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July 22, 2013
A couple of years ago I was asked to give a keynote speech to a group on the state of the building industry. The primary interest on the part of the group was to have me make sense out of what was happening out there and hopefully give some insights...
July 22, 2013
The “green industry” is a mature industry. In short, this means that, over time, sales growth will track with the overall economy.Since the mid-1980s, the industry has had a demographic advantage and has grown faster than the overall economy –...
July 22, 2013
With a pair of strong, bipartisan procedural votes (one passed 82–15 and the second, 84–15) the United States Senate has embarked on the next phase of the journey toward a modernized immigration system. Those votes simply allowed for the debate to...
July 22, 2013
The economy seems to have done an about-face during the first few months of this year and after the hoopla otherwise known as the fiscal cliff came to an end.Housing is rebounding, businesses are starting to hire and shoppers are, well, shopping....
July 22, 2013
Mark Nash and his father, Howard, are not your typical greenhouse owners. They did not grow up in the business, nor do they have an educational background in horticulture. As a matter of fact, there’s a strong possibility neither one of them would...
May 09, 2013
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to predict the future? Wouldn’t it be nice to know who the industry’s most influential individuals are going to be in the coming years? Wouldn’t that make things so much easier? Looking at the list of individuals on...
March 20, 2013
Spring — we plan for it, we forecast for it, we buy for it, we hire for it, we train for it, we pray for good weather, and we even take vacation before the Spring season starts. I don’t know about you but each year I cannot wait to see the first...
March 20, 2013
If you’re currently in a position of leadership, you have obviously proven your skills, talents and capabilities over time. You’ve gotten to where you are through a series of smart decisions, hard work and quite possibly an incredible amount of luck...
March 20, 2013
While most of my business advice pertains to what you do or think about during the workday, sometimes a better question to ask is: “What is keeping you up at night?” Or, more accurately, what wakes you up at night and makes it tough to go back to...
March 20, 2013
What began as a landscape construction company in 1973 has since bloomed into 80 acres of growing space known as Van Belle Nursery. Founders Bill and Grace Van Belle have since passed the business down to their son, Dave Van Belle, although they are...
January 14, 2013
As we approached the end of 2012, it seemed that every article, newsletter and magazine was filled with either trends or resolutions that we need to be aware of and will make us all extremely successful in 2013. I must also admit that I really enjoy...
January 14, 2013
I’ve been asked quite frequently over the past several months about how the economy was going to affect the election. But to me, the corollary question is more interesting. How will the economy react to the election?That’s a tough question to answer...
January 14, 2013
As we slowly see the economy turn around, or as you tire of being hunkered down, growing your business should be a priority for you. It has been said that if a business is not growing, it is dying. Over the past five years, growth has not been a...
January 14, 2013
Central Florida is known as the “Tropical Foliage Capital of the World.” Just drive up Highway 441 from Orlando and travel through towns like Apopka, Mt. Dora and Zellwood and you can’t miss seeing greenhouses of all shapes and sizes growing all...
November 13, 2012
Welby Gardens — now in its 64th year of business — has become a venerable one-stop shop for its various customers. But it hasn’t always been that way. What began in 1948 as a small produce farm of 1,500 square feet has grown to be a 23-acre...
November 13, 2012
While I am not a soldier, and have therefore never been in combat, I often use images and metaphors as a tool to make sense out of things, and “battle” and “war” often seem to relate to business. I asked a friend of mine who is in another industry...
November 13, 2012
As a frequent traveler, I am always amazed at the sundry of experiences that air travel offers. I see examples of incredibly poor service and I see examples of outstanding service; the former more so than the latter, unfortunately. I have found that...
November 13, 2012
In a few short weeks 2012 will be in the books and if you are like me you will step back and ask yourself questions like “what happened to this year” or “where did the time go?” You might even make a statement like “I did not get near as much...
September 14, 2012
In business and in life, we plan. We plan based on what we want to accomplish. These plans take into account where we are today and what we think we can do.  For these plans to be meaningful, we must also look at history. This history addresses...
September 14, 2012
This year’s OFA Short Course (July 14 to 17, in Columbus, Ohio) was phenomenal.  As I have said before, it’s one of the few meetings where I learn every bit as much (or even more) as I am hopefully imparting on others. That is the beauty of...