Getting involved in trade associations and extracurricular activities is a great way to stay on top of the latest trends while also ensuring that your business remains a market leader, says Laurie Broccolo of Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care in Rochester, N.Y.
The most important thing for lawn and landscape companies, she says, is to become actively involved in such organizations rather than being passive members.
“Don’t just join and send a check,” she says. “You’ll get so much more out of actively participating. Now you’ve got other businesses you can benchmark against.”
She cites her own experience as one example. Her involvement in the Women Presidents’ Organization changed her business in a fundamental way. “They recommended that I go into retail and purchase a garden center,” says Broccolo, who took their advice and is now using her new asset to grow her business.
Some of the organizations Broccolo has been actively involved in include PLANET, the Cornell University Cooperative Extension and a trade group for landscape architects.
Over the years, Broccolo’s involvement with the Cornell Extension office has often given her a chance to become involved in cutting-edge research. She recently helped researchers there to monitor the crane fly population in Monroe County.
“We can be researchers’ eyes in the field, and this has helped us to be way out in front of the competition from an integrated pest management perspective,” she says.
Broccolo’s involvement in such groups has fostered connections that generated referrals and grew her business. “We’re one of the largest locally-owned businesses in the Rochester area,” she says. “But we still have a lot of market share to capture.”
This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape's Growing Green e-newsletter. For more on Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care: