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2021: The Year of Alignment

2021: The Year of Alignment

by John Kennedy

Happy New Year and Happy New You. The previous year (formally known as 2020) has left an impact on all of us, and to not have been affected, changed or transformed would be both unrealistic as well as unfortunate.

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Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

Embracing the Hard-Earned Lessons of 2020

by Sid Raisch

My “body guy” (body shop, not gym) has not had such a good year this year. With commuting and shopping trips down overall, there are fewer accidents, especially deer hits that tend to happen more during commuting hours. This means his business and his family hasn’t been spending as much locally or otherwise. Same for his employees, suppliers, and their employees.

While this writing is heading down a not-so-positive path, it is for a good purpose, so please hang in here with me. Every cloud has a silver lining, even 2020. Our industry has been the silver lining as compared to many others. There’s a tendency to revel in glory and a good year, no matter how it happens, is certainly to be appreciated and celebrated. From what I’ve seen and heard, you don’t need more encouragement to do that.

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Some Business. All Pleasure. No Regrets

Some Business. All Pleasure. No Regrets

by John Kennedy

As we continue to adapt and accept the new landscape of the garden center industry and find peace, gratitude and joy in the cracks and crevices that appear, I feel a new “rebirth” approaching…a new outlooka new view over the horizon.

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Performance Reviews:The Pruning that Leads to Blooming!

Performance Reviews: The Pruning that Leads to Blooming!

By Jean L. Seawright, CMC

There’s no question that employees are more effective when working in an environment that promotes regular communication about expectations and results. People want to know where they stand—even if it isn’t good. A performance review can address this need by answering the burning question every employee has: “How am I doing?”

Unfortunately, in many organizations, performance reviews have gone by the wayside, even though the younger generation of workers—the Millennials—are known for their need to receive regular feedback (and praise!) from management.

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The Sound of the Bell

The Sound of the Bell

by John Kennedy

When I was growing up in rural Maryland in the late sixties and early seventies, there were only a few homes and farms that populated the countryside. When we youngsters were all out in the fields, woods and creeks, the time to come home was announced with the “sound of a bell.”

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Who's Your Competition?

Who's Your Competition?

by Danny Summers

When asked this question, I know the usual answer you might give is the garden center across town or even the big box down the street. It is a natural reaction. But the best answer may be quite different. It is normal to think about others who are in the same business as you and consider competing with them in a battle for the same business or customers.

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5 New Rules for the 2020’s

5 New Rules for the 2020’s

by Sid Raisch

New rules about what we do and how we do them have emerged going into this new decade.

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Thinking: The New Muscle Workout

Thinking: The New Muscle Workout

by John Kennedy

For many of you who have known me over the years, my son Benjamin has been a constant guiding light of purpose and passion in my life since the day he was born.

The most important and impactful effort we make in our lives is the role we play in crafting the moral compass of values and behaviors that impact our children, our loved ones and our companies. I am no different and I am blessed to be part of the family of families in the Agritourism Life.

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A Growing Trend

A Growing Trend

by Danny Summers

Foodies, Home-Grown, Garden-to-Table, Modern Homesteading, and More

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By the Numbers: Five Things to Focus On

By the Numbers: Five Things to Focus On

by John Kennedy

I share how to manage your day so it doesn’t manage you. In this short 7 minute video, I identify the top five things to keep in front of you each and every day. In this crazy chaotic world of the “new now”, there is no way we could ever get everything we need to get done, done! However, focusing on the right things to get done and mastering the art of triage will give you more focus and clarity in your daily priorities.

Be safe and be well.



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Restless Gardening Syndrome

Restless Gardening Syndrome

by Sid Raisch

Consumers have been flooding into garden centers to soothe their case of RGS - Restless Gardening Syndrome, a craving desire for all things related to plants.

The important thing is not only that people are consuming our industry’s products and services with such vengeance. More important is WHY they are doing this. Pay attention to the reasons people are interested and focus your communications to promote these six major opportunities and you cannot go wrong.

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Category Growth Strategies: Moving Toward Improvement-Part 4

Category Growth Strategies: Moving Toward Improvement

By Steve Bailey and Bill Calkins

The following is the Part 4 of the series... Category Growth Strategies: Moving Toward Improvement. This was originally published in the June edition of greenPROFIT magazine and can be seen HERE. If you missed the Part 1, you can see it HERE, Part 2 - HERE, or Part 3 - HERE.

Earlier this year, Ball Publishing's Bill Calkins approached Steve Bailey about co-writing a series of articles that could lead garden centers through the basics of analyzing category performance and some of the measurements developed for The Garden Center Group Clients through the Annual P&L Study. The result is a series of four articles published in Ball's GreenPROFIT magazine in this spring.

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The Economy of Experience Collides with the Economy of Convenience

The Economy of Experience Collides with the Economy of Convenience

by John Kennedy


 

There are three types of economies that exist in the world—Price, Convenience and Experience.

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Operation: Engagingly Engage EVERY Single Customer Every Time

Operation: Engagingly Engage EVERY Single Customer Every Time

by Sid Raisch

 

To zero in on increasing sales, average transaction, and average items per transaction look closely at the individual building blocks that make up each sale. There are three basic building blocks to this empire.

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Humor Therapy

Humor Therapy

by Danny Summers

It's time for some Humor Therapy. If you do any kind of search for Humor Therapy you will quickly find lots of resources. For instance, the University of Michigan Health System says, "Humor therapy (sometimes called therapeutic humor) uses the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing. Humor Therapy helps you find ways to make yourself (or others) smile and laugh more. When you think of Humor Therapy, you may picture clowns in the children's ward of a hospital cheering up sick children. Some hospitals now have humor carts that provide funny materials for people of any age. Many nurses have learned the value of providing a good laugh to those for whom they are nursing.

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Remembering Something Special

Remembering Something Special

by Danny Summers

For any Boomer reading this, it will certainly take you back to your childhood days. For anyone younger, I hope I can share what is was like for us and what I see that may be creating that same feeling all over again for many.

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GROUPtalk-Live: Operation "Engaging the Engagers"

GROUPtalk-Live: Operation "Engaging the Engagers"

by Sid Raisch


Overwhelmed yet?

The past week brought many IGC’s to a new realization of frustration and awareness that this Curbside Pickup and Delivery thing isn’t scalable to meet peak Spring demand.

What to do about it?

Take a step back so you can take two or more forward. Things are about to get ugly, or we’re going to figure out how to keep that from happening.

Step in, and watch or listen to the recorded GroupTalk LIVE! You’ll hear, or hear again, why it is important to come up with your own plan for taking care of your customers who have been paying your bills all these years. Focus on that and you’ll be better able to cope with all of this.






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The Journey of Lifetime Learning

The Journey of Lifetime Learning

by Tim Quebedeaux

It has been almost a year since I started work with Steve Bailey. During that time, I have done onsite visits, attended Fall Event as a service provider, compiled the WDR weekly, and helped complete the P&L Study. I have gained a great appreciation for accountability in numbers and in the resolve of Garden Center owners to succeed. From those early Garden Center days to today, I recognize valuable information that I could have used 20 years ago, when I started managing Garden Centers.

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GROUPtalk-Live: Operation "Engaging the Customer"


GROUPtalk-Live: Operation "Engaging the Customer"

by Sid Raisch

On April 2, 2020, Sid Raisch presented the following ideas and lead a followup discussion. This 49 minute session offers ideas for how to develop an offensive position for building spring sales via alternative means. We offer the video recording as well as slides in PDF form here.
 

Can you make it?

The IGC Spring Sales Curve is about to be FLATTENED by the “flatten the spread of Coronavirus” efforts.

I fully support the need to flatten the C-19 curve, and to protect the most vulnerable from getting ill and dying in an overburdened medical care system. I’m hopeful that this can occur. But the practical reality is, while hope is essential, it is not a good business strategy. We are not going to hope our way out of the financial burden of this on your business.


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Lessons and Blessings

Lessons and Blessings

by John Kennedy

As I say often, God gave me two hands to make life easier and decisions simpler.

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