. In my mind there are two kinds: the lifestyle business and the enduring enterprise.
Click here to read up on both kinds, and why you can only have one.
When I was at GROW! earlier this month, Marty shared his client grading system.
It’s a simple, three-step process that helps you vet any prospective customer (and anyone currently on your client rolls).
- Do we enjoy working with them? “I don’t want to make money off someone if they treat my team like dirt,” Grunder says. “At a certain point you have to show your team that it’s not just about the money.”
- Do we make money? “Figure it out. Either raise your prices or refer that client to another company,” he says.”
- Does it lead to more work?
These are If you don’t have a system in place to pre-qualify your potential customers, give this one a shot.
We are trying to get our March issue out the door. This song plays on a constant loop in my head until it’s done.
Making a million is quite a achievement in the industry. We’ll feature a piece in our March issue about how exactly hit that goal. In the meantime, check out what Dave Fairburn, president, and Andrew Pelky vice president of NP Holdings, an outdoor property services company in New England, said about making the mark.
The achievement “gave us a point where we could breathe,” Fairburn said However, “we simply reached a benchmark which will lead to others” He said it’s not an end mark. It simply gives the company a moment to pause, reorganize, and plan our next steps.
“I processed it, and I haven’t really thought about it again until your magazine has asked us this question,”Pelkey said. “What this is really about, is that we are on this planet for only 80 or 90 years. It’s what we do to exercise our minds for that time to feel fulfilled. This is not to understate the value of a million dollars; it is just to value the million dollars in terms of life.”
Some good insight about reaching a goal, but not settling for it.
For those of us who didn’t have to live through it, these time lapse videos give an idea of how bad NEMO was. That snow just keeps piling up.
In honor of Valentine’s day, here’s a love song about a confused man.