From The President
‘There is a season’
Glenn Jacobsen, Landscape Industry Certified Manager,
While recently recovering from hernia surgery (ouch, be careful guys,) I was reminded by many of my PLANET friends to give myself time to heal. The temptation, of course, is to jump right back into work as soon as you can, and that would likely be too soon. As they told me, “You’ll know when the time is right.”
Successfully running and growing a business also requires knowing when the time is right. I like to think my timing has improved after 35 years in business. But, you don’t have to be an industry veteran to realize that the timing wasn’t right the past few years. There weren’t many growth opportunities. Instead of growing, most of us spent time thinking about ways to cut costs, avoid laying off people, and looking for any signs that the economy was turning around.
Well, those signs are here now. In most regions, building construction is up, the economy is growing, and residential and commercial clients alike are beginning to release a pent-up demand for upgrades and new landscapes. In other words, the train is leaving the station and there’s no time like now to get on board.
In some very small way, the recession was a learning experience. It taught us to be frugal and how to tighten our belts in ways we’ve never considered before. That’s not all bad. Unfortunately, it also got us out of the growth mentality. We stopped looking for opportunities that weren’t there, or thinking about offering a new service to clients who didn’t have any money to spend.
The landscape has changed, those opportunities are here, and clients have some money. You saw and felt the optimism at the Green Industry Conference (GIC) this year, and I suspect many of you are getting similar vibes right at home. This is the season (the offseason for us northerners and slow season for our southern counterparts) to brush up on our marketing skills, get our production teams in order, and ready ourselves for both top and bottom line growth for 2014.
In some ways, our industry reminds me of the 60s song from The Byrds, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The following lines especially have meaning for what we do: To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven; A time to build up, a time to break down; A time to dance, a time to mourn; A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.
It’s time for us to build up, now. Our balance sheets, our clients, and our employees have suffered enough over the last few years. Just one other thought, maybe we ought to take a few days to celebrate the “turn” of events before our crews get rolling full speed ahead. The place is Disneyland; the event is the Great Escape, February 27 to March 1, where PLANET members can mix in a little business with a lot of fun and laughter with their families.
Remember, there is a season. Let’s make the most of our season now.