OFA Bulletin May/June 2012 : Page 1

May/June 2012 • N u m b e r 9 3 3 May/June 2012 • Number 933 Mine Your Income Statement By Paul Fisher, Alan Hodges, Bill Swanekamp, and Charlie Hall Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles about the new economics of greenhouse production. G rowing “quality” plants is now the easy part of managing a greenhouse business – a necessary but insufficient requirement for financial success. The greater challenge is to be profitable in a competitive industry with low margins. In this environment, it is increasingly important to analyze costs and profitability. This article series will report results from leading universities and growers in the Floriculture Research Alliance (floriculturealliance.org) who are working together to calculate costs of plugs, cuttings, liners, and finished plant production. Our goal is to provide tools that help you calculate where you are making or losing money, and what changes can make your business more profitable. This first article discusses the low hanging fruit, so to speak. There is a wealth of information that can be easily gleaned from your annual income statement to improve your business profitability. Future articles will detail how to accurately track overhead costs, space, and enterprise budgets. Benchmarking: Are You Keeping Up with the Joneses? Companies can compare their performance against competitors, known as external or cross-sectional benchmarking, as well as compare their own company Continued on page 7 Are We Prepared for a Cultural Shift? By Angela Treadwell-Palmer I ’d like to talk about three very important things that are currently affecting our industry. 1. Social media is here to stay… Perhaps it is a dirty word to some of you, but it is something you should start paying attention to – pronto! Can you guess one of the biggest industries embracing social media? It’s pizza. That’s right, take-out pizza. Dominoes and Pizza Hut have the two hippest, most happening, truly beloved social media campaigns right now. Are you going to tell me people NEED pizza? They need pizza way less than they NEED plants. So, why are these companies so successful when folks have less money to spend? Not to mention the fact that I think they both have pretty bad pizza. People are buying more pizza than ever and having fun doing it. Social media has built Dominoes and Pizza Hut quite a community. To all the industry folks out there saying people have no money for plants – it’s not true. They have money to stand in a long line for a meal at the Cheesecake Factory on weekends and the food isn’t cheap, but there’s always a line, isn’t there? They are buying. There are fewer people buying and their buying habits have changed, but they are buying. Continued on page 12 Inside this Edition ... Mine Your Income Statement Are We Prepared for a Cultural Shift? Plant Nutrition: Sherlock Holmes Style Beautiful, Beguiling, Bodacious Begonias Generation Y & Customer Service 1 1 2 5 14 Aesthetics vs. Function: The Art & Science of Gardening Plants for Attracting the Birds & the Bees (and the Butterflies): Part 1 Growth Control of Señorita Rosalita & Appleblossom Cleome 15 20 23 Conserve ® : What is the Future of this Insecticide? 25 Separating Fact from Fiction: Things You May Not Know About Plants Skid Pallet Solutions OFA News 27 30 31 OFA Bulletin This is a member benefit of OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals. 1

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