Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

Friday was the last class in an eight week landscape design program I have been teaching.  It was a great class and I honestly think the students all took away some valuable information.  Friday was final presentations.  I find I am so much more excited to see how everyone delivers their designs rather than how their designs actually turn out.  I love public speaking.

I had a student who did not want to present because his english was no es bueno.  The class was great, encouraging him to get up and give it a shot.

He nailed it.

Why?  The basics.  The basics of delivering a good presentation trumped his heavy accent and mediocre grammar.  These points are true whether present to one person or 100.

1. Take your time.  He didnt rush, spoke slowly, and consequently was easy to follow.  The best way to make sure that you don’t rush is to practice.  Don’t just focus on your formal presentations, but rehearse your greetings, elevator pitches, and networking talking points.  (if you don’t have a less than one minute, simple description of your business and what you do, then write and practice one.)

2. Beginning, middle, end.  A pet peeve of mine is talks that are all middle.  He set up the presentation, then delivered the information, then wrapped it up nicely.  Before you start talking, always pause, just for a second, to let the room focus in on you.  Then have a clear start, don’t just roll in to the meat of the talk.  Finally, have a rehearsed finish that ties everything together.  A well organized sales presentation will be better received then one packed with too much unorganized information.

3. Eye contact.  He looked up and connected visually with the audience.

4. Content.  He had a good project.  Good content matters.

When you dont know where to start, go back to the beginning and start at the basics.


Posted: October 30, 2011 in Green Industry, Landscaping, Marketing

To be authentic does not mean to be original.  I suppose the argument could be made that if we are acting with 100% authenticity, and we are all unique individuals, then it could mean original.  But remember this, in America, if you are 1 in a million, then there are 300 people just like you.

In New Jersey alone, it is estimated that there are over 4000 (some say as much as double that) landscape companies.  That’s over 190 per county, and more than 7 per town!  How on earth is a landscape business, or other related green business like garden centers, nurseries, irrigation companies, and tree experts supposed to stand out from the pack?

The answer is simple, there are LOTS of ways.

I started this blog with the idea of sharing my ideas, thoughts, conversations, findings, and questions with anyone interested in listening.  Mostly this is a marketing blog, with a focus on how creative and effective marketing can help small green industry businesses.  Other small businesses may find it useful.  I like calling it a marketing blog, because it leaves room for wiggle room into a lot of topics: branding, customer service, social media, design, business practice, and so on.

So your challenge is to be authentic, be yourself. The more that comes through in your business, the more you will succeed.  MY challenge is to be authentic in everything I write in this blog, so that the information is useful, relevant, and sincere.  And, as with your business, it wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun along the way as well.