Is The Customer Always Right?

The age-old expression "the customer is always right" means different things to different people. Some customers expect you to bend over backwards to meet their expectations no matter how grandeur. They believe they are right... more »

Keeping It In The Family

Last month, I talked about some of the reasons businesses fail when they are passed down to the second or third generation. Specifically, such businesses lack pre-planning, lack sufficient training for the new kids in... more »

How Safe Is Your Garden Center?

We see it all of the time — hoses sprawled across the walkways of the store, wet aisles with no safety cones or signage, employees lifting heavy items without assistance, chairs or boxes being used... more »

Return Policy Power

Crafting a good return policy is a challenge for any retailer, but for those in the lawn and garden industry (whose products are mostly perishable), that task is even more difficult. From retail fraud to... more »

The Not-So-Big Garden Center: Being Right About Demographics

The January 2006 issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer included the annual "Industry Leader Forecast" article, and I was flattered to be included in the forecasting group. As 2006 draws to a close, I revisited... more »

The Not-So-Big Garden Center: The Customer Has To Park

It comes as no surprise that our economy is driven by driving. You only have to compare the number of shopping trips taken on foot and the number taken in cars to see this fact.... more »

Seasonal Help 101

It's that time of year again: Nice weather is bringing customers to garden centers across the country. The surge in sales and services that is taking place creates the need for additional staff. For many... more »

Is Storage Costing You?

When you stock a product, you are making a commitment to have that product available in reasonable quantities for immediate delivery to customers. Retailers need to keep items in stock to stay in business, even... more »

Protecting Your Garden Center From Theft

Theft — either from an employee or a customer — is a problem business owners will face sooner or later. While the laws concerning theft may differ in degree from state to state, they all... more »

A Gift Market Overview

With so many gift shows throughout the year across the country, it can be hard to know which ones will suite your gift-purchasing needs: Some feature educational sessions or target specific regions, and some only... more »

It’s Not How Much You Sell — It’s How Much You Get To Keep

Sales, sales, sales. It seems every businessperson involved in small business, garden center owners and managers included, bases success on the amount of sales generated during a given period.A day doesn't go by, especially at... more »

Surveying Christmas

We asked survey participants to describe their season in 300 words or less and here are some of the best responses, in no particular order. There are a number of similarities as well as differences,... more »


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