October 15, 2014
By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartRemember last month I wrote about a young local baker who was striving to make a go of his branded product?

This month, in stark contrast, I’ve had two calls from seasoned veterans looking for advice. Both of these people have been in the green industry, running their own businesses for over 20 years. Both are staring down the few short weeks left of the season with less cash flow than they’ve had in years. Both are worried about cash flow for the winter ahead. Both are wondering why things are unravelling rather than getting smoother.

They’re not alone. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, running a business requires three key components: Technicians (people who know how to do or sell the company’s wares), Managers (people who know what needs to be done and when) and the Visionaries (people who know WHY you do what you do, where you fit in the marketplace, and where it’s headed).

These principles make up the core of two great business philosophies. One by Michael Gerber, The E-Myth (for landscape contractors) and the other by Simon Sinek, Start with WHY.

Both Sinek and Gerber’s philosophies are baked into our Prosperity Partners’ Build Your Prosperity Workshop, and our Effective Management Short Course. The gist of incorporating these two business principles, and others, into Prosperity Partners’ offerings, is as much to help new start up businesses get off on the right track, as it is to help mature businesses remain fluid, responsive and fully engaged in the current marketplace reality.

Having run my own business for 24 years, I know for sure that without the Prosperity Partners framework, I too would be staring into the mirror at stress lines, fatigue and wondering why things aren’t getting any easier.

Over the past five years, we have all felt the squeeze of changing consumer attitudes, continuous downward pressure on pricing, and steady increases in compliance costs, freight, fuel and insurance.

Whether your business is in start-up phase, growth, or is mature, the challenges are very similar: Connecting with Internet savvy and sophisticated consumers, finding ways to effectively manage communication in an email world, juggling the seemingly 24/7 expectation for you to be open for business, and finding some personal time. Sound familiar?

You’re in good company. After surveying dozens of members from all sectors and chapters, the Prosperity Partners team and the provincial board of directors have agreed to start a new Peer to Peer Network. We’re calling it You’re in Good Company. It’s about peers connecting to solve like concerns, using a sensible framework to launch discussions, problem solving sessions, and learning tools to help manage every aspect of your business.

Join us at the full day workshop launch and meet your peers face to face for a fun, effective networking day. Check the Congress Warm Up Monday schedule, coming soon for details to register.

Free prosperity tools

Prosperity Partners Best Practices Templates are available for download at horttrades.com/prosperitytemplates to help your business succeed.

Each template will assist you to implement the key principles of the program into your business culture. Many of the templates may easily be customized to adopt to your specific business needs.

Each month’s Prosperity Partners column in Landscape Ontario will highlight two or three templates from one of the five pillars of the program: Customers for Life, Financial Health, Leadership, Operational Excellence and Sales Success.

This month we bring you Financial Health.
sample templates

Jacki Hart may be reached at info.peertopeer@landscapeontario.com.