January 7, 2019
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartWhere there are business owners and managers, there are always great questions. From my experience as an industry business coach, many owners struggle with very similar challenges each and every day. The toughest part of running any business is having to make a multitude of decisions every week with the confidence and knowledge that you’re making good, informed choices.

Yes, we could simply ask Google and Siri for ‘ready to implement’ resources, but even that takes time to find the right ones, and where do you even begin? A business owner’s time is very limited. I’ll bet your schedule is so busy and tight that making an investment in learning for yourself is often bumped way below other priorities. And taking time away from your business to attend a seminar or networking event is pretty much impossible to justify. If this is how you feel, you’ve got it all wrong. You’re cheating yourself and your business.

Over the past four years, participation in Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network has been growing. Through workshops and online interactions, the group is making an effective and transformational impact on the business owners and managers who have joined. Whether on the group’s private Facebook or LinkedIn page, or within the six networking events held across Ontario each year, the Peer to Peer Network builds confidence, increases knowledge, shares effective resources and brings high return on time invested to everyone who participates. To join, you simply need to be a business owner or manager of an LO member company.

Here’s what some of the groups members are saying about the time they have invested:

Brian and Kim Cotter, Lloyds Grounds Management Professionals, Oshawa

“One of the benefits we value the most with the Peer to Peer Network is the open, honest sharing between companies. We have made great acquaintances with other business owners and feel very comfortable sharing ideas and plans. It is a good feeling knowing you can share a new idea you were thinking of implementing and chances are someone else in the room already does, or has tried to implement your new idea before. The sharing of information and ideas saves time and money. Being part of the group also reminds you that you are not alone in business. Sometimes it feels like you are on an island with no one else to talk to about your business. In this group, we all like to share and help each other out. After being in the business for 34 years, it is great to be involved in a group where owners share openly and tackle the same issues together.”

Christine Moffit, Christine’s Touch Landscape Services, Toronto

“As the owner and main leader in my business, I do not get the opportunity everyday to have discussions on a peer-to-peer level. That is what I value the most of this group and the events it holds. It allows me the opportunity to share challenges and ideas with peers I would not otherwise encounter. I have gained invaluable relationships from this group over the years and expect to gain many more as we grow together.”

Lindsay Drake Nightingale, Yorkshire Garden Services, York Region

“I have been involved in LO’s Peer to Peer Network since its inception. Initially, I joined for the networking with like-minded peers, but then it became much more when I was faced with a financial crunch in early 2015. Members came forward with support and solid suggestions that helped turn my business around. The workshops are always well put together and I learn something new at each session that I can directly implement in my business. Peer to Peer is a great value and cost-effective resource for my business and its continuing growth.”

Johan Bossers, Touch of Dutch Landscaping, Stratford

“I have been a member of the Peer to Peer Network since its initiation and attend usually three or four of the workshops per year. Jacki does an awesome job facilitating the workshops and putting together a program for each topic we have chosen as a group at the beginning of each year. Through breakout sessions during each workshop, we can discuss and problem solve with each other and I always end up with valuable information from my peers, whether they have been in business five or 25 years.”

Gabriel Matamoros, Garden Holistics, Thornbury

“I typically try to attend all six peer group meetings each year, and have done so for the last two years. The biggest value I take away from the group is gaining knowledge and solutions to problems from people that are in the same, or similar situation as I am — and not from someone just speaking at the front of a group who may or may not come from a business that is similar in size or market to my own. It is also rewarding to know that I may be able to offer the same to others. It’s not just ‘my way or the highway,’ as it can sometimes feel from other seminar presenters.”

These Peer to Peer Network members have come to realize first-hand that there’s a huge return for their time invested with the group at our full-day workshops throughout the year.

The information they gain is relevant, effective, thought-provoking and timely. Put simply, it’s the best place to be to get mentoring from peers, and better skills to make effective decisions with improved knowledge.

LO’s Peer to Peer Network will be visiting these LO chapters:

Ottawa Chapter Meeting, Jan. 23;
London Chapter Meeting, Feb. 12;
Georgian Lakelands Chapter Meeting, Feb. 21;
Durham Chapter Meeting, March 5.

In addition, our full-day business solutions and idea incubator events with focused round table discussions are planned for:
Toronto, Jan. 7; Ottawa, Jan. 24;
London, Feb. 13; Ajax, March 12;
Muskoka, Sept. 19-20.

To join, simply email signup.peer2peer@landscapeontario.com.
Jacki Hart may be reached at info.peertopeer@landscapeontario.com.