Road To Success
May 4, 2021
Garden centre evolution
To some, a garden centre is a retail operation that has been with us forever and a day. Not true.
Feb 1, 2021
Treat triumph and disaster just the same
We have no certainties as to where and when the Covid-19 pandemic will diminish.
Dec 1, 2020
The price is right — sometimes
Like many of us, I started out as a one-man band working from my kitchen table, answering the home telephone and storing what little equipment I had in the garage.
Oct 3, 2020
Things change. But not the basics.
I wrote in this column a few years ago about how I learned many retail lessons as a high school student working at The Bay.
Sep 1, 2020
The good ones thrive
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, there was a building boom in my area.
Aug 1, 2020
May you live in interesting times
Interesting times: A blessing, that you have the excitement of an ever changing landscape, or a curse, that you no longer experience stability?
Apr 1, 2020
Employees: Our true asset
Those who treat their employees with the greatest of value are the most successful members of our trade.
Mar 2, 2020
Conferences are illuminating
Conferences find new and young entrepreneurs struggling with similar issues that when we look answers, we find we are well on the road to success.
Feb 4, 2020
Swing for the fences
Retailers become successful by adjusting to the next pitch and taking chances to offer customers what's new and exciting.
Dec 2, 2019
Collecting debts: Life is not always easy
This month's column is about collecting monies owed.
Nov 1, 2019
What are we, the greenhouse, garden centre and landscape companies, doing to create a showtime experience for our customers?
Oct 1, 2019
The million-dollar smile
A big smile turns us into better customers, and better customers not only spend more, they are loyal as well.
Sep 1, 2019
Close the sale
Learning to be a better closer means listening to what customers are asking, then meeting their needs.
Aug 1, 2019
Stories from the front lines
Well run, well displayed and well stocked garden centres and greenhouses are successful.
Apr 1, 2019
The time machine
Being at our best with customer service, keeps us on the road to success
Mar 1, 2019
When times get tough
It takes real talent to offer quality, selection and service in a retail garden centre.
Feb 1, 2019
Winning the game: Wow
Our garden centres, greenhouses, supply yards and shops need to be destinations. We have to give people a reason to stop into our places of business.
Jan 14, 2019
Taking care of ourselves
We take care of people, we take care of plants and more. There is no shortage to the things that we oversee, supervise, manage and take care of. It is in our nature. It is who we are.
Nov 1, 2018
Emotionally charged business
The more we tap into emotional selling, the more successful we can be in our careers.
Oct 17, 2018
Manager of guest expectations
Managing experiences and expectations of customers keeps businesses on the road to success.
Oct 4, 2018
Young people and our trade
It is our responsibility to teach and pass along our skills and knowledge to our children.
Sep 4, 2018
Sometimes we play hurt
Learning to stay positive, even when things don't seem fair, and to make the best out of what life has to offer.
Jun 13, 2018
The value of time management
Smart time management increases productivity, financial success and personal serenity.
May 2, 2018
Successful people see themselves not as risk takers but as opportunity explorers, prepared to learn from their mistakes
Jan 9, 2018
Protect yourself at all times
If we do not protect ourselves from incoming blows, then who will? Consumers have protection laws and The Better Business Bureau, as well as the courts.
Jan 9, 2018
Clean up your act
Cleanliness in a retail operation reduces stress, saves time and makes money for your business.
Jan 1, 2018
Cut from the same cloth
Many of us from the green trades, are cut from the same entrepreneurs’ cloth which helps us on the road to success.
Sep 27, 2017
The spring round: Change and staying the same
Customers have higher standards expectations from independent retail garden centres
Jul 31, 2017
Value is subjective
Value is determined by the willingness of a buyer to pay a certain price, and only that price.
Apr 24, 2017
Can we see the future?
Future success for garden centres will be those that offer exclusive or hard-to-find products along with a continued good service to their customers.
Feb 27, 2017
O Canada: To be Canadian
I am Canadian. I love being a Canadian. I am proud to be Canadian.
Jan 17, 2017
Heroes, everyday people, faith during slow times
When I was young, just starting out in business, I heard that business people who were active in charities and volunteer activities did so for tax reasons and to enhance their business.
Nov 10, 2016
Keep it simple
Rod MacDonald explains why in sales, like so many aspects of life, "keeping it simple" is a useful mantra.
Sep 28, 2016
Service improves sales - September 2016 Landscape Trades
You've heard of ABC (Always Be Closing); try ABB (Always Be Building) - lifelong relationships with customers.
Aug 29, 2016
Still room for us independents
The story I am about to tell has very little to do with the following column, except to remind us of our ABCs, Always Be Closing.
Jun 1, 2016
We need each other
We all have a strong need to share with others, particularly those who have a real understanding of our individual situation.
Apr 6, 2016
Potholes and pitfalls
Rod McDonald draws on his years of experience in garden centre retailing to help others avoid setbacks, and stay on the road to success.
Oct 1, 2014
How to be an entrepreneur
Tips to be successful and to help avoid becoming one of those bankruptcy statistics.
Sep 1, 2014
Are you an entrepreneur?
Running your own company is not easy but are you the right kind of person for the job?
Apr 1, 2014
The price of arrogance
Of all the sins that we can possess, arrogance is the most expensive.
Mar 1, 2014
Build a blue chip clientele
The first rule of business is: Know who you are doing business with.
Nov 29, 2013
Gossip and mythology
The more successful you become, the more people will gossip about you
Aug 1, 2013
Goals chart the road to success
Goals keep us focused. Goals ensure that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Goals remind us that we cannot be all things to all people.
Jun 1, 2013
Listening: On the Road to Success
Customers will tell us what they really want to buy, if we take the time to listen.
May 9, 2013
Price it right
Determine the real cost of business, then determine your price to ensure a profit.
Mar 1, 2013
Old school service, exceptional retailing
Even with changes in business of web pages and an online presence, old-school retailing still works.
Nov 30, 2012
Media Savvy on the Road to Success
How do you sell to someone who has been surfing the web and wishes to garden or landscape based on the information they found online?
Nov 1, 2012
Planning for Success
Planning is in your best interest and will keep you on the road to success.
Sep 1, 2012
No shortcuts on the road to success
Quality workmanship and products support ethical behavior for business success.
Jul 31, 2012
Where have all the young ones gone
In young landscapers minds, plants have become an afterthought.
Jun 1, 2012
Community ties and relationship building
Building your community ties, along with building your business, expands your opportunities.
May 1, 2012
Ask, and you will receive
The best way to learn to become a successful entrepreneur is to talk with successful entrepreneurs in your own community.
Apr 1, 2012
Organization is the path to success
If we are not organized, we will not be in a position to harvest the twenty-dollar bills when they are offered.
Jan 1, 2012
Math is not sexy
For those who are tempted to stop reading, you need to address this issue.
Sep 1, 2011
Your profile: No time off!
When we own our own businesses, as far as the public is concerned, we must always be responsible for our behavior.
Jul 15, 2011
Win them over with service
Garden centres, greenhouses and contractors that provide what the customer wants will be successful.
Jun 1, 2011
A young person starting out in business does well, then flounders and disappears. What happened?
May 1, 2011
Rejection: A part of success
If we never experience rejection, it is because we never take a chance.