ALCC news center
Planning a more sustainable urban forest Email
News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 11:18 AM

 

tree diversity in urban forestsPlant trees to replace ash, increase diversity

Many Coloradans plant trees in the spring because it’s the best time of year to get new trees established. With the exotic, tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB) establishing its presence in the state, there’s one more reason for planting in Colorado communities this year.

“Now is a good time to consider planting new trees to ultimately replace ash trees that may later succumb to emerald ash borer,” said Keith Wood, community forestry program manager for the Colorado State Forest Service.

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Financial sustainability: Improve loan chances with a bulletproof P&L Email
News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 10:31 AM

 

Financial stabilityMore than 40 percent of U.S. small businesses consider themselves financially illiterate, according to findings of a 2014 Intuit study and the SBA. Yet, 81 percent of them handle their business’s finances.

With April being National Financial Capability Month, now is a great time to brush up on financial literacy skills and the P&L statement (profit and loss statement - also known as the income statement) should be at the top of the list.

It is inevitable that you will at some point have to deal with securing the capital to fund and/or expand your business venture. Your profit and loss (P&L) statement is not only useful for analytical purposes, but it can also tell any possible investors whether you have a strong, viable operation. Small businesses are inherently a high-risk investment for lenders, so the more you can do to prove the integrity of your business and your data, the greater your chances of securing a loan.

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Is your office wasting money? Email
News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 09:46 AM

 

Money down the drainReducing miles driven via routing, fuel and scheduling choices are always high on the efficiency list for most landscape companies because they represent high costs and conversely huge savings through efficient choices. But what about the office?

Earth Day is a good time to remember that the home base for operations – including the office and shop - also requires energy and is one more place to cut operating costs. Whether you own or lease your building, you typically need lighting, heating, air conditioning, power for office equipment and other services. Following are tips to help maximize energy efficiency and save money while helping the environment.

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Earth Day reminder: Green Strategies for Colorado Landscapes Email
News
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 08:08 AM

 

Earth DayOn Earth Day it’s timely to remind ourselves in the Green Industry that as creators and stewards of the built landscape, we have the utmost responsibility to give our personal and collective best to the environments we create and maintain within our communities. And it’s also appropriate for us to remind those within our circle of influence – the clients and customers whom we serve – that we promote and practice environmental stewardship.

What we do every day keeps outdoor spaces healthy, thriving and beautiful so that those landscapes, in turn, can clean our air, cool our buildings, provide recreational areas and generally, keep us healthy.

Do you need a tool to get this message out to those you serve?

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Do customers like how you treat them? Email
News
Thursday, April 09, 2015 05:08 PM

A top complaint from consumers when it comes to customer service is that a business is not available by phone or email. In the current culture of constant contact and instant feedback, consumers want to speak to a person, and they want to speak with someone quickly.

But for the landscape industry, the busy season means that many calls go unreturned. There are often more callers than there are employees to respond. At a small- or medium-sized landscape company, the person who returns calls is also the same person providing services. This lack of availability can often end in frustration for consumers who are looking for services. It creates a negative image for both the business and the industry as a whole.

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Have you guaranteed your company’s debt? Email
News
Thursday, April 09, 2015 04:46 PM

When your company needs financing, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain it unless you give your personal guarantee. This means if the company fails to pay its debt, you’re on the hook.

Personal guarantees are not limited to bank loans and lines of credit and can include commercial leases, loans/leases on cars and equipment leases and other financing. Know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

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Drivers wanted Email
News
Thursday, April 09, 2015 04:31 PM

How many times a day do you see the sign on the vehicle ahead of you that says, "Drivers Wanted?" And how many times to you shake your head over new hires who aren’t legal to drive?

Research is showing that there will be even fewer potential drivers in our future.  Americans born after 1983 are simply not driving as much as their parents did. They tend to rely more on walking, biking and riding transit more while driving less than previous generations did at the same age.  

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Start-up is busy for thieves too Email
News
Thursday, April 09, 2015 04:18 PM

A thief can pop an OEM door lock in less than 30 seconds and be driving your truck and trailer away in less than a minute. And hot wiring a piece of equipment can take even less time. That’s why removing ignition keys and locking doors is not enough to keep vehicles safe.  

Season start-up is downright hectic.  Your people are moving fast and so are thieves who want what you have.  Taking a few steps to safeguard vehicles is equipment are critical and here are a few reminders

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How are you treating boomers? Email
News
Thursday, April 09, 2015 04:04 PM

Boomer customers can afford to be picky because they hold purchasing power for your company’s products or services. Make no mistake about it, if they are disappointed with your customer service, they will vote with their feet, cross the street, and go straight to your competitors.

It stands to reason that having a solid strategy for communicating and for dealing with complaints swiftly with boomers will be a key factor in retaining your Boomer customers.  Here are some insights.

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5 questions NOT to ask in an interview Email
News
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 06:19 PM

 

Questions never to ask in an interviewMost people know to avoid direct questions about a candidate’s age, race, national origin, gender, religion, marital status and sexual orientation. Yet, many seemingly innocent questions like, “Are you married?” should be off limits too. Any question that asks job seekers to reveal information about themselves related to those off-limits topics – unless it is job-related – violates state and federal laws.

There are other ways to find out what you want to know – and it’s all in the asking. Here are 5 don’t-ask questions – and also how to get the info you need.

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Play the game like baseball Email
News
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 05:19 PM

 

Manage like a baseball team--delegateThe manager of a baseball team can’t play all nine positions – and even if he could, he couldn’t handle them all at the same time. In order to maximize all the talent of the team, he can’t be one of the players because his job is to manage and delegate.

In the green industry and every kind of business for that matter, company leaders often want to be the pitcher and play short stop and then switch over to first base. Sometimes they like doing these jobs and hold on to them because they get a kick out of being short stop. But like the baseball manager, they need to delegate, train and trust the whole team to play the game to have a good season.

What holds people back from delegating?

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El Centro is an option for labor needs Email
News
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 01:19 PM

Centro HumanitarioLandscape companies in and around Denver who are looking to fill labor positions often seek creative ways to recruit new workers. One local resource for short-term laborers is Centro Humanitario. Centro Humanitario Para Los Trabajadores (El Centro) is a Denver-based day laborer center promoting work, dignity and community. Its mission is to promote the rights and well-being of day laborers in Colorado through education, job skills, leadership development, united action and advocacy. 

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Need a mentor? Email
News
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 09:19 AM


Mentor programHaving a mentor is some of the best industry or general business education you can get. It’s about real-time issues and offers a roll-up-your-sleeves chance to learn what you need to know from someone who is a few steps ahead.

Mentoring offers a win/win to both sides of the deal. The mentee gains a tutor to address specific business issues – and the mentor serves the industry by helping a colleague take a few steps forward to creating a better career or business. Both individuals and the industry benefit.

Like any productive match, there needs to be a good “fit” between the two. Here are key 5 key steps to finding and working effectively with the right mentor.

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