Variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes. And that’s why Dan and I try to find different topics to write about in the two columns that open this magazine every month. But since our upcoming “Landscaper of the Year” program is so exciting and – frankly – different from any other recognition program in our industry, I’m going to bend that rule a bit this month.
Most writers and editors are attracted to their craft because they want to tell stories that will entertain and, hopefully, benefit their readers in some way. Experience teaches us that stories focusing on the human element are the most compelling. And those are the stories that our “Landscaper of the Year” will begin to tell next year.
Every one of us has a story to tell: Perhaps you rolled the dice by quitting a secure job to follow your dream. What sacrifices did you make as you entered into the landscaping industry? What decisions did you agonize over? What role did your spouse and family play in helping you achieve your vision? Did a mentor or a customer help steer you in the right direction? What about the crews you hired? These are important considerations in our “Landscaper of the Year” series. Far from being a vehicle for self-publicity, these stories inevitably become a way for successful landscapers to acknowledge and recognize the many people in their lives who helped them become established in a highly competitive and complex business world.
But there’s another element, too. We’ll also be asking you to share the lessons you’ve learned as you built your business with our readers. How do you hire and retain good employees? Have you struggled with immigrant labor? How do you manage your equipment fleet? Do you buy new or used machines? Is your maintenance handled in-house or do you farm it out to your dealer? How do you attract new business and handle collections? Are you going to grow your business or keep things the way they are? Are you active in your community? Do you work hard to present a positive and professional image?
The Total Landscape Care editorial staff is now accepting applications for the “Landscaper of the Year” program. We’ll review all submissions and narrow the field to 12 finalists – all of whom will have their story featured in this magazine – with the winner featured in a January cover story to kick off the new year.
To enter, follow the instructions on Page 49 of this issue, or contact your local Case Equipment dealer for more details. We’re looking forward to telling your story.