June 15, 2013
Lindsay Drake Nightingale
Lindsay Drake Nightingale

By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartHear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Breaking the barrier between you and the financial health of your business starts with Prosperity Partners.

With almost 500 member companies engaging and benefiting from using the Prosperity Partners concept and language in their businesses, a common factor exists among our industry’s community of business owners. We will lean away from all things financial at every possible opportunity.

A common challenge with business entrepreneurs who are talented at the technical skills on which their businesses are based, is they never seem to make enough money. Time and time again, with hundreds of business owners, I hear the same story. Sound familiar to you?

Well, here’s an epiphany: If you’re aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it with huge accuracy.

If you don’t manage the math of your business, it will manage you. Profit doesn’t grow on trees (pun intended), so stop looking for it there. I can safely say after working with close to 1,000 business owners over the past eight years, that upwards of 95 per cent absolutely lean away from the numbers of their business, until the numbers back them into a corner.

For this month’s article I interviewed Lindsay Drake Nightingale, owner of Yorkshire Garden Services serving the GTA. Lindsay hit the nail on the head when it comes to shifting your thinking as an owner/manager about getting the math of your business. She seized the opportunity to use a simple mode that Prosperity Partners presented. It was relatively painless, and has taken her business and her lifestyle to a whole new level. I’m proud for her results. It speaks greatly to the benefits of being engaged in the LO community of peers, expertise and the Prosperity Partners concept. Here’s our interview conversation.

Jacki: How has Prosperity language helped you be intentional about how you run your business?
Lindsay: I tend to refer back to the Pillars (Professional Operations, Sales Success, Financial Health, Leadership, Customer Relations) much more frequently in my day-to-day business activities.

Jacki: Can you give me an example of the type of questions you ask yourself, as a result of the Prosperity Partners’ tools?
Lindsay: How can I be more efficient? How does this potential client meet my company’s core values and vice versa? How can I encourage my potential client to become a Customer for Life? In what ways can I thank my referring sources to make them Customers for Life, too? How can I serve this client/customer better? What would make me a better leader to my employees?

Jacki: How does what you’ve learned through the Prosperity Partners program help to rejuvenate your interest and passion, and keep you engaged?
Lindsay: The biggest element is that the program encouraged me to tighten up on all of my best practices...by becoming more organized. I stopped fretting about the small stuff which allowed me to look at the bigger picture. My vision cleared, which has allowed for the creation of a company vision.

Jacki: What is it about being involved with your Chapter that helps you in your business and/or maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
Lindsay: I have truly loved being on the board of the Toronto Chapter. The networking opportunities are terrific. I have a strong network of colleagues who I am able to call upon with questions, referrals, support. Relieving my mind of the unknown business things by utilizing my fellow board members, and in turn other Chapter members, has made growing the business a great deal more enjoyable. This in turns gives me more freedom at home.

Jacki: What does being involved with your Chapter’s governance do to enhance your career and interests?
Lindsay: My involvement with Toronto Chapter’s governance allowed me to learn about business. We all come to the table with different perspectives. I try to glean as much information from others in order to help me run my business more smoothly and efficiently. Also, the Chapter’s community involvement events have renewed my passion for grassroots volunteering, so I am now involved in volunteer opportunities within my small town.

Jacki: What specifically has the Prosperity Partners program done to help you most recently with your business and work-life balance?  
Lindsay: Most important is adhering to the Best Practices of all five pillars, but more specifically around Financial Health. The other four pillars can be a cakewalk for me compared to Financial Health. Once I follow the best practices checklist, the whole financial process becomes a whole lot less stressful.

Jacki: Can you give me an example?
Lindsay: I have a wonderful accountant and a fantastic bookkeeper, BUT it is still my business to make it succeed. NOW I make a concerted effort to understand my cash flow, my receivables, staff wages, etc., and how they all greatly influence the future of YGS.

Jacki: If you could start your business all over again, would you include the Prosperity Partners program in your learning and business development plan?
Lindsay: Absolutely. I think the Prosperity Partners program is crucial in the development of every young business. Knowledge up front sure makes the road easier to travel.

Jacki: Going forward, will you continue to engage in the Landscape Ontario Chapter community, and if so, why?
Lindsay: Currently, I am past president of the Chapter. It is a nice place to be after multiple years of involvement. I look forward to continuing my involvement within the Landscape Ontario community. Right now, I’m examining a couple of different opportunities at the sector level.

Jacki Hart may be contacted at prosperity@landscapeontario.com.