PLANET Peer Groups

What are they? | Why should I participate? | Peer group structure | How do I apply?

Lead facilitator, Bruce K. Wilson

MEET OUR FACILITATORS


Wilson-Oyler Group is the landscape industry’s leading facilitator for peer group networking. The first Wilson-Oyler peer group, Next Level Network, was formed in 2005 and has been the model for all subsequent peer groups.

Wilson-Oyler currently facilitates five peer groups nationwide. All are similar in structure and function, uniquely defined by interest and specialty, and individually self-governed.

Wilson-Oyler peer groups are an extension of the facilitators’ commitment to fully understand their clients’ business objectives and then meet those objectives with practical recommendations.

Read the full bios for Bruce Wilson and Tom Oyler

 

WHAT ARE PLANET PEER GROUPS?

  • Self-governing, professionally facilitated, long-term strategic alliances of company leaders who share skills, strategies, and best practices.
  • Members engage with each other on a regular basis to build trust and create lasting, business-building relationships in a confidential setting.
  • Members “open the doors” of their operations and discuss topics ranging from human resource policies and employee motivational techniques to marketing and financial guidelines – and everything in between.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?

  • Perform an ongoing analysis of your business operations and systems
  • Discover meaningful and applicable benchmarks with which to evaluate your business
  • Constantly challenge yourself (and your peer group colleagues) to discover new ideas and ways of approaching your business
  • Receive constructive feedback on problems and issues you face in your business
  • Improve your personal management and leadership skills
  • Build a network of lasting, trusted, non-competitive business advisers
  • Commit to continuous improvement through lessons learned reviews
Read Articles about Peer Groups
January, 2013 issue of Landscape Management
January/February 2014 PLANET News
March/April 2014 PLANET News

 

To listen to an audio recording of a 2012 Green Industry Conference session on peer groups, please click here.

FORMATION OF GROUPS

  • 6-8 CEOs, owners, and/or executive level management
  • Non-competing markets
  • Similar objectives, business lines, financial profiles, and common interests
  • Sales, account managers, finance, and/or key operations staff are occasionally invited to participate
  • All peer group members are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to ensure that proprietary company information remains strictly confidential and exclusive to group activity

MEETINGS

  • 2-4 times per year
  • In-person and teleconference meetings
  • Self-governing = collective decision on meeting frequency and duration
  • Attendance and participation required (except for emergencies)
  • Held during PLANET events or at members’ facilities with a facility tour and a special focus on the facility’s operations

CONTENT OF MEETINGS

  • Special speakers and industry guests
  • Discussions about best practices, pricing pressures, H2B, labor trends, staffing/recruiting, competition, market dynamics, economic trends, technologies, etc.
  • Benchmarking comparisons with review of financial statements and budget reports
  • Progress summary of action items from each member and issues affecting their particular business
  • Additional topics as required
"I have been part of Bruce Wilson's Higher Ground peer group for the last two years. The reasons that I've found peer groups to be so valuable are that they provide you with the opportunity to benchmark your company against other companies in the group; they hold all members accountable to other owners in the group by making commitments at each meeting on certain goals; and they allow you to network with other landscape professionals and owners of well-run companies." -George M. Hohman Turfscape Inc. — George M. Hohman, Landsdcape Industry Certified Manager, President & Founder, Turfscape, Inc.

PEER GROUP STRUCTURE

Tiers & Fees

Tier A
($500K-$2 million in annual sales volume)

PLANET Members: $3,000 annual fee
Nonmembers: $4,000 annual fee

Includes:

  • 1 two-day, face-to-face meeting per year
  • 2-3 teleconference calls (2-4 hours)

Tier B
($2 million-$5 million in annual sales volume)

PLANET Members: $4,000 annual fee
Nonmembers: $6,000 annual fee

Includes:

  • 2 two-day, face-to-face meetings per year
  • 2-3 hour conference calls (2-4 hours)

Tier C
($5 million+ in annual sales volume)

PLANET Members: $6,000 annual fee
Nonmembers: $9,000 annual fee

Includes:

  • 3 two-day, face-to-face meetings per year
  • 2-3 conference call meetings (2-4 hours)

Base Fees

  • Per company per year
  • Includes an annual benchmarking report
  • Includes facilitation and administration of program
  • Includes facilitator's cost for travel and lodging
  • Members have option of being billed on an annual basis or quarterly basis (50% for the first year required at time of the first meeting. )

Additional Costs

  • Peer group members pay their own travel costs
  • When appropriate and feasible, groups will meet at either a PLANET event or at a member’s facility, to reduce travel costs
  • Additional face-to-face meetings outside of those outlined above: $1,350.00 per company, per meeting
  • Additional teleconference outside of those outlined above: $250.00 per company, per meeting for up to two conference hours, and $125.00 for every additional hour 
“As each of us grows our business, it becomes increasingly important to work on the business and not in the business. With all of the demands on our time, and ever tightening budgets, it is difficult to know the best way to accomplish this. For me, the best thing I have ever done for my business is join the Wilson-Oyler peer group; it holds us accountable for making the changes necessary to successfully take our business to the next level." -George M. Hohman Turfscape Inc. — - Gary Mallory, Owner, HeadsUp Landscape, Albuquerque, New Mexico

HOW DO I APPLY?

To apply for the program, simply fill out the form application located here. Your credit card will not be charged until you are placed in a program.

After You Apply

  • Bruce Wilson, PLANET lead facilitator, will contact you to discuss your application  and match you with a group or companies  with similar business interests, values, goals and expectations of their peer group experience.
  • Once potentially compatible participants are matched and/or assigned to groups, we will inform you of your potential new group members. At that time, if you have any issues with the companies involved where you do not think there is a fit, we will attempt to accommodate you by looking for a better match.
  • Following this, a conference call will be arranged among the owners via phone for an opportunity to get to know each other better. If that goes well, the group will be formed and meetings will be scheduled. 

Throughout this process our desire is to make sure we convene compatible groups for all owners, so communication is key. You should ask any and all questions and express any reservations so that they are considered. If you should change your mind about being in a peer group prior to joining a group you application fee will be refunded.

For questions regarding the peer group program, please call Joan Haller at PLANET – 800-395-2522, x 210.

PLANET Peer Group sessions are approved for PLANET Landscape Industry Certified recertification at 1 CEU per hour of education. For more information, please visit PLANET's Recertification Center.