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Executive Forum: Sustainability

May 1, 2010By

Sustainability. Get used to the word. You’ll be hearing it a lot more. In fact, if you haven’t already, it’s probably because you haven’t been paying attention. Whether it’s developing a sustainable business model or adopting “more green” business practices, “sustainability” was a theme thread throughout the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET’s) Executive Forum held in Las Vegas in February. It... read more

Mac vs. PC: I choose Door No. 3

May 1, 2010By

Even though my first computer was an Apple IIc, I’ve been a Windows guy for years. I’m comfortable on a PC. My Dell Latitude 630 has been a great little laptop for me. But recently, I was given a 15-in. MacBook Pro, and I have to admit, I’m impressed. The real question, yet to be answered, is: Will I switch?... read more

A Cut Above: Martin Cleary

May 1, 2010By

It’s a matter of accountability. “Our people have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to deliver and are measured on that,” says Martin Cleary, owner along with his brother Mike, of Cleary Brothers Landscape, Danville, CA. The Clearys have built a successful enterprise by rewarding decision makers and letting them make decisions that affect their rewards. “They are... read more

Optimize crew size

May 1, 2010By

Among the frequently asked questions I receive is “What is the ideal crew size?” While on the surface it sounds like this should have a simple answer, it’s really quite complex. There are just as many factors favoring small crews as those favoring larger crews. Let’s take a look at six of the most common. 1. Job size. It’s nearly... read more

Keys to managing a sales machine

May 1, 2010By

Developing a sales machine is the most important investment a landscape contractor can make. Given pricing conditions and the negative impact this is exacting on gross profit margins, generating increased revenue volume is necessary to achieve net profit dollar goals. Key to this revenue generation effort is the sales team. The team has never been more important, and its management... read more

Day of Service: A cemetery’s rebirth

May 1, 2010By

Patricia Carmody steers her white Subaru Outback wagon along the bumpy dirt and gravel road that winds its way through the 77-acre Riverside Cemetery, Denver’s oldest operating cemetery. She muses about her desire to find a scout troop in search of a community service project, and a benefactor willing to donate some gravel to repair the many potholes dotting the... read more