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What is a Customer Worth?

What is a Customer Worth?

by Danny Summers

Several weeks ago you may remember I asked these questions:

  1. What is a Customer Worth to You (over a lifetime)?
  2. What is the cost to obtain a new customer (in dollars)?

The reason I asked was because I was reading comments from owners or managers who were having issues with seemingly unreasonable customers and it sounded like they were ready to say "Good Bye" to the customer(s). Before you ever get to the point of "firing a customer," I believe you need to have at least an idea of your answers to the above two questions. I understand sometimes you just can't please everyone and the answers to these questions can vary greatly, but this is a fundamental idea.

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Decision to Change Your Business Name

When is it Time to Change Your Business Name?

by Danny Summers

 

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A Passion for Learning!

A Passion for Learning!

by Danny Summers

To begin, can we agree... Sharing is a function of Leaning!

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John Kennedy is Now Available On Demand 24-7-365

John Kennedy is Now Available "On-Demand" 24/7/365

by Danny Summers

I have an important announcement!

 

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Every Plant has a Story!

Every Plant has a Story!

by Danny Summers

When Karen and I were at the new SNA Conference at MANTS last month, the Conference Chairman, Dr. Richard Olsen, Director of the US National Arboretum, suggested one of the roundtable topics of "sharing more of the story behind the plants." Obviously, when I heard this I immediately thought of Robert's constant encouragement. But how does this relate to the plants we sell or help us in the garden center?

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Leveraging City Color Programs

Leveraging City Color Programs

by Danny Summers (with lots of help from his friends!)

Opening my emailbox this week and seeing a promotion from Tim Elbert's Four Seasons Nursery in Central Point Oregon gave me a flashback moment to last fall when there was a great discussion and swap of ideas (and important Do's and Don'ts). If you are a Group Client and were subscribed to GroupEs at the time, you may remember it.

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Gatekeeper or Team-Builder-Part 2

Gatekeeper or Team Builder - Part 2

by Danny Summers

Last week we explored two distinctly different types of owners and managers I see across garden center management today. Do you remember... the Gatekeeper manages by receiving all or most outside information and decides who in the organization needs to know what, who to distribute the information to, and who needs to know, on a limited basis.

At the same time I hear numerous owners and managers saying these types of comments: I have to much to do. I have to much on my plate. I can't possibly do anything more. I am wore out. We work all the time. It's got to get easier.

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Gatekeeper or Team Builder-Part 1

Gatekeeper or Team Builder - Part 1

by Danny Summers

In my position I get to observe a number of patterns in business management. And doing so, you see the real differences in how owners approach their business. There are some trends I want to highlight here and challenge you to assess where you are in your business management style. First, let's discuss two distinct types of owners or managers I see at work today.

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper manages by receiving all or most outside information and decide who in the organization needs to know what. Who to distribute the information to, who needs to know, on a limited basis. In my mind, the ultimate gatekeeper was this guy. When Dorothy and her unusual "team" approached the Emerald City gate at Oz, they were stopped by the Wizard. At that point, to get into the city, they had to get past The Wizard of Oz. This is a fitting comparison to what see in some businesses today.

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Supporting Shelburne Farms

Supporting Shelburne Farms

by Danny Summers

I know when everyone first saw Shelburne Farms listed as part of our Tour Day at this year's Fall Event, they had to wonder "what does this have anything to do with garden centers?"  Right?Karen and I had heard some details of how wonderful Shelburne is... just like "the cousins" property Biltmore Estate. But it wasn't until we went there for the first time, did we begin to understand its mission today:

"Our work focuses on education for sustainability. That’s learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. There is something for learners of all ages at Shelburne Farms, with a focus on agricultural, environmental, and cultural topics."

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A New Event Idea - Annual Poultry Pageant?

A New Event Idea - Annual Poultry Pageant?

[Last week Danny and Robert received this from Harold Dambly]

"We had our 1st Annual Poultry Pageant today, We had 31 Hen enter the pageant, it turned out to be an awesome event. (Weren't sure how many were going to show up.)  All ages from 5-6 years old to 75 or 80 year old. We also had many visitors to see the pageant. I have attached  some of the pictures, check out our Facebook page for more.

We judge them in 3 categories, Miss Congeniality, Best Feathers and Talent. with best score was crown MISS HEN of Camden County, there was also a runner up. We also award 1st , 2nd, and 3rd Places in each category. All winner are on our Facebook page.  All winner won prizes."

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Why KidsGardening - Why Now

Why KidsGardening - Why Now

Getting the Next Generation Engaged in Gardening is More Important Than Ever

 

Since 1982, when KidsGardening launched the first school gardening grant, their driving mission at KidsGardening is the idea that every child deserves the opportunity to learn through the garden.

Today, many educators have shifted to place-based education - of which garden-based learning is a part. Place-based education is hands-on, real world learning that uses the local environment to help kids understand the natural world around them and their place in it.  And we know there’s no better place to do that than in a garden.

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Sharing Spring 2017 Results

Sharing Spring 2017 Results

Danny Summers... with lots of help from my friends!

And It was Halftime! 

On July 17th Steve Bailey released our Mid-Year Weekly Department Review (WDR) to those participating. While not all 102 centers participating in the 2017 program were able to report, it still provides a good view of how Spring from each region. Steve featured some of the graphs on the cover page and there were some real differences (ups and downs).

Overall, The Group is showing a modest increase in sales and average sale year to date with a slight negative on transaction counts. But there are a number of very strong positives. There's lots of great things to share around each center's successes and we hope the comments offered below by these Group members will help to give you ideas. We started this process looking at figures reported in the MidYear WDR, however many centers have continued to add to their positive numbers in July so the following figures shared are from Week 29 of the WDR.

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Retailers' Choice Awards™ at Cultivate'17

Retailers' Choice Awards™ at Cultivate'17

by Danny Summers

We had a great group of retailers participating last week in Columbus and awarded 14 companies 16 awards for products our judges were excited about. We have complete details in a PDF download. Follow the link below.

A special THANK YOU to everyone who helped with selecting these winners!
 Download the complete recap of the Retailers' Choice Awards™ at Cultivate'17 as a PDF - CLICK HERE

How Did They Do That - Details from the 2016 P&L Study

How Did They Do That? - Details from the 2016 P&L Study

by Danny Summers

As all of the Group Clients who participated in the Annual P&L Study for 2016 have received their own reports, Steve Bailey has shared some details for total Group results. One thing that stood out was Transaction Counts with the Best Practices/High Achievers (+4% when the Total Group was -1%).

So, under the heading of..."How Did They Do That?"... we have asked the question. You will be very interested in some of the answers they have shared.

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Building Your Social Audience - Part 2

Building Your Social Audience - Part 2

A How-To Series, by Danny Summers


Several weeks ago we began this series with several examples for building your social audience. This week, Botanical Interests' Brandon Coppin, Director of Social Media and Video Production, is sharing an infographic that outlines our social media strategy for gardeners along with two white papers shared here.


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View Past GroupEs Discussions

Group eLists (ListServes) - View Past Discussions 
Did you know you can see previous discussions in GroupEs and other Group eLists and even respond? After you log into The Group websystem follow these steps: 
At your member start page... in the Green member menu just above Welcome Back (your name)! click on the MY PROFILE link. Then on the MY PROFILE page and hover over the black menu area MY FEATURES and select eList. At the eList page, click on the green link for any of the eLists to view previous discussions. You can also turn on (Subscribe) to any other eLists you would like such as Counterpoint_Users. If you need help, just let me know.
Thanks for sharing!
Danny

A Fun New Book of Garden Poems for Children

We received information in the last week about a fun new book of children's poems themed around garden called "The Gnome in My Garden." It was some creative we asked its author, Michael McCormick, to tell us their story. Here's the details…
 

We started Goofy Garden with the hopes of creating a fun, engaging book that kids and adults could enjoy together. Our goal is to create a series of books, and eventually a series of products, that ignites a sense of creativity and wonder when it comes to gardening and getting outdoors.

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Horticulture & Health - Is Gardening Good for the Brain? Florida Researchers Think Yes.

When The Group was in Orlando for The Fall Event, some of us stayed over to see The Landscape Show. While we were there, Dr. Tom Yeager of The University of Florida's Horticulture Department, introduced us to Dr. Charlie Guy, Professor of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry at UF and showed us details of a new study underway between the UF's Hort Department and the UF Medical School. Here's some details:

 

A group of Florida researchers has found a link between gardening and good mental health.  Scientists at the University of Florida studied 23 healthy women and preliminary findings show the women who participated in group gardening activities twice a week reported profoundly reduced stress, anxiety, anger, confusion and fatigue.  The women also reported significantly more vigor and friendliness than the women in the control group.

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