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Throwback Thursday: January 2001

December 26, 2013 -  By

Jan. 2001It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

At least that’s what was instilled in me—and maybe you too—growing up. Though, aging into adulthood and gaining some footing in my trade, I’ve realized that cliché isn’t the most applicable to my professionalism.

Appearance is paramount to measuring a person or business’s professionalism—no matter how grimy the job. How well the work is done, of course, is the most important, but one will be overlooked if their appearance doesn’t reflect their work ethic. Our eyes practically are programmed to judge before our ears.

And for landscape businesses, prospective customers lay their eyes on your website, your ads and your employees at work on their neighbor’s yard before they even consider opening their ears to your sales spiel. Those things, and more, are what they judge a business on at a first glance.

The January 2001 issue of Landscape Management called on Green Industry experts and reader advisers to speak to this topic for the cover story, titled “Uncovering your best side” by Susan Gibson, then executive editor.

The advisory panel compiled the “LM Benchmarks,” standards the Green Industry must meet to boost and maintain its professionalism.

Requirements included:

  • Uniforms or logo apparel for all in-field employees (provided or bought at cost);
  • Clean, neat appearance for all employees;
  • Managers/owners look sharp (khakis, shirts with collars, logo wear, “manager” jackets, ties if desired, street shoes);
  • Trucks and equipment washed weekly (minimum);
  • Vehicles and equipment kept in good repair, with regular schedule for repairs and routine maintenance;
  • Professionally designed and product company logos/decals on trucks and vehicles;
  • Company letterhead and/or logo on all printed materials;
  • Business cards for all company employees dealing with customers, suppliers, piers, etc.; and
  • Script and customer handling routine for anyone answering the telephone.

Moreover, the topmost suggestion experts make is to position yourself as an outsider looking in. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and evaluate your company’s professionalism, according to the aforementioned standards.

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About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

1 Comment on "Throwback Thursday: January 2001"

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  1. Great article Sarah. Good reminders for all of us. I plan to go over those list at our weekly managers meeting next week.