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Business Planner 2013

How to work effectively with your spouse

October 23, 2012By

Roger McCarthy and Sue McCarthy met in 2003, got married in 2004 and started working together soon afterward, when Sue “temporarily” joined Roger’s business, McCarthy’s Landscaping & Irrigation, after being laid off from an environmental services company. Eight years later, she’s still there. And she’s been an integral part of the 15-year-old, West Boylston, Mass., firm’s growth. The couple has... read more

How to fire an employee

October 23, 2012By

When it comes time to fire an employee, there are many questions and concerns—fears of discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation—that can weigh heavily on landscape contractors’ minds and pocketbooks. So let’s review the fundamental process for conducting an employee termination fairly, correctly and consistently. To start, be prepared. Collect the facts, review them and interpret them objectively. Ask: What does his... read more

How to improve your work/life balance

October 23, 2012By

At some point in their careers, most business owners have to take a hard look in the mirror and address their work/life balance. When I ran my own landscape company, I was a statistic on the work side of the balance—working 70 to 80 hours a week, sometimes seven days a week, including early mornings and late nights. It affected... read more

How to benefit from peer networking

October 23, 2012By

We’re all familiar with business-to-business networking (B2B) as well as business-to-consumer networking (B2C). Well there’s a category of networking that you’ve likely been involved with for years but rarely think about as a business networking opportunity. It’s what I call C2C networking. No, it’s not consumer-to-consumer networking—but contractor to contractor. Think about it, have you ever borrowed a truck, machine... read more

How to position your company for growth

October 23, 2012By

While the economic fallout has converted many companies into corpses, it also has attracted many new players to the market, of which about 25 percent will survive. Regardless of the state of the competitive landscape, you need to position your company strategically for sustainable growth. Let’s begin by defining positioning, which is the act of designing a company’s offering and... read more

How to prepare for next year

October 23, 2012By

Painfully aware that any prognostication or prediction might be off base, it’s safe to say the 2013 forecast depends on the presidential election this November. At the same time, any change in the national office can’t alter the reality that a global economic slowdown will pressure the commercial real estate market, which will affect growth aspirations, profits and access to... read more