January 15, 2018
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartWelcome to 2018! A fresh, new year with fresh, new ideas. Fresh, new opportunities to improve your business results lie ahead for you…

The Landscape Ontario Prosperity Partners program was started 12 years ago with a vision of bridging the gap between passionate outdoor entrepreneurs, and the invisible grit that separates those who struggle to make a consistent profit and income, from those who have learned their keys to success. The goal of Prosperity Partners is to continue to help you reach your next level of success.

Our latest initiative is the Landscape Ontario Peer to Peer Network. Every business owner who is engaged in this dynamic group over the past three years has reported impressively measurable improved results across the board in their businesses: higher profits, better cash flow, lower debt, and stronger teams. The Peer Network is a benefit of your membership in LO. Here’s why we started the LO Peer Network:

At times, the advantages of working in the green profession can be bittersweet. Our profession offers the joys of working outside, nurturing plants, creating beautiful spaces and applying creativity in everything we do. Our work can change the lives of those who walk through it. It can heal the hearts and minds of those who see and touch it, and it can fill our pantries. What we do can also inspire hope and provide the necessary tools to a generation focused on better managing the drivers of climate change.

Ours is also a profession that attracts kinesthetic people who would rather wipe sweat and dust from their brows every day, than spend their career in a cubicle or office tower. We are a profession of outdoor career-builders, full of passionate craftsmen and women — many of whom have seen the low barriers to starting a business, and jumped in to running one with little or no training on how to do it well.

Each time I sit across the table from a frustrated business owner, listening to their story of long hours, hard work, small profits and/or mounting debt, I find myself being taken over 20 years back down memory lane and into their boots. It’s a tough place to sit. I have a box of those proverbial t-shirts…. one for everything I did wrong, (albiet with the best intentions) while my business rapidly outgrew my ability and knowledge to run it profitably.

I jumped through the same hoops many of you do: I was a very talented, skilled horticulturist, a good salesperson, a great logistical planner, but at first, a very, very lousy business manager. What helped me break that cycle? I started to network in Landscape Ontario. I started talking to other business owners who were better established. I asked questions. I picked brains. I took workshops. I hired a coach. I hired a bookkeeper. I learned my numbers. I learned to manage my business, one step at a time. And I did it mainly with the encouragement and help of my Landscape Ontario peers, and you can too.

If any of this sounds familiar, and either you, or someone you know is on this same, challenging path, I’ve got great news to share: there’s a simple way to strike the balance between long hours of running your business, learning how to do it better and connecting with your peers. LO’s Peer to Peer Network offers a series of facilitated, regular gatherings every year – peers learning and practicing business skills together. Join us to get collaborative help from those who understand your challenges.

Do you have a topic, issue or question to ask your LO member peers?
Contact Jacki Hart at info.peertopeer@landscapeontario.com.