Your Compass

Your Compass

by Danny Summers

Navigating or setting the right course can be tricky. There has been some Group discussion recently on how to see over the horizon into 2022 with the last two years in the rearview mirror. When I think of navigating and today's tools for today's travelers, I am reminded of the way our kids (grown adults today) navigate as they travel.

I admit, I am revealing what generation I grew up in and I am just as quick to rely on my iPhone to set the course by SIRI and Apple Maps. It's really cool and fast and I can almost be on autopilot. There's not much thinking needed except avoiding the other cars. But at the same time, I feel we are missing out on some very important skills. The art and skills of navigation.

Once in a while when our "not-so-little" kids are at home, I break out a map for a discussion we are having at the time. I'm talking about a real road atlas! At that moment, I begin to see a glazed look appear on these younger faces. It's like I have sat a foreign artifact on the table. They have grown up with GPS, originally separate devices, and in recent years included with their smartphones.

If I really want to add fuel to the fire of the discussion I break out my lensatic compass (when I type this, spell check doesn't even recognize the word). Can you imagine the way they are starting to look at me at that point? For me, a lensatic compass is one of the coolest things and when my parents gave me this one for my birthday (I think I was about 12), I was so excited. And that level of appreciation is still with me even today. I still have that original compass (shown here).

Finding our way or setting our course with trusted reliable tools can certainly add a level of comfort to where we are going. That's not to dismiss the convenience of the most modern tools, but having both adds confidence.

Do you know the Naval Academy stopped teaching celestial navigation in the late 1990s, deeming the hard-to-learn skill irrelevant in an era when satellites can relay a ship’s location with remarkable ease and precision. But satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attacks. The tools of yesteryear—sextants, nautical almanacs, volumes of tables—are not. With that in mind, the academy reinstated celestial navigation into its curriculum in 2015. By the way, the Navy received help from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which never stopped teaching celestial navigation.

You may be wondering... What does this have to do with making plans and navigating business decisions for your Garden Center today?

For me, it illustrates how we need to utilize every tool available to us today, both the newest and ones which have proven their trusted reliability over many years. Some may even be in the "hard-to-learn skills" just like the Navy's celestial navigation but will be important pieces to your planning and managing tools and skills set.

Being active in The Group provides a number of great tools to help you navigate and plan for the seasons ahead. And our Super Team of Service Providers are exclusively leveraging power for you! Their cumulative experience includes some tried and true and not so new skills, as well as some of the most innovative solutions to help you and your team navigate and set a course the right course for your center.

Just a couple of weeks back Robert Hendrickson shared details on utilizing The Group's Monthly Department Report and the Annual Promotion Calendars. Coupled with the extensive resources for Sales, Transaction, and Benchmarking from both the Weekly Department Review and the Annual P&L Study, you have even more. Combine all these tools with your active POS data and the knowledge and experience of your team and you have a very effective way to set your compass!

For 2022, be sure to empower your team with your most trusted and reliable navigational tools as well as the newest!

If you want to learn more about either of The Group Programs, give me a call or email. Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Marketing, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know as I can show you how you can sign up.

Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Steve Bailey, Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, Robert Hendrickson, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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