Landscape & Irrigation

January/February 2016

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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So, you're an experienced landscape and irrigation professional — or maybe you're just starting out. What resources are out there to help start and/or grow your business? I interviewed four experts to get their thoughts on the best resources for your company. Anne Bowering, communications specialist, Canadian Nursery Landscape Association Trevor Freamo, operations manager, Bernwood Contractors Simon St-Pierre, vice president, Le Regard Vert Eric Corey Freed, founding principal, organicARCHITECT What would you say are the best business resources for a success- ful landscape and irrigation company? Anne: DynaSCAPE is excellent, cutting-edge landscape design soft- ware. Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to network with peers, see what's coming up in the industry, and what's trending. More and more, trade shows are being paired with a day or two of conferences, which provides world-renowned speakers and industry experts. In Canada, I'd recommend the Landscape Ontario Con- gress, Landscape Alberta Green Industry Show, CanWest Hort Show, HortEast Trade Show and Conference and many more. Ensuring that your staff is up to date on training is key to a suc- cessful company. Not only is it good business practice, but it also adds reassurance to clients. Health and safety training is important. The Landscape Industry Certified program offered by the CNLA is a great way to demonstrate your professionalism. Certification is available for technicians, retail horticulturists, landscape designers and managers. Of course, membership in your local green trade association is key to a successful business. Some of the benefits include: representation (being part of a national voice that advocates effective solutions on a municipal, provincial or state and federal level), networking (endless opportunities to connect with and learn from other industry experts who have been where you are), education and certification (online seminars, education opportunities, training courses, mentorship programs), member savings programs (significant discounts on equipment, vehicles, training, office supplies, etc.), and more! Trevor: As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. I am a strong believer in providing several designs. Advanced landscape design software programs help you provide unique 3D designs com- plete with color images of the stonework and foliage configured to the property. We are also proud members of the Irrigation Associa- tion and Landscape Ontario, which provides our team with current trends and best practices. Simon:You need a lot of experience to be able to call yourself an ex- pert. I have been in the industry for several years, 11 at least. After a few summers in the field, I decided to get my landscape degree. It helped me to have completed some projects before starting my education. It makes a big difference with your competition, and the customer knows it. But now, a lot of the information can come from the Internet: you have everything you need to know. But for plants, the old experienced guy in the greenhouse knows best. Eric: There are so many tools I use on a daily basis; it's almost hard to keep track! For software, I use TypeExpander (saves me hours ev- Best in Business BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 10 January/February 2016 Landscape and Irrigation Resources for your landscape and irrigation company ■ BY JENNIFER FODEN DESIGN BY BERNWOOD CONTRACTORS

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