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Phase III – Significance

Editors Note: After giving our readers a peak spring break to focus on the business at hand I will resume posting several times a week to Strategies Blog. (Be sure to click here to sign up now to receive an email update of new posts.)

Flags of No Significance by Joel Bedford

Flags of No Significance by Joel Bedford

Phases of Spring III – Significance

What is significance?

Webster’s says:

Something signified. Of meaning. Of importance.

Also, significant: having special meaning. Of considerable influence or effect. Of consequence.

Many of us do what we do because it’s what we’ve always done. We are flying flags of no particular significance. We went to school for it, were hired to do it, were born into it or were married into it. In many cases we’re doing the garden center thing better, but why do this in the first place? I know several garden center owners who have been doing a lot better in recent years. They live more comfortably and have debt in control. Their cash flows. But they still search for something – not something they can describe or show you a picture of. They don’t know what it is, just that they haven’t found it. Even they seek more.

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Phase II – Spring Success

Phases of Spring II – Success Mode
This is a bit of reflection on my years of spring in the green business. I’ve noticed what I call the Phases of Spring, which occur as we approach, endure, and emerge from this annual crisis. Regional differences put some of you deeper into spring than others, so adjust for your location. First there is Phase I, Survival Mode. Click here to read about it, and be sure to leave your comments and experiences.

Following panic of early spring is Success Mode. Positive cash flow does wonders for creating a positive attitude. I am looking forward to soon hearing from the first garden center that they’ve already paid off their seasonal line of credit.
Danger: The mid-spring EUPHORIC state of success often harbors, or breeds problems. As the initial stocking, weather watching, and waiting of spring survival mode passes owners move into manage and lead roles. Then…

1.    With cash worries behind, free spending creeps in.
2.    Re-ordering is fun and sort of a rite of celebration of success.
3.    Decisions on new items now seem less risky.

Perhaps even more dangerous is a false sense of security that everything is going to be ok when it is not for some garden centers. Often the state of the business isn’t well at all – when you look at the future. The hard reality of the situation is that your full bank account will dwindle. Doesn’t it always?
The fearful questions that might as well come up now rather than in August:

  1. Will April-June sales be enough to pad the bank account to carry you to spring 2010?
  2. Will you make the margin dollars you need to pay wages and operating expenses during Fall and Christmas 2009?

Oh, back to Success for a moment. Customer flow increases and your staff focuses on watering, stocking, re-ordering and checkout. Customers largely serve themselves – just like they do at The Home Depot. Well if not, how can you prove it? Leave A Reply below to brag about your plan…

Stay Tuned… Next time…
Phase III – Significance Mode – Do You Matter?

Don’t Miss The Phases of THIS Spring

Firefighter

There Has to be a Fire to Put Out Somewhere in Here!

I can tell that spring is coming quickly upon the readers of this blog. For the next several weeks we will focus on the here and just-ahead with brief postings of timely thoughts.

In my years enduring the spring surge of the horticulture business I’ve noticed the Phases of Spring that occur as we approach, endure, and emerge from this annual crisis. Regional differences put some of you deeper into spring than others, so adjust for your location.

There is a naturally occurring progression of events and associated emotions during the early spring to summer seasons. In the next few days I will briefly describe each of these in hopes that recognizing what you will be going through will help you counter some of the effects.

The three phases are:

  1. Survival
  2. Success
  3. Significance

Phase I – Survival

Spring begins with the confident feeling you are ready, or the extreme fear that you are not. If you are still feeling confident just wait a few more days or maybe a couple of weeks for your dose of reality.

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