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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.

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A Better Facility = Better Marketing

A Better Facility = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Part 1 of a Series with the Theme “A Better _______ = Better Marketing”

A Better Facility = Better Marketing - Architectural Word of Mouth


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Shopping Habits of 2022

Shopping Habits of 2022

By Danny Summers

ATTENTION: You have an assignment!

As I share this message with you this week, Tim Quebedeaux is finalizing our Mid-Year Weekly Department Review (WDR) and this is always an exciting time to see how the balance of sale by-category (department) compares to previous years. While we have the Year-to-Date tracking each week for what we call "The Big Three"... Sales, Average Sale, and Transaction Count, we can only see sales (and margin) by category for each particular week. As we wait eagerly on the Mid-Year WDR details, there is something I would like for you to consider.

Setting the stage for my challenge this week for each Center, let me first provide a refresher that we all know well from the previous two years and compared against our YTD numbers from Week 26. (Note: These figures are comparing the WDR – Week 26 for 2020, 2021 and 2022.)

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Growing Success

Growing Success - Should You Start (or re-start) Growing?

by Sid Raisch

The historical supply chain shortage of 2020 and 2021 has made the work of acquiring plants from growers more difficult than any time in the past that I can recall. Yes, it was difficult, and a lot of extra work compared to years past, but you survived what is likely an anomaly of a historic and catastrophic, but episodic event. The dust will clear and our vision will clear again. The question is, will it ever be that difficult again? More importantly, will you do yourself more harm than good if you start the also very difficult process of growing?

A favorite and universal definition of Success is whatever we define it to be for ourselves, should we decide to define it. It is always better and more likely that we’ll achieve the success we ourselves define. Celebrating success is encouraging to ourselves and others and an important part of belonging to groups, whether they be our family group, a company, or The Garden Center Group. It is even more important to understand the success we’re celebrating.

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Planning for 2022

Planning for 2022

by Danny Summers

We know it has already begun. You've already started some of your planning for the next spring season. I know you have questions about what to expect and what you will need to prepare for as you do all of your planning. How do you budget for 2022? As a total Group, we ended 2020 in the mid +20% range ahead of 2019 sales, and it appears 2021 may be slightly into double-digit growth on top of that. But what lies ahead in 2022?

Just like the image above, your crystal ball may not be very clear. At the same time, both Steve Bailey and Tim Quebedeaux have been expressing some concerns about inventory levels as we near the end of the selling season. Will you carry over more products than you should? The answer to that may be in Steve Bailey's message in the Week 37 WDR cover page... do you need to re-read that?

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Are You Getting By or Getting Away - Part 2

Are You Getting By or Getting Away? – Part 2

by Sid Raisch

[If you missed Part 1 of this series you can read it HERE.]

Part 2 – Get By or Get Away 
RE-setting Your Value Proposition Post COVID-19

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The Train of Garden Retailing

The Train of Garden Retailing

by Danny Summers

At first glance this might appear as a strange combination. Train verses Garden Retailing? But bear with me as I share some thoughts I have had in recent months. This idea came to me as I was talking with prospective Centers who asked about what we do in The Group and why they should consider joining. Basically, "Why The Group?"

As I thought about my response, aside from all the normal unique sharing, programs and services The Group offers, strangely enough what I have told our daughter and her husband about buying their first home came to mind. We have had numerous conversations with them about how home prices keep going up and how much more difficult it might be to get into your very first home. I said, "Home ownership is like jumping onto a moving train. Once on-board you gain equity as the overall market goes up and as you pay down the mortgage. If you are not on the train, you are loosing ground, going backwards as the train moves forward."

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Are You Getting By, or Getting Away? – Part 1

Are You Getting By or Getting Away? – Part 1

by Sid Raisch

With 79 years to go this may be the biggest consumer con-job of the century, and you are involved.

It’s not a joke that COVID-19 became a convenient excuse, a crisis not going to waste, a cop-out, as well as a likely inconvenient trap for companies to find themselves in. Time will tell, and time is growing short as people are adjusting to the NOT return to normal.

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The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 3

The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 3

by Sid Raisch

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift

NOTE: Some of you are near peak of the season while others have moved on through, but all of you should be in “Management Mode”. This means you’re operating rather routinely on a daily basis at a high level of volume and personnel. The routine becomes a sort of paralysis by default where things are happening without much question, as “the way it needs to be” to get things done, or status quo. There are a few problems with this mode and reading about them will make your time here worthwhile.

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The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 2

The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 2

by Sid Raisch

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift

NOTE: (This is a less than 3-minute read).

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The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 1

The Art of Seeing the Invisible – Part 1

by Sid Raisch

 

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Serving You

Serving You

by Danny Summers

At first glance, this title could represent all of our Group Service Providers and our Staff and our role in serving you, our Garden Center Clients. We are certainly here to serve you. But for this conversation I want it to represent the role you have in serving your Garden Center customers. Your Garden Center serves a very important role in your community. In fact, in the past year I have described you (our Garden Center Clients) as servants to your communities. This was never more evident than what you provided in 2020.

In order to really serve your customers in the very best way possible, you must know your customers. This is definitely a challenge... Just how well do you know your customers? Is it simply by studying their purchase history, what sells and who bought it? It is more than just having their mailing address and email addresses? It is certainly more complex than the data you can access from your POS system.

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How High?

How High?

by Danny Summers

This question may be in many Garden Center Owners' and Managers' minds today relative to sales and business in general for 2021. While we may have thought the growth seen in 2020 to be an anomaly, indications so far for 2021 point to continued growth. With more Group Centers now open and reporting in the Weekly Department Review (WDR) we are beginning to see a clearer view of what the season and year may be like for everyone.

In studying our 2020 results, we saw the increases came through a combination of growth in both Average Sale (about 1/3) and Transaction Counts (about 2/3). In the back of our minds has been the question, "Can our Centers reconnect and attract all the new customers from 2020?"

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Finger on the Pulse!

Finger on the Pulse!

by Danny Summers

This is a very important function of managing your Garden Center today. One of the major benefits of Group participation was most evident in the spring of last year. I remember it very well, just like it was yesterday.

It was Monday, March 23rd, the beginning of Week 13 and that was when we saw the first of our centers being forced to close due to state mandates. Fortunately that Center was in the middle part of the country where spring had not really began yet. Over the next few weeks, most all centers began to deal with new issues, whether business restrictions, new safety protocols and of course staffing issues.  Many Centers had to quickly assess their position with large portions of in-bound orders scheduled for delivery and how they would be able to serve their customers in the coming weeks. In addition, they were wondering what the reaction to stay-at-home orders would be in the minds of the customer. One very important Group connection point was the ability for Centers in the middle to northern portions of the country to watch what was happening down south. Let's look at a few figures from the Weekly Department Review (WDR) from a few of those weeks.

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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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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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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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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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