Friday, December 5, 2008

Business - Program on Preserving Your Company's Future During Tough Economic Times

The following is additional information on a program for the Green Industry on survival during tough economic times coming up in Maryland.

Beating the Odds...Preserving Your Company’s Future During Tough Economic Times

Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Time: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Davidsonville Ruritan Club3358 Davidsonville RoadDavidsonville, Maryland 21035 Map and Directions
Registration: Registration form can be downloaded at or you can register on-line at:

This could be the most important conference you attend this year, at Beating the Odds…
You’ll gain insight on why customers really do know best, getting your business moving in the right direction, what you need to do and how to prepare for a visit to your lender, tools for creating best practice skills, and learning how to set benchmarks


8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Opening-Meeting Agenda and Pulse of the Industry

9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Chicken Little Doesn’t Work Here - Robert Hendrickson, The Garden Center Group.

In spite of what you’ve read or heard or even be experiencing, there’s a group of customers out there that view our products and services as essential components in their lives. The reasons why remain constant and cross all generations, income levels and lifestyles. From a customer’s perspective, the secret to business success is pretty clear… this isn’t about us… it’s all about them. Learn why customers really do know best; Discover why most marketing efforts never seem to reach their intended goals; Uncover the reasons why horticulture products and services are more important to people than ever before

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – 11:30 Economic Forecast… Practical Actions For Surviving Through a Down Economy. Dr. Charles Hall, Texas A & M University

As business owners, we are all questioning what actions to take, what plans to invoke NOW to ensure the sustainability of our businesses through tomorrow. Dr. Hall will give his projection for the 2009 economic outlook and then offer practical, real-time solutions including strategic business forecasting (realistically restating your former plan) and other techniques and tactics you can put into place TODAY that are sure to help you tighten your belt and generate sales, feel better about the future, and get your business moving in the right direction.

11:30 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. Approaching your Lender, Bill Borsa, MidAtlantic Farm Credit

A close working relationship with your lender is critical during times of economic strife. Bill Borsa, loan officer with MidAtlantic Farm Credit, will present the nuts and bolts of what you need to do, and how to prepare and present yourself for a visit to your lender.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Working lunch with table topic discussions

Lunch Topics:
What cost-reducing business practices have you implemented successfully this year?
Which marketing strategies have worked best in keeping connected with your best customers?
What has been the biggest mistake you made but learned from this year?
What have your customers responded to best this year?
What have you done to keep employees motivated and focused?

1:10 – 2:30 p.m. Breakout Session - Garden Centers and Suppliers

Thrive or Survive… Retail Skills for the New Economy. Robert Hendrickson, The Garden Center Group

It should be obvious to anyone in retail that business is no longer being conducted “as usual”. Economic issues, competition and the increasing cost of doing business have created the necessity for garden centers to be in a perpetual state of re-invention. This is the perfect time for reviewing the challenges and successes of 2008 while considering changes taking place in every market… at every consumer level… that are having serious implications on how business gets done. This session will cover 1) Tools for creating best practice skills 2) Real-life examples of garden centers of all sizes still thriving regardless of the economy, and 3)Connecting the links between supplier, retailer and consumer

Breakout Session – Landscapers, Growers, Arborists and Others

Different Isn’t Always Better But Better Is Always Different… Measuring What You Manage. Dr. Charles Hall, Texas A & M University

How many growers, landscape service providers, and arborists really know the financial status of their business? The prolonged economic downturn (and resulting bankruptcies) is bringing the reality home that green industry firms must be financially prepared for times when cash flows slow down or even stops flowing. Which financial benchmarks are worth your time tracking and how much deviation from these benchmarks is acceptable before corrective actions should be taken? In this session, growers and service providers will learn how to set their own benchmarks and gauge whether or not they really are doing as well as they think they are!

2:30 – 2:40 p.m. Break

2:40 – 3:30 p.m. Wrap Up and Q&A. Sharing of Lunchtime Roundtables. Action List Development

See the brochure here
Register Now

Contact Information
Phone: 410-823-8684, Email:
Send Email

Event sponsors:
Maryland Arborist Association
Maryland Greenhouse Growers’ Association
Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association
Maryland Department of Agriculture
University of Maryland Cooperative Extension

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