Friday, December 22, 2006

Festivus Celebration

Kevin Campanella, a landscaper from Rhode Island, was featured in an article celebrating the holiday of Festivus, an anti-Christmas holiday created on Seinfeld. If you want to read about Kevin's Festivus celebration, click here.

I loved this episode, and may have to buy one of these Festivus poles.

And just in case you really want to get into the Seinfeld holiday spirit, you can make a donation in your friends' names to a real-life Human Fund. Based out of Cleveland (where Landscape Management is also based), "The Human Fund effectively supports arts education programs for under-served children," according to its Web site. Visit it here.

Happy holidays everyone.
— Mike Seuffert

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another great snow job

Give Snow King John Allin credit. The former Erie, PA-landscape company owner and one of the forces in the formative years of the Snow & Ice Management Association doesn’t let any slush form under his feet. After founding, running (and piling up a lot of debt in the process) and unloading the national Snow Management Group, he’s become an international traveler as president of Snow Dragon, a division of huge Park Ohio Holdings, based in Cleveland, OH. We recently got a news release about Allin in Salzburg, Austria. It looks like he’s helping pull together another snow association, this one in Europe. You can bet he’ll be pushing and selling his company’s large snow-melting equipment. He knows the business and the melters fill a big hole in the industry. Beyond that, Allin is a pretty good darn salesman; he proves it again and again.

Free isn't always good

Countrywide Lawn Doctor, a UK-based landscaper is offering free franchises. It's a brilliant marketing scheme, but will it hurt the industry? The company is getting interest from numerous people, many of whom have never been in the industry. Sure it's only in the UK right now, but you be be sure if the concept takes off, it will show up in the States.

It takes more than a little business savvy to be succesful. While it's easier to win business when you're better than the competition, truly bad providers can sour people on an industry.

The franchisee does need to pony up the money for equipment, so new owners will certainly have an investment they'll want to protect. Let's hope that Countrywide supports that in every way possible.

For more about the free franchise click here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Light up your customers like Lampoon's Griswolds

Jim and Lea Sharp, Sharp Lawns, Mooresville, IN, say the holiday decorating season keeps getting longer and longer, with some customers wanting their home decorations in place soon after Halloween.
Challenges to home decorating include high winds and homeowners that want their homes to look like the Griswolds in the movie, “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.”
You can read about the Sharps in a nicely written article (click on headline) that appeared in a recent issue of the Martinsville, IN, “Reporter-Times” newspaper. — Ron Hall

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't take shortcuts

Nothing could be more tragic than the loss of the child. Being responsible for that death and having to live with that knowledge for the rest of your life has got to a nearly unbearable experience. The driver of a landscaping truck ran down a 10-year-old girl was an off-duty police officer working for his family's landscaping company. What's worse, he didn't have the proper license to drive the vehicle.

For the full story click here:

Some good news

It's sometimes amazing the stories you'll see come across when you "Google" the word "landscaper." A lot of the time, the news involves the police blotter. (Like the landscaper who nearly drowned in a client's pool with his backpack blower on.) But for once, the news was good. Congratulations to Feliciano Aragon, a Melbourne, FL, landscaper from Costa Rica who just won the $9 million Florida Lotto jackpot. Check out the rest of the story here.

— Mike Seuffert