The buck starts here...

By Jacki Hart, CLP
Program manager, Prosperity Partners

We are now into the second month of 2008, or half way though the 'down time break' from the landscaping season. For those of you who 'do snow,' stop laughing, get some sleep, then come back and read on...

As the 2007 landscaping season wound down, I'm hoping that you quietly promised to make changes to the way you do business next year, so that things will be 'better.'

I'm here to bug you about that promise, and try to prompt you to get busy and move forward. In the next eight short weeks, you will likely hire some new staff, train them, and be running flat out with NO time for working ON your business. What changes have you made for this season in the past eight weeks? And, what are you doing in the next eight weeks? Time's ticking.

Ask yourself some thought-provoking questions. It is one of the best ways to get unstuck and move forward, so that you don't have that horrible jerk down memory lane as your peak season hits and smacks you on the head. If you had any of those 'never again' moments last season, now's the time to make proactive changes to better manage trying times and situations. The problem is that most of us have a hard time coming up with 'how'. We can't figure out which questions to ask in order to get started. That is why we've developed the Prosperity Partners program — to offer a map to follow. To help get you moving toward the next level, I suggest pouring yourself a cup of relaxation, grab a pad, make some quiet time in your comfy chair and ask yourself these questions:

  1. What have I done, since hanging up my spade last fall, to make positive changes in my business? (What really drove me crazy last year, that I don't want to repeat, and how am I fixing it?)

  2. Why am I running this business? (How do I define success?)

  3. What am I ultimately trying to create with my company? (What will it look like in five years?)
Your answers to these questions will help bring your path and priorities into focus.

When you are so entrenched IN your business, working hands on and wearing countless different hats, it's really hard to think and see clearly about what your business is and where it's going, along with when and why. It takes a huge leap of faith to believe in the importance of learning how and when to work ON your business, rather than hands on IN it. I could not be more sincere when I say that it is the best next step you can take is to better prosperity.

Sometimes, it's the simplest thoughts which bring huge clarity and focus. "Those who don't stand for something will fall for anything!" So, what do you stand for in business? Every month in this column, I'm going to ask you questions, get you thinking, and offer you some resources to hopefully guide your quest for better prosperity.

The Prosperity Partners Program at Landscape Ontario invites you into our association for mutual business improvement, offering resources, networking and business skills training. This business development program is in its infancy. It has already helped dozens of small business owners to start their journey to better business and personal prosperity. Every month the momentum and resources of the program continues to grow, so jump in and be a part this innovative prosperity circle. It's a pool of resource partnerships, training, networking, consultants and mentoring. It's energizing and exciting!

Visit the Prosperity Partners page to register online for your next step to better prosperity.