March 15, 2014
By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners program manager

Jacki HartAs I write this, yet another storm is bearing down on most parts of Ontario — another point on the scoreboard for Mother Nature, and an audible long sigh from our members.
Even the groundhogs agree spring will very likely elude us through most of March this year. I’m pretty sure that where my business operates, in Muskoka, we won’t be breaking any records for an early start.

March is always a bittersweet month for most in our industry. By now, we’ve looked back and evaluated the past year, made plans for improvement and changes going forward. I’m a bit surprised to report that even after 23 years in business, I’m never quite sure how everything will roll out, including sales, new staff, new training and new account management.

Getting ready for new season

After spending two weeks inhaling as much of the Olympic competition as I could, I feel a bit like the Olympic athletes heading toward the starting line. As I stare 2014 in the face with my business on the verge once again of leaping from 0 to 90 in the span of a week or two, I’m not sure the nerves will ever go away at this time of year. Like the athletes, I envision each upcoming milestone from the starting line. It’s a bittersweet combination of excitement and hope, mixed in with the nagging fear that the best laid plans can come unglued by the choices of others. And, like the athletes, I go for gold every year!

I hope that you, too, have taken the time this past winter to hone your budgets, expectations and skill. It’s easy to make changes if you have accurate numbers from which to guide decisions, but making them stick is an entirely different issue. It involves people, behaviour, consistency, efficiency, effectiveness and clear and timely communication.

The soft side of every business challenges all of us, regardless of sector, age or size of business. Managing the soft part of business is what Landscape Ontario’s new proposed Member to Member Peer Network will be all about.

The Prosperity Partners Team at LO continues to move forward by building a new peer network resource for you. It will be launched later this year. We’re at a point in determining how, when and what this new member network will look like. We need your input to guide us in making this new resource as relevant as possible.

Feedback from members

Based on the feedback from hundreds of our business owner and manager members, what we know is this:
  • You find huge value in meeting face-to-face with peers
  • You are encouraged when you hear peers faced with similar challenges as you
  • You benefit from sharing ideas, solutions and pitfall experiences
  • You find it lonely as an owner/manager, and appreciate peer support
  • You have a difficult time translating information from seminars into sustainable change at work
Here’s what we don’t know, and need input from you about:
  • In what ways would you most likely engage with peers on a regular basis?
  • Who would your best group of peer supporters include?
  • How often, and at what times of the year would you most likely want to receive and offer advice?
  • What issues/challenges do you see as unique to your sector?
  • What are the most likely topics you would want advice and information on to help solve your biggest challenges?
  • What are the benefits you gain most from face-to-face peer sessions/networking?
  • What are your long-term plans and sources for professional development?
I’m asking you to take a few minutes to go to this link, and complete the brief survey. We’re sincerely trying to build a better member to member resource for building your prosperity, and we need your input. Go to

For more info on the Prosperity Partners Program offerings this year, go to

With so much interest shown in a future Build Your Prosperity seminar, one has been scheduled for Mar. 19 at the LO home office in Milton, from 9 a.m. to 3:30. More information may be found at
Jacki Hart may be contacted at