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Plant Your People

Plant Your People

By John Kennedy

 

As the road in this new year is currently being paved, and 2022 slowly appears on the horizon of your garden center’s windshield, it’s always a good idea to reflect on the past year that is disappearing in the rear-view mirror quickly before the lessons and blessings are forgotten.

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Teamwork!

Teamwork!

by Danny Summers

Very few activities exemplifies TEAMWORK like being part of a competitive rowing crew. Though I have never participated in this sport, I think everyone being so in-sync to produce the best (in this case... fastest) results is a great way for us visualize TEAMWORK.

What about TEAMWORK in your Garden Center? The goal of every Garden Center should be to create a fun and rewarding environment for each team member to be excited, motivated and inspired to be an important part of your team with the purpose to ultimately serve the customer.

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Two Types of Leadership

Two Types of Leadership

by John Kennedy

As we round out the year with the holidays, it’s always important to begin to think about what 2022 will shape up to be…will it be like 2021? 2020? 2019? Or will it have a personality all of its own?

Whatever the story is to be told, having a plan that will address it is always better than having no plan at all.

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Find Your Work Zen

Find Your Work Zen

by Danny Summers

While the title for this message can be for you, I am really presenting this as an idea for our Centers to consider as a message to promote to prospective team members (new-hires) in the coming seasons.

Evidence is mounting that Garden Centers can be in a prime position to capture the attention of a large number of Millennials who have discovered over the last 18 months they really do not want to return to their typical work environment. I can see the job listing now... Find Your Work Zen at (insert your garden center name here)!

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The Gig is UP!

The Gig is UP!  Adopting and Adapting to Change

by John Kennedy

As we all know, the pandemic accelerated our need to embrace technology, e-commerce and innovation. From curbside pickup to on-line ordering, our garden centers jumped from 2020 to 2030 in just one year. It’s like we took a Quantum Leap (great TV show!) into the future, and are now wondering if we stay, or “leap back” to 2021.

That is the great big question for all of us.  Go back to the way it was, embrace the way it is (a great song) or embark on the way it will become?

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A Culture of WHY

A Culture of WHY

by Danny Summers

Over the past two weeks, we have been experiencing Florence Williams' wonderfully impactful story of 'The Nature Fix.' It is the result of her multi-year work of documenting WHY nature is so important in the health and welfare of every human being.

Many of the details contained in her book support what we all have known for years about the importance of plants and the activity of gardening. We just did not have the science to back up our beliefs... until now.

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Building Relationships

Building Relationships

by Danny Summers

Relationships. It is the lifeblood of a successful career or business. It spans all aspects of your operation... Your customers. Your staff and management team. Your growers and hardline vendors. Other relationships you have are here within The Group. The relationships built with The Group's team of Service Providers and your peer Centers is something that is very unique today.

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The Brutal Truth of the Cost of Non-Productive Labor

The Brutal Truth of the Cost of Non-Productive Labor

by John Kennedy

One day, I stopped by a job site of a landscape client of mine. The two crew members were sitting on the client’s patio furniture taking a break (Bad Start!). One was smoking (he quickly tried to hide his poor judgement). I sat at the table with them and asked to have some" fun with numbers" (a hint of sarcasm floated over the wrought iron table…)

 

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A Bright Future

A Bright Future...

by Danny Summers

That's what I see ahead for Garden Retailing and the Horticulture Industry as a whole. We have several both direct and indirect evidence to support this vision for what's beyond the horizon. First, let's consider what almost every Garden Center has experienced the past 15+ months. Reports of seeing 20-25% new customers and a high percentage of them were young. And by the questions they asked, they are new to gardening. We have wondered if they would return this spring and most indicators point to YES, they have. These new plant and gardening enthusiasts are finding their own joy and passion in their garden activities. If we can continue to help them be successful and build upon this new-found relationship with plants and their garden, this may very well be the much needed bridge of transition between boomers and the next generation. These new young customers are one of the best pieces of evidence to support the vision of "A Bright Future."

Additional evidence to support a vision for "A Bright Future" can be seen in this year's nominees for Green Profit Magazine Young Retailer of the Year Award. In the December 14th edition of GROUPtalk, we announced a new Group effort to co-sponsor and promote Green Profit Magazine Young Retailer of the Year Award for 2021. The Garden Center Group, with support from our Partners for Success, are official sponsors of the 16th annual award, along with AmericanHort.

This past week, Green Profit announced the three finalists for this year's awards. They are:

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How About a Refill?

How About a Refill?

by Danny Summers

 

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The Year of Alignment - Part Two

The Year of Alignment - Part Two

by John Kennedy

As we move into the marketing magic of the year, driving focus and attention to our garden centers, which in turn drives foot traffic and the return of new found “fan-demics” (I just made that up) as well as our existing client-base, I thought it might be nice to take a good long look in the marketing mirror.

Each morning before coffee, I take seven steps to the WC to throw some water on my face, brush my teeth, and take a good long look at the drain and damage 56 years of being me has brought to my face--wrinkles from smiles and sun damage, baggy eyes from the six hours of sleep, and a blank stare into the possibilities the day will bring as I slowly kick the cobwebs to the curb, and embrace a deep and spiritual sense of gratitude that I am on the right side of the grass today.

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What's Your Score?

What's Your Score?

by Danny Summers

What's Your Score?
From your customer's perspective... that is a very important question.

In a matter of days or weeks, your Center will see the normal surge of customers with that "Spring Fever" look in their eyes and this important question will begin to be answered by the only people that really matter... your customers. Many of you may already been seeing them. We all know it takes a lot of preparation and training to meet and exceed the customer's expectations and therefore receive their highest scores. High scores relate to repeat visits, and connected and loyal customers. If asked, how will they answer this question?

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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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Good News Fridays

Good New Fridays

by Jean Seawright

After nine long months of living with a pandemic, employers and employees alike are exhausted and stressed. Thankfully, the end is now in sight, although it won’t be fully realized for several months. For now, the virus is surging again and, this time, in the midst of the holidays that even in the best of times can create anxiety for many people.

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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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By the Numbers: The Top Three Motivators

By the Numbers: The Top Three Motivators

by John Kennedy

Nearly 70% of employee turnover is a direct result of owners and managers falling short in feeding & growing our teams. Join John Kennedy in his latest “Insights” video series as he addresses the Three Top Motivators of employees in the workplace.

After the record growth this year in our garden centers, what efforts are being made to recognize & reward the outcomes your teams have delivered? John tackles the top three things employees look for from their leaders and provides insights into the retention and motivation of your top talent.

Enjoy.

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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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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: The Four Types of Thinking

By The Numbers:  The Four Types of Thinking

by John Kennedy

 

Welcome to March and what looks to be an early arrival to Spring!

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January Word of the Month: Visualization

January Word of the Month: Visualization

by John Kennedy

 

Happy New Year...The perfect year to kick off the concept of visualization with 2020 Vision. In the following short video you will learn the value of Sensory Integration – The ability to blend multiple senses together to create a higher chance of success in goal setting and strategic planning. Key take away—“Write it Down”.

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