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

2017 Weekly Department Review . . . and More!

2017 Weekly Department Review... and More!

by Steve Bailey

The Garden Center Group prides itself on sharing information. Rightfully so, with the various GroupEs available, Fall Event, and the other activities that promote Owners and Managers communicating with each other.

Nothing typifies this more than the Weekly Department Review (WDR). The weekly sharing of numbers is a source of wonderment when I tell other traveling consultants about it. They can't believe any group or retail segment is as sharing as this one. Plus, they are envious.

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2017: Psychological Pricing for Perceived Value

 2017: Psychological Pricing for Perceived Value

by Sid Raisch and Steve Bailey

READ FIRST: "Prices should be set based on your ability to create a value perceived by your customer, instead of the common practice of applying a simple mathematical factor to the cost of goods."

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Ask And Ye Shall Receive

"Ask And Ye Shall Receive"


by Robert Hendrickson


After a few decades working with garden center owners on their marketing plans, I've found people usually fall into one of two camps. The majority seem to believe "targeting", "taking aim", "a rifle, not a shotgun approach" (like their intended customers are some sort of prey that need to be brought down) is the best and most logical approach when it comes to marketing their company.


A much smaller faction have the confidence to believe that when it comes to effective marketing, "what" you say is far more important than "who" you might be reaching.

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The Death of Discounts

It is Time for the Death of Discounts.

Some of you are irritated with me already. But if you hang in there we may come together on the idea.

Let's start by looking at why our culture encourages retailers to discount so much in the first place.

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Stay Focused

Stay Focused

by Robert Hendrickson

The industry organization was so confident in their presumptions, that months before their survey project was complete they had already stated... "The results of this initiative will demand a shift in strategies, thinking, and paradigms. This is the future of the horticulture industry."  (Note: I've learned never to trust anyone who uses the word paradigm when discussing business or marketing and especially never trust anyone who believes they can predict the future.)  Besides, any first year 'Stats' student would see right through this charade. When those in charge of research have an agenda to find results that support their beliefs, any survey can be structured to guarantee those results.

I also question the value of asking people who don't garden or shop garden centers for their opinion on what garden centers should do to prepare for the future. Sorta like asking a vegan what Outback should do to help them sell more steaks.

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Being a Survivor

Will Yours Become One of The Last Garden Centers?

This is the 21st Century already. I'm not sure which century it was that life was breathed into the first independent garden center, but we've been around a good while, and if I can have anything to do with it, we aren't headed toward extinction anytime soon. This is in spite of the fact that so many garden center owners and managers are still firmly attached to their flip phones - so last century.

 

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Budgeting Made $imple

Budgeting Made $imple

by Steve Bailey

What to spend? 
How to spend it? 
 

These are questions every business owner asks themselves, and most likely the largest impetus to creating budgets.

 
It's a noble effort, but if you don't know how to budget, will it yield the correct numbers to use? And if you don't reach the budgeted goal, what will you do about it? These two budgeting issues are the prime reasons budgets fail.
 
To understand why budgets are so difficult, and sometimes fail, let's first look at how budgets are usually constructed. For our example, we'll use Profit & Loss budgeting. Most P&L budgets are over a twelve-month period. There are two columns per month, one labeled 'Budget' and the other 'Actual'. At the beginning of the year, there are twelve columns, but by the end of January the actual values are filled in, and you have thirteen columns. By the end of the year, your budget has twenty-four columns of numbers, a dizzying array to take in at one time. The real crux of this type of budget is that, as the year progresses, you meet or exceed your Profit goals, or you fall lower than goal. In the case of the latter, you usually won't know if you are going to meet the year-end expectation until just that - the end of the year. This type of budget, in which the Budgeted values are cast in stone, is called a Static Budget.

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Time To Look Ahead . . . And Almost Time To Look Back

 

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Bribe, Rebate, Reward or Gift? There Is A Difference.

Regardless of our personal views, society seems to function best when a few governing laws are in place. Like a series of scientific laws dealing with gravity, motion and relativity that help keep us Earthlings grounded when it comes to everyday life.

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Wanna Play Ball?

So, you wanna play ball...
or at least watch guys that do play ball? Wendy and I are heading to The Fall Event on the Saturday (September 24th)  before things really get started. Since there's a home-game in Houston, I'm thinking about heading out to the ballpark on Sunday afternoon (September 25th) to catch a game and catch up with Group folks in a setting a bit different from the typical garden center environment. Often the best ideas come when you let loose and immerse yourself in unfamiliar territory. 

For you "too busy working to enjoy life types," think of the ballpark as a really big garden center. We can discuss traffic flow, staff skills, signage, branding or any other shopping trait we discover. After all, retail is retail.

What do you say? Game for a game? Let me know if this sounds like something you and the folks you bring would like to experience. Tell me you're in and I'll get the tickets so we can sit together... nothing expensive... just seats in the park someplace fun. 
 
Let me know by August 8th so there's time to plan the process.

The Fall Event is about more than just the business side of business... it's about the people side of things, too. Kick back... have some fun... eat... drink... be merry. Make your trip to Houston one that touches every aspect of business. And life.
 

So, you ready to play ball?
Give Robert a call or email ... this week!

Robert Hendrickson
Tel: (410) 313-8067
Cell: (443) 255-8282
Email: CLICK HERE

One Bad Apple Can Ruin The Bunch

In this post-recession era, where "wants-based" spending has been rapidly returning to our economy, now more than ever garden centers should be investing in my word of the year for 2016--alignment.

Three years ago the word(s) of the year were trade up! Two years ago, the word of the year was separate! Last year it was consistency and this year it's alignment.

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Tell Me a Story - Part 2

Tell Me a Story - Part 2


by Robert Hendrickson

[Continued from Part 1. If you want to return to Part 1, CLICK HERE]

My last article ended with my belief that the future of the garden center industry depends on  these eight words... 
"Our future is in the stories we tell." But why stories and why stories now?

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Tell Me A Story - Part 1

Tell Me A Story - Part 1

by Robert Hendrickson

To understand the message in this article I need you to stop reading and watch Johnnie Walker "The Man Who Walked Around The World. This is a Watch the six minute video then come back and continue reading what I'm about to say. Ok? Good.

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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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Family Owned...Passion Grown ... Savor the Stress!

We want to extend a big Group Welcome to John Kennedy, our newest addition to our Service Providers. John is an international strategist, author and speaker driving cultural shift and change within businesses and associations in our green industry. He has worked with some our Clients already - Dambly's Garden Center, Ray Wiegand's Garden Center, and Rockledge Gardens, as well as scores of others throughout the world. Welcome John! Here's John's first "share" here in GROUPtalk...


Family Owned...Passion Grown ... Savor the Stress!

Our green industry is ripe with family-based businesses. Insights and ideas that have been passed down through the vines linking one generation to the next become the new innovations of our industry for the future.

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Here's The Simple Truth...

Here's The Simple Truth...

  that I know a lot of people will have a difficult time accepting. Many will think it's way too simple and even more will think it just can't be the truth.

I know the reasons why...

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Update - Proposed New Overtime Rule - The Wait is Almost Over

The Garden Center Group Clients:

On Tuesday, March 15, the Department of Labor (DOL) took the final step in the rulemaking process by advancing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)  (commonly referred to as the "Overtime Rule") to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the final changes.

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Mail On!

Mail On!

by Robert Hendrickson


 I understand why people find it difficult to respect something called "junk mail" and "snail mail". Not the most reassuring titles when it comes to spending hard-earned marketing money. There's also the problem of people considering "old-fashioned" direct mail obsolete compared to the current 'all-things-digital' marketing mindset of most advertisers. But I've always approached marketing decisions based on what works, not what's currently fashionable.


And when done properly, direct mail works.


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Overtime Rule Delayed

Last June, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) setting forth its rationale for a new and higher salary test for employees classified as exempt from overtime under the White Collar Exemptions covering executive, administrative, and professional employees. The DOL proposed a new guaranteed salary level of $50,440 per year------- an increase of 113% over the current $23,660 salary level. (For details about this proposed change and others in the NPRM, refer to our July 2015 e-bulletin.)

Since March 2014, when President Obama issued his directive to the Secretary of Labor to "modernize the overtime rules," it has been widely anticipated that the Final Rule would be effective prior to the 2016 elections. Why? Because of the potential for a Republican President to be elected who, by all accounts, would likely direct the DOL to delay the release of the Final Rule or revoke it altogether. Proponents of the overtime changes know that the sooner the changes take effect, the harder it will be to overturn them.

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