Dust Off Your Image

Dust Off Your Image

by Danny Summers

The new year is just around the corner and I know you are already knee-deep in planning for it. Here are a few things to consider adding to your list in preparation for Spring 2023...

How's Your Center's Image?

Read More

Just Imagine...

Just Imagine...

by Danny Summers

Imagination is a wonderful gift that we all have. I believe we all have the same level of imagination when we are born. You can see so much of this gift in the eyes of children. I see this in our grandchildren's eyes now. You may remember a photo I shared a little over a year ago of our oldest grandson when he was just about 3 and he stood in front of Georgia Aquarium's largest tank, Ocean Voyager.

Here's the photo I shared then. Try to imagine what this 3-year-old was thinking at the time.

Read More

A Better Recession Effort = Better Marketing

A Better Recession Effort = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Marketing is an important part of the job of everyone in a company. It’s everything a company and everyone in it does within, outside, around, and beyond. In this series of articles, we’ll be discussing how different views of marketing make a huge difference in choosing, taking, and owning our position now and in the future.

Read More

Health + Time

Health + Time

by Danny Summers

To continue on the message from last week – A Recipe for What Matters (or we might say What Matters Most), I included a tease of sorts on some thoughts for additional ideas...

Health and Time.

Read More

Get Your Kicks, on Route 66!

Get Your Kicks, on Route 66!

by John Kennedy

When you finish this thoughtful message about Route 66, enjoy a version of It's Wonderful and Route 66... performed by Diana Krall and Natalie Cole at the end.


Over the last four years, in the Northern Virginia area, there has been a flurry of infrastructure improvements nearby our home in Centreville (a bustling DC Suburb). A crazy, constant cacophony of construction and chaos.

Read More

A Recipe for What Matters

A Recipe for What Matters

by Danny Summers

Each of us sees numerous ads every day. They come at us from all directions and it seems to only increase in methods of how or where we see them. Certainly, TV, radio, internet, and of course every social media page we interact with is pushing products. Even some gas stations are pushing ads at the pump. Most are very promotional and the worse ones seem like they were designed by ex-used car salesmen (no offense if you have friends or family in that tough business). But you know what I mean. It's all about price and how low they can go.

If you have been in The Group any length of time, you know we began early on hearing from The Group founder, Robert Hendrickson, how you should focus on a different type of message – telling a story. One that connects with the audience, and speaks to their needs or interests in a real and caring way all while sharing the enjoyment and benefits of the garden and gardening activity. Robert would challenge us to think... if you come across as just selling something, you are most likely on the wrong path. This is a great time to quote a famous person from Hannibal Missouri (where Robert and Wendy now live)...

Read More

Preparing for 2023

Preparing for 2023

by Danny Summers

There's been quite a bit of conversation recently in our eLists on preparing for 2023 and in particular the budgeting process. There's a lot to be considered for sure. And 2023 is certainly not the typical "new year" to consider. But even in a typical "new year" there is a lot to consider.

Not only do you have the typical budget considerations you will see in The Group's Chart of Accounts... What should you budget for Sales (by category)? How're Margins going to be tracked? What do you see in changes to Operating Expenses for next year? And what should you project for Wage & Wage Benefits?

Read More

A Better Pricing Effort = Better Marketing

A Better Pricing Effort = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Marketing is an important part of the job of everyone in a company. It’s everything a company and everyone in it does within, outside, around, and beyond. In this series of articles, we’ll be discussing how different views of marketing make a huge difference in choosing, taking, and owning our position now and in the future.

Interesting concept that pricing has anything to do with marketing, but it has EVERYTHING to do with marketing. And it has everything to do with every penny of Revenue and Profit. There is nowhere else in your company or on earth that Profit can come from, if not included in your price from the beginning.

Read More

Plant Talk

Plant Talk

by Danny Summers

We can take this conversation in so many directions. A very important one is how attached countless new "Plant Parents" are to their new plant-family additions. It doesn't take long when browsing social platforms to see this in full display. In fact, the photo above (minus my title "Plant Talk" added) was found on a blogger's page with the title "DIY - Speech Bubbles for Your Plants" as she shows you how to make your own conversational signs. She related it to having reminders of how a plant needs certain care in order to thrive. Doing a simple search like "Plant Talk" will quickly yield a huge number of discussions like "How to Talk to Your Plants" or even "Is it Normal to Talk to your Pets and Plants?"

Read More

History of the P&L Study - Part 4

History of the P&L Study - Part 4

by Tim Quebedeaux

Last time we finished talking about Average Inventory and how it is key to inventory management which is graded by two KPI’s: Turns and GMROIIs.  Historically The Group has not done well with these two metrics.


Read More

See What a PLANT Can Do

See What a PLANT Can Do

by Danny Summers

The idea of this message came to me when I remembered Darren Abbott (Hallmark) sharing details of their One Million Card giveaway. He explained it began on March 27, 2020, as many of their Gold Crown Stores were closing due to COVID shutdowns and they were getting a large number of requests from people needing ways to connect to loved ones. The program began with the idea of offering 1 million cards to their loyalty members, sent free by mail. The initial announcement said, "Hallmark gives people a way to connect through acts of caring and support during uncertain times." Darren described how their team was able to gather enough cards at their distribution centers (that were almost shuttered as well) and within a few days, they had the program pulled together.

To say the offer was well-received is an understatement for only seven days later Darren said their President and CEO came to him and said, "I don't want you to stop, let's keep going." So, with that Hallmark announced it was adding an additional million cards to the offer. Each responding Hallmark Rewards member received a bundle of 3 cards with a cover page that said the following...

Read More

History of the P&L Study - Part 3

History of the P&L Study - Part 3

by Tim Quebedeaux

Last time we left off with the premise that we can avoid the wearing of the red if we manage our inventory better. Inventory management can be “graded” by two important KPI’s: Turns and GMROII (Gross Margin Return on Inventory Management). Those two KPI’s are driven by three metrics, COGS, Margin Dollars, and Average Inventory. Average Inventory is a key component when analyzing these KPI’s.

Let’s start with reviewing what happened with Cost of Goods Sold and how that is related to Margin.

Read More

Commitment

Commitment!

by Danny Summers

Commitment... It's a word that depicts The Garden Center Group experience in a number of ways. At the foundation of The Group, every Center joins with a commitment to sharing at some level. In the beginning, there may be some hesitation to jump right in but as they see others sharing they quickly see the benefits of having such an open-sharing platform. Certainly, the level of sincere helpful sharing that exists in The Group is a unique experience.

While there are a number of ways a commitment to sharing is exemplified in The Group, one of the strongest levels of commitment is sharing through our Weekly Department Review (WDR). And the Centers that receive our 100% Club Awards annually have made a firm commitment to share. This year, there are 115 Centers participating in the WDR Program, and 58 of these centers reported EVERY WEEK and received our 100% Club Award. Now that is Commitment!

Read More

History of the P&L Study - Part 2

History of the P&L Study - Part 2

by Tim Quebedeaux

Last time we left off, seeing that it took 5 years to go from 0.7% profitability to 5.3%, high achiever status, while in one year we went from 5.3% to an amazing 14.9%.  Let’s dig into the three KPI’s in the Simple Income Statement to try to gain clarity on how we accomplished both feats.

The smallest piece of the pie is Operating Expenses.  These expenses can be described as the other expenses section of the P&L Statement.  Any expenses that are spent on things OTHER than people (W&WB) and product (COGS).  This section is the lowest as a percentage of revenues, but the largest listing of accounts.  Let’s look at the historical trend of our target centers in the P&L Study.


Read More

The Strength of Group Sharing

The Strength of Group Sharing

By Danny Summers

When often faced with the opportunity of describing "The Group Experience" for someone who has not been in The Group, I feel it is a challenging task. Of course, I hit the key points of all our programs as well as the different ways our Group Centers share information peer-to-peer and how they have access to and interact with our Group Service Providers. But I feel it is still only a small glimpse into The Group Experience that I just wind up urging them to join and jump into the process as much as they can to see for themself what it is like.

And then as we get closer to The Fall Event, if I can get them to attend, that is the absolute best exposure. As a team, we have often said, "If we can just get them to The Fall Event, we know what will happen. They will be excited and ready to be a part of what they experience."

Read More

History of the P&L Study - Part 1

History of the P&L Study - Part 1

by Tim Quebedeaux... and a little help from Steve Bailey!

The Annual Profit & Loss Study has been an industry exclusive since 2004 and is the most comprehensive P&L study of its kind.  It started with 40 centers reporting in 2004 and has grown to a high of 78 centers in 2018 and 2021.  The Study made a big step in 2006 when it started measuring Average Inventory, allowing us to measure Turns and Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment (GMROII).  After only 9 centers started reporting the new metrics in 2006, it quickly gained in popularity as it ramped up to 40 centers in 2009 and increased to 60 by 2021!

 

Read More

A Heart-Felt Thank You!

A Heart-Felt Thank You!

by Danny Summers

The Fall Event for 2022 is over and this is the perfect time to say THANK YOU. And we have so many people to say THANK YOU to... Every Group Center that participated, all of our Partners for Success and Sponsors, and of course all of our Group Service Providers. I also want to express our sincere appreciation to our Guest Speaker, Darren Abbott of Hallmark Cards whose presentation was described as" incredible." I will be sharing more details about Darren's message in the coming weeks.

Another Group Center said, "The way you were able to tie each presentation together made it feel like one fluid and consistent message to The Group." I responded with, "Somehow it all just comes together. I would like to be able to say it was all planned out moment by moment… but it wasn’t 100%. It is also amazing how our team works independently and somehow thinks concurrently to converge at the same point. The other thing that really amazes me is how our Group discussions steer our focus and attention in the same direction."

Read More

What's Your SuperPower?

What's Your SuperPower?

by Danny Summers

A SuperPower is a unique force or gift – something that you’re especially good at or something you are recognized for. Just like Superman (or woman), we all have our SuperPowers (or strengths).

Recognizing each person on your team's SuperPowers can help unify and build upon these strengths. This also can help spread those talents across the entire organization. You already know who is "Super" in certain areas. Recognizing these SuperPowers will encourage everyone to learn and grow.

Read More

Plants R Us!

Plants R Us!

by Danny Summers

Not even unpacked yet and they have a plant in the room!

Does this title seem familiar? I first related it to Toys R Us. It came to mind when I was working on a presentation to share at Farwest 2022 a few weeks ago. I was looking for a graphic that represented new first-time young home buyers. Just the weekend before we had been helping our great nephew, Zac, and his wife, paint at their new home they recently purchased. They had not yet moved any furniture in but just inside the front door, next to a window, they already had a new tropical plant sitting there.

Read More

A Better Traffic Flow = Better Marketing

A Better Traffic Flow = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Marketing is an important part of the job of everyone in a company. It’s everything a company and everyone in it does within, outside, around, and beyond. In this series of articles we’ll be discussing how different views of marketing make a huge difference in choosing, taking, and owning our position now and in the future.

 

Read More