Lake County Nursery, Uncategorized

Best Practices

Best Practices

We all have best practices that we know will make us money daily.  Do you follow them? As an owner and manager, the more you “walk the walk” you set the precedent for your employees.  Sounds easy, but we all struggle as a result of not paying attention to our practices. Being short-staffed, having tight margins and crews that don’t have the same philosophies as the company.

As an avid armchair quarterback, our team meetings usually gravitate to talking about the strength and weaknesses that we witnessed from our favorite or least favorite team over the weekend. Just as the professional teams will reflect on their past performance and watch tapes on their next opponent, we do the same process.  We take our success and begin to implement ways of repurposing them to the next customer and then we see what our weaknesses are and put together a game plan to avoid them in the future. These are simple ways to continue improving your best practices.

Comparing professional sports team processes to other professional establishments may seem far-fetched or is it? I think you will agree if they don’t stick with a process you begin to show your weaknesses.

What do your customers think of your “best practices”?  What do you think of your vendor’s “best practices?  Does your crew understand your practices and why they need to be implemented? WOW, that can be a huge laundry list to gather, teach, learn and share. Without a plan, you could be sending the wrong message and worse you could be losing money.

So, where do you begin? It depends on many different factors. Are you refining, rebuilding or a fresh start-up of a business? For a successful team approach, we have given 5 basics game-changers that should be implemented.


Every good coach has their playbook and continues to refine their manual to assure the team is working towards the same goal. Your manual contains your company’s best practices that define your systematic approach to implementing business policy, expectations, plans, and work routines. It can achieve several benefits for your organization. Having your standard operating procedures documented makes it easier to train new employees, saves time, makes your business more scalable, reduces your liability risks and adds market value to your company.


Making a commitment to bettering your business starts at the top and there are many resources for you to utilize. It can be a daunting task and many companies never put best practices in place because they don’t know where to start.  A business should not be based on luck; it should be methodical and well thought out before you start.  If you are lucky enough to have success but are stagnant you may want to think about the following.


What better way than to learn from your peers.  The horticulture profession offers many learning avenues.  Associations host numerous events, technical programs in colleges, chamber of commerce luncheons, even your insurance agent will host numerous events.  Don’t have time to attend an event in person? You can find many webinars; YouTube videos and the list can go on and on.

I understand you are busy. We all are, but it is highly suggested a mix of webinars along with networking events. AND think outside of the box; meet with like-minded peers outside of the horticulture profession to gain a broad insight into what could be happening in your region.  Not limiting your thought process will help, you understand trends and problems flow from profession to profession.


Who is your MVP?  Ask your employees who the most valuable person in the room is.  EVERY hand should go up!  A team needs everyone to work to achieve their goal if they didn’t a quarterback on a football team would be the only one on the field. The defensive line must provide the best territorial gain, the offensive line needs to protect the quarterback and allow the running backs to move the ball forward. How well does your team work together?

MVP can also stand for A Minimum Viable Product. It is the least amount of product or service you can bring to the market while achieving two objectives: maximizing value to the customer and minimizing costs.

“Good judgment only comes from experience, and experience typically comes from bad judgment. The toughest lessons to learn are usually the most costly in terms of resources and capital, so the best practice for you is the one that keeps your business unique.”  ( 4 Best Practices to Avoid Startup Failure).

What’s Your Brand?

When people are asked, what’s your brand, they usually cower away because they are afraid and don’t understand what is being asked of them.  Your brand…  who are you, what do you do for your customer, who is your customer?   Once you decide who your customer is usually the other questions will fall into place.

“Lake County Nursery is a quality wholesale grower of trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants. Our territory will range from the upper east coast through the Midwest states.”  So, who are we- growers, what do we do for our customer- offer quality plants, who are our customers- that’s a little trick from the above statement… a company that would purchase from a wholesaler? It is vague, but that gives us the opportunity to offer products to those who would purchase from business to business company.


In conclusion, your best practices should help all members of your team to see your vision. As a result, they will set the future of your company to achieve a smooth-running, efficient and profitable business.  These ideas are to help your company develop your team approach. There are no guarantees in business, just hard work! Hopefully, you find this blog helpful and keep moving with forwarding motion.

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