If you own a small business, even a landscaping business, you’re going to do a lot of writing. Web copy, blogs, articles. We often write more than we think we will, and as a result, our writing comes out rushed. Technique gets shouldered aside. But we promise you, if you keep reading, you’ll come away with some simple strategies to make your writing much more effective.
Believe it or not, we spend a lot of time reading. While leisure reading of books is falling, think about how much time we spend on our phones throughout the day, and what we’re doing with our eyes as we’re scrolling around our screens.
That’s right. We’re reading.
It might not be War and Peace, but we’re reading nonetheless. Over time, we develop a natural ability to differentiate between good and bad writing.
We might not think about it, but we are picky, demanding readers. We don’t waste time reading things that are preachy or poorly...
You know you do great work. Your customers know you do great work. So why isn’t your shelf weighted down by engraved gold trophies and awards shaped like embossed glass shark fins?
In landscaping, as with most industries, awards don’t chase you down, you have to be proactive. To go out and get them. That’s how the Grammys work. The Oscars too. If you want one, you’re going to have to do a bit of campaigning.
Luckily, there are TONS of local and national landscaping awards you can apply for, competitions you can enter that play to your strengths. And awards you win come with benefits that go beyond the hardware.
Awards give you an edge over your competition. They provide a well-deserved pat on the back to the employees who work so hard. They congratulate property owners on their creative ideas and YOU for bringing them to life.
Hey, it’s okay to want awards. Winning feels good!
So how do you find competitions to enter?...
Dennis Evans came of age in the landscaping industry. When he was young, he found that he enjoyed the outdoor ‘chores’ his parents gave him. Mowing, weeding, minor landscaping projects- it wasn’t a bad way to spend the day.
Soon, Dennis had transformed his parents’ yard into the best on the block, and neighbors began to notice. They came to him asking for help with their own lawns and gardens, and in 2001, Dennis started a landscaping company.
Quiet Village built its reputation from the ground up. It expanded slowly into more complicated projects. Hardscaping, garden installation, functional landscaping projects. Dennis’s little company became like those trees he planted in his parents’ yard. It just kept on growing.
Since his company’s growth happened in such an organic way, Dennis found that many of his clients were asking for the same things. They knew Quiet Village had a reputation for landscape design and...
A friend of mine is in the fitness industry and recently he hired a sales coach to help develop processes for new salespeople.
Being the nosey girl that I am, I asked to see some of their notes, hoping to find a nugget that I could apply to the green industry.
One video I stumbled across was about how to increase call volume. The coach suggested sitting next to a new salesperson for one hour of the day with a list of names and phone numbers. Then just listen to their calls, offer zero feedback, and make a tally every time they complete a call.
The idea here is that since the boss is right there and there are no distractions, they are going to be focused really hard in making calls.
Once the hour is up, the next step is to use this as a benchmark.
Say, “Okay Brad, you made 50 calls in one hour and scheduled 16 appointments. That means hypothetically you could be scheduling 100 appointments in an 8 hour day. I know...
Grab your coffee & sit back to enjoy this month's top picks from yours truly!
Summary: New in May, Gmail gives us features we've needed but perhaps didn't know we needed, all in one update - including snoozing, self-destructing emails and Google tasks in your inbox.
My take: At first, I couldn't wait to turn on my new Gmail interface. But after using it for 2 days, I turned it back off. The new features are appealing, but I'm not comfortable yet with the new look. Anyone else having more success?
Summary: Every once in a while, you’ve got to clean up the parts of your marketing program that don’t regularly get your attention. In the everyday hustle, this stuff can easily get neglected.
Why I picked...
For over 30 years, employers throughout the United States have utilized the government issued H-2B program. As seasonal businesses, this temporary work visa program fixed a problem of finding enthusiastic workers who are able to work according to weather constraints and/or periods of increased demand.
The success of the program quickly caught on and hundreds of employers were benefiting from employing legal immigrant workers during the active growing season; later waving goodbye as they went home to spend time with their families while our work was slow.
At its peak in 2008, nearly 95,000 visas were issued from the Department of Homeland Security.
But, whether we saw it or not, the H2B program came with a cost.
And not just following the intricate job posting rules, or jumping through legal hoops in a timely fashion, or paying fees that increased each year.
The biggest cost, was that without realizing it, we abandoned all...
Jerry Schill is the owner of Schill Landscape Management a full-service Landscape Maintenance and Snow and Ice removal contractor providing services to Commercial, Industrial, Apartment, Retail, and HOA across Northern Ohio.
He’s a mover & shaker in the Green Industry and this winter, Jerry’s top priority is successfully moving into his new location. They have 2 big branches and 2 satellite locations. The new office will be the largest branch for the team.
He laughingly admits he “over-did it” as he told me about how the ½ acre building is jam packed with a huge formal meeting room, a training center addition, full kitchen, and a robust fenced-in parking lot.
They found, purchased and closed on the property all within 30 days. Like you, I was wondering how he’s keeping his head on straight.
“We’re blessed to have our...
I've grown up in the lawn care and landscaping industry my whole life, and nothing excites me more than seeing our company grow along with others like us who are living out the American Dream.
The best way that I have found to stay current, is to talk to people within the industry and see what trends they've noticed on the horizon.
Here you’ll find a collection of ideas from thought leaders around North America on what they believe are going to be the biggest trends we see in lawn care, landscaping and small businesses in 2017.
Robust Water Management and Water Reclamation Efforts
Reduced water usage and water reclamation is growing in popularity especially in Vista California where Heaviland Landscape Management President, Tom Heaviland is located.
Here’s what Tom said about the topic, “California’s current drought is being billed as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. We are currently entering our...
FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, OUR FAMILY-OWNED COMPANY HAS APPLIED FOR OVER 40 WORKERS TO TRAVEL FROM TAMAULIPAS, MEXICO TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI ON TEMPORARY 9 MONTH WORK VISAS TO PERFORM LAWN CARE AND LANDSCAPING SERVICES FOR OUR CLIENTS.
Over the winter we jump through a few government hoops, pay a bunch of fees, send out renewals to our clients, plow for a few snow events, and vacation in the tropics with NALP. When spring time comes, the Mexican employees arrive and it’s off to the races! We get busy completing massive amounts of work and clients are happy. It requires minimal quality oversight because the same men have been coming each year and know our properties and training. We throw a goodbye party in November to say thank you and then the cycle repeats itself.
For 20 years this process has repeated and our company has grown and experienced huge successes serving nearly 1,000 clients. Until 2015.
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