December 2012

Training day

December 20, 2012By
headshot: Jimmy Torres

Quarterly educational “rodeos” keep the team at Green Lawn Fertilizing on the same page. You can’t grow if you’re not investing in your employees, says Matt Jesson, president and owner of Green Lawn Fertilizing in West Chester, Pa. When you learn he’s focused on growing his firm 15 percent to 20 percent a year, you understand why he holds a... read more

Retainers vs. landscape design fees

December 20, 2012By

Q: Can you explain the concept of using a retainer agreement instead of a design fee to get a commitment from the client toward both the design and the installation? —Dylan Mickelson, Bright Lights Landscaping and Outdoor Lighting, Las Vegas, Nev. A: I just got back from PLANET’s Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Ky., where I was a speaker, as... read more

Project Portfolio: Living Wall Turns Heads

December 20, 2012By

The Mission: Create a “living room of intimate space.” The Winter Garden is a 22,000-sq.-ft. contemplative and restful gallery-type space in a modern and minimalist style combining art, sculpture, water and lots of plants—including a 1,950-sq.-ft. living wall. Rennie Gotell, general manager of Greenery Office Interiors, characterizes the Winter Garden, located in a commercial office building in Calgary, as a... read more

Add-On Biz: Swept away

December 20, 2012By

Parking lot sweeping can boost commercial maintenance work. When Wixom, Mich.-based Bell’s Landscape Services started handling the maintenance work for shopping centers that also needed regular parking lot sweeping, it decided to look into offering the service itself. A hefty investment later, the company is doing regular sweeping jobs and has found it to be a successful add-on service. Adding... read more

My Biggest Mistake: Michael Thackrey

December 20, 2012By

Rapid growth without a clear business plan has been a difficult road to navigate for one Florida company. Fast growth sounds more like a blessing than a curse, but the truth is, growing too quickly can sink a business. That’s why Michael Thackrey and his business partner, Chris Eastman, have strived to control their company’s rapid growth. They don’t want... read more

A tip from the tech world to the Green Industry

December 20, 2012By

Have you heard of a hack day? How about a hackathon or hackfest? These are different names for the same thing: an event where computer programmers collaborate intensively on software development projects for as short as a day or as long as week. Sometimes there’s a specific goal, like finding new uses for a single company’s application programming interface, as... read more