October 1, 2013
phil charalBy Phil Charal
LO president

A few weeks back, I had a business friend ask me why he should be a member of Landscape Ontario. I was really taken aback, because I have known him for a number of years, and always assumed he was a member.

He told me in no uncertain terms that there are lots of companies in our industry who are not members. I am always surprised to hear this, as it is so obvious to me that no matter if the company is big or small, there are enormous benefits to be a member of Landscape Ontario.

After making some inquiries, just to satisfy my own curiosity, I was amazed that even some LO members did not know the full scope of all the amazing benefits offered by their membership in this association.

It is fair to say that LO’s yearly dues are more than covered by the savings through endorsed supplier program. I don’t have enough space allotted to this column to go into great detail about all the suppliers offering great discounts. I speak from personal experience that every year my firm saves thousands of dollars off regular prices from these endorsed suppliers. Using any one of the suppliers would probably cover the cost of LO’s yearly dues.
But hopefully, most LO members don’t join just for the discounts.  

Each year I find more of our customers are aware of our great association, through www.landscapeontario.com referral service which many people use across Ontario. Firms should put great value on the LO referral service. Customers appreciate the fact that they can pick up the phone, and speak to someone, or get an online referral that directs them to a contractor who will deliver a quality product in their geographical region.

Landscape Ontario has an excellent board of directors who volunteer their time and are committed to making this association the best it can be. I am consistently amazed at all the the great work by our members, not just for their customers, but within their association and community. The list is endless.

Every LO member should understand that regardless of the sector they work in, they have someone who represents them in important industry and business discussions and decisions relevant to their business.

I recommend that you get involved in your chapter or sector group. They are always looking for people who want to become engaged in the goings-on of this industry that we love and want to improve. You will be surprised at how much you will learn about your business, while meeting and networking with professional people, who will improve your understanding and help make and save your business money. Your company will be better managed and you become a more productive person.

I told my business friend after a few minutes of describing the monetary benefits of LO membership, that by becoming engaged and involved in the association, it will become more relevant to him, and soon reveal the real benefits of LO membership. Ask anyone who has been involved with LO on a Chapter, Sector or Board level. LO is involved in almost every aspect of business development, including apprenticeships, conferences, trade shows, incredible educational seminars, safety courses and connections to all business resources and services. Our Awards of Excellence program recognizes and inspires all sectors. All LO companies receive support in every imaginable scenario.

In closing I want to emphasize that if you become engaged with your association, you will find the real benefits of being a LO member. Don’t miss a great opportunity to improve yourself and your business.