It’s mid-winter. Time to take a break; spend more time with family and friends and think about how you are going to be more efficient and profitable next season. People have different views on how to achieve this goal but for me it really came down to the two “E’s”: Education and Equipment.
As a former teacher, I always embraced the education end. I go to Hardscape North America in Louisville, KY, in October; the Mid-Atlantic Hardscape Show in Atlantic City in December; and the Northeast Hardscape Show (that is in Springfield, MA, this year) in March. We as an industry must be doing something right to have the three biggest hardscape shows east of the Mississippi. Many of the paver manufacturers will be having their free shows this winter as well. I have already received invites from manufacturers like Genest, Techo-Bloc, Nicolock, and Unilock.
You have heard me say this before, many times, over and over — take advantage of these opportunities. And, it goes without saying, our own NHLA provides opportunities not only in the winter but year-round, covering all aspects of the industry. These are great opportunities to learn something new and network with your fellow professionals. I challenge you! Take home one tidbit of information that you can utilize in your business to make you more efficient. DON’T FORGET, EFFICIENCY EQUALS PROFITS.
On the equipment end, it took some hard lessons and convincing from my son Tom, that good efficient tools are extremely important. At one point in my landscape construction career, I had 12 employees. The last few years that I was in business I had 4 employees. We were often more profitable with 4 than 12. And one of the reasons was having proper tools. Think about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your employees. Let the tools do the heavy lifting and save your back, knees, and fingers. Let’s face it. In this industry it still comes down to back-breaking work. Try to extend your career and your employees by taking advantage of the latest innovations and labor-saving tools.
I hope to see you and your crew at an educational event this winter!
— by Bill Gardocki, who is a past president of NHLA (1994 & 1995). He is now a hardscape educator.