September 15, 2013
By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartMy plan for the column this year was to interview various Prosperity Partners business owners who are involved and engaged in LO governance. I was hoping they could share their experience with our readers.

The plan worked for the first half of the year, until those who procrastinated answering my questionnaire became too busy to take time out to reply. I decided to follow up (actually beg) on the phone. From seven different owners, I got the same excuse: “We have so many projects on the go, each smaller — so it drastically increases logistics, moving parts, set-up and site detailing,” so they are running faster than ever.

I can honestly say that in my business, this too has become the norm. We’ve had to change the way information and scope details flow through from sales and customer interactions, contract details, etc., in order to adapt to the new reality of multi-phased and smaller projects.

It’s really important when you look at the Professional Operations and Sales Success systems in your business to realize that you constantly have to adapt to market conditions and the purchasing style of your clientele. Even on large projects, the market is more price competitive than perhaps five years ago. Now those projects must be managed on the fly and more closely monitored for job costs, especially production rates.

I was talking to one of my growers the other day, and asked him the same question, “How has the change in buying patterns affected your business?” Essentially it’s the same answer — a more discerning buyer, looking for more competitive pricing, perhaps shipping smaller orders direct to site, etc.

My curiosity piqued, I called a couple more growers I deal with, and their answers were essentially the same. The moving parts in their business have increased, overhead has to stay in check, focus must remain on the quality of the product going out the gate, and downward pressure on shipping costs is crippling.

I thought about other sectors, so called my irrigation, lighting and arborist specialists. Same answer essentially — a need for more effectiveness, higher efficiency, better production rates, while paying close attention to quality.
While it’s nice to know we’re essentially in the same boat, this leaves all of us somewhat adrift with a fix for what’s not working any more in our business, and how to adapt to something we can’t see.

All of this comes into laser focus for me right now, while I’m in the midst of planning the next steps for the Effective Management Short Course this winter.

When thinking about the challenges many are having in navigating a path to adapt to what is the new business reality, I reviewed the short course content. I’m happy to say, it is absolutely bang-on with providing next level tools for Prosperity Partners trained business owners.

We will be offering the Effective Management Short Course again on Warm Up Monday at the start of Congress 2014. In addition, at Garden Expo next month, we are inviting the Short Course participants from last January for their much-anticipated follow-up session and provide them info for the new LO Leaders Peer Group opportunity.

Watch for more details on the Effective Management Short Course in my upcoming columns, and your inbox. Keep up with the times, and keep moving forward on your journey to Prosperity with us.
Jacki Hart may be contacted at