January 15, 2008

By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners program manager

Jacki HartEvery once in a while we read or hear about something that changes the way one thinks about what we do. This article is one of them. I promise.

This year, in every issue of Horticulture Review, I will offer fresh ideas on how to improve your lifestyle and prosperity with hands-on stuff that works.

By now, I hope most readers have heard of the new Prosperity Partners program developed by LO. This partnership program offers a gateway to new resources, info, business skills and networking — all based on newly adopted business strategy techniques.

By coming on board with us in the Prosperity Partners program, learning partnerships will develop between you and the industry around you. It’s about professional business development, and creating partnerships among you and your peers, suppliers, association, local chapter, co-workers, and your company team — all with your sights set on working smarter, not harder.

Your peers and industry leaders, who want all of us to thrive in an industry trusted by the public and be capable to provide sustainable prosperity for all those who are committed to it, have developed the Prosperity Partners concept. We will work together to assess business management skills and fill the gaps, one business at a time.

Core areas in which the program guides you to improve include: leadership, sales success, professional operations, financial health and developing customers for life. An initial assesment of you as a business owner and a snap shot of your business are two of the first tasks you will complete. A process will then unfold to determine what to do more of, and what to improve, followed by many learning venues, methods and peer support.

Say good bye to the guy down the road who always underbids you on every job. Your newly-learned professional business practices will keep you understanding, focused and busy on what you are doing well, and doing more of it. You will learn that the low bidder can have the poor-paying work and with a sound multi-layered business strategy, you will be so busy doing profitable work, he or she will no longer be a threat to your profitability or prosperity. This is one of the largest gaps in our industry. This program is founded on the vision of drastically reducing this problem for everyone who wants to raise the bar.

The Prosperity Partnership program is designed for small business owners. An introductory seminar starts the journey to become very clear about who you are as a business owner, why you are in business, and what you want to achieve in your business. This fantastic workshop is a fun and thought provoking process, and will truly reveal the foundation of your business.

Next, you will learn to define your core strategy, and where your strengths lie. The areas that your business needs to strengthen are clarified and your ‘next steps’ tools are laid in front of you: Professional development seminars, study guides, workshops professional consultants or pairing with a green industry mentor.

To become involved in this partnership involves commitment; a commitment on your part to truly improve your business and achieve a better work/life balance and prosperity. It’s a commitment to understand where your ‘sweet spot’ is in business, and how to better manage the stuff that drives you crazy and makes for long days.

It’s about teaching you to work smarter, rather than harder, and to work on your business instead of in it.

Here’s your next step to prosperity. I invite you to take it. There is no time like the present in this industry to work on your business, so come on in and join us in a new, painless way to better prosperity.

Watch this space next month for an inside look at the introductory self assessment process that begins the prosperity journey. I’ll include comments from our first 25 business owners who began the program, so that you can read first-hand how effective and quick the learning curve is. For more info go to www.horttrades.com, and click on the Prosperity Partners logo.

Introductory Prosperity Partners seminars are being held in Milton during January, February and March, and in Ottawa in February. E-mail prosperity@landscapeontario.com for more details, or to sign up for your next step to a more prosperous future.

I hope to see you soon.

Jacki Hart may be reached at prosperity@landscapeontario.com.