June 2, 2023
Joe SalemiThe work you do plays a vital role in society by creating beautiful outdoor spaces that enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of our communities. However, operating a landscaping business, nursery, garden centre or landscape supply business can be a daunting task — especially in a fiercely competitive market. Layering in tougher economic conditions with higher lending rates makes generating new business increasingly difficult.

Leaning on your peers can help you stay informed, motivated and connected with your industry, and contribute to your success. Associations (think Landscape Ontario) are a valuable resource to facilitate those connections. Landscape Ontario especially encourages personal and professional development, support and motivation, networking and collaboration opportunities, and the exchange of knowledge and expertise. We do this through our sector groups, chapters, events like Landscape Ontario Congress, and through the LO Peer to Peer Network. Connecting with your peers can provide several benefits for your small business, including:

Exchange of knowledge and expertise: Industry peers can offer valuable insights and expertise from their own experiences that can help you learn and grow. They can share best practices, lessons learned, and provide guidance you may not have discovered on your own.

Networking and collaboration opportunities: Building relationships with peers in your industry can open up opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, and even job prospects. It can also help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and advancements.

Support and motivation: Industry peers can provide emotional support and motivation during challenging times. They can understand and relate to the challenges you face and offer encouragement and advice.

Personal and professional development: Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, you can improve your skills and knowledge, which can ultimately lead to personal and professional growth.

How to connect with your peers through Landscape Ontario:

Engage and participate in our sector groups
Landscape Ontario has 10 different sector groups. Think of each one as a specific peer group where you work on initiatives to advance your specific sector, share your challenges, offer advice, and learn from each other.

Attend Landscape Ontario Congress
Trade shows provide opportunities to meet with vendors, learn about new products and technologies, and network with others in your industry. Landscape Ontario Congress is the homecoming for the entire landscape trades in Ontario (and beyond). It’s an opportunity to connect with your people!

Attend a local chapter meeting
Landscape Ontario has nine chapters across the province that offer meaningful networking opportunities to connect with your peers in your area. It’s a chance to talk about the challenges you are facing and an opportunity to get advice on solutions. We often see business relationships materialize as a result of peer connections made at chapter meetings.

Participate in online communities
Joining the conversation in online communities, such as industry forums or social media groups, can also be an effective way to connect with your peers. These communities provide opportunities to share information, ask questions, and build relationships with others in your industry. Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network offers this through their Facebook Group. As a member, you can access this community and engage in conversations focused on helping out your fellow landscape peers.

Connecting with your peers is an essential part of running a successful small business. By learning from others, building relationships, and staying informed about industry trends, you can overcome challenges and achieve success. Joining industry associations like Landscape Ontario, attending trade shows, participating in online communities, and collaborating on projects, are all excellent ways to connect with your peers. By taking these steps, you can build a strong network of peers that can help you grow your business and excel in a highly competitive industry.
Joe Salemi CAE
LO Executive Director