Developing Your Most Valuable Asset

Developing Your Most Value Asset

by Danny Summers

As a Garden Center Owner or Manager, I challenge you with this question: What is your business' most valuable asset?

Your answer to this question may very well differ from other owners or even financial experts. But, your most important asset may not be on your balance sheet. If you consider nothing happens in your business without your staff, you may want to revise your answer.

Staff has been described as the most valuable asset during discussions by some of our centers before and even by some of our service providers as well. And, at the same time, I ask you this question as a business owner or manager:

What is your biggest challenge today?

Many of you may say finding (and keeping) good employees. Well, we need to face the fact this is not going to become any easier in the future. Here's just one reason...

2018 Birth Rate in the USA - Lowest in 32 Years

Last week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) here in Atlanta released a study showing about 3.79 million babies were born in the U.S. last year, a 2% decline from the previous year and now at a 32-year low. You can see the study in PDF FORMAT HERE. The changing demographics could hit the economy, since fewer babies = fewer future workers... all while the retired population grows. The general fertility rate (the number of births per 1,000 women ages 15-44) fell to 59.0, the lowest level since the federal government started keeping track. Here's a graph from Bloomberg to illustrate.

It may be easy to be discouraged when reading the CDC study and followup reporting by some of the nation's news agencies on the subject, but one thing is clear. Finding, keeping and motivating your staff is a VERY IMPORTANT goal and it will only become more important in the future. It also can be a great way to be different as we see a continuing trend in major chains with an ever-increasing number of self-checkouts (aka... store with no people).

We Can Help!

If you have reviewed any of the details of The Fall Event 2019, you will see multiple sessions to help you with this challenge. Here's just a few sessions to show you the importance of this subject and how we will help in Nashville:

Tim Miles - IT'S TIME for Some TLC
(finding ways to engage employees, manage change, and lead our teams)

Jean Seawright - IT'S TIME to Prepare for a New Era of HR
(updates for the latest HR issues, hottest recruiting ideas, and much much more)

John Kennedy - IT'S TIME to Manage at the Speed of Life
(skills to balance work and family commitments without sacrificing the quality)

A Happy and Motivated Staff!

The ultimate goal is pretty obvious. You want (and need) a happy staff. One that works together as a team. They need to be motivated to achieve the business objectives and have a vision for the business and its position in serving the community. I am confident many of our Group centers have a Happy Staff and I could feature your centers as examples.

The Happy Staff I am showing here is The Family Tree Garden Center, here in metro Atlanta, owned and managed by Dana Pike-Van Vlake, her husband Jeff Van Vlake. The photo here also has Dana's Dad in the middle, Mr. Pete Pike, who was one of Atlanta's most respected garden retailers. Dana, Jeff, and their general manager, Mickey Brooks recognize their most valuable asset (their staff) and have brought together a Happy Staff. The results are experienced every day by each customer that walks through their door, and by each staff member appreciating a fun place to work. On The Family Tree's website they say "We are so happy to be a part of the Snellville community." They use words like passionate, committed, and quality, and it shows in every smile! Congrats to The Family Tree!

Don't Miss the Opportunity

If you recognize the challenge ahead in attracting, motivating and keeping a productive and happy staff, you need to be at The Fall Event 2019. I know this sounds like a promotion, but this is serious stuff. It's your business we are talking about and why would you not leverage every possible Group benefit and every ounce of knowledge inside The Group? If this is important to you... I look forward to seeing you in Nashville. It begins with pushing this button!

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