Kick Off the Spring Season with a Boot Camp By Tim Hodson

If Mother Nature behaves herself, spring should be arriving next month. At least that’s what the calendar says.

Right about now, I’m sure your greenhouse is humming with activity. You have ordered your seed, unrooted cuttings, plugs, liners, growing media, tags and containers, and you and your staff are working furiously to schedule your crops so they hit the garden center benches at the right time.

It’s grow time. It’s an exciting time. It’s a crazy time.

You wouldn’t be in this business if you didn’t know how to grow plants. But how good are you at marketing and selling your products? How good will you be in 2018?

How in-depth is your company’s marketing plan? How well do you understand your wholesale customer base? Do you know what the demographics are of the consumers that buy your plants? Have you brought your employees up to speed on your marketing plan?

If you are a grower-retailer, is your sales staff ready to hit the sales floor this spring? Are they trained properly to interact with and help educate your consumers?

These are the kinds of questions you should review every winter so you are ready when the spring season arrives.

Training for Spring or Spring Training?

So, are you ready for spring?

Could you or another member of your staff benefit from a marketing boot camp before spring actually arrives to make sure you and your team are ready to make the most in 2018?

If you answered “Yes!” to that question, then circle Feb. 28 on your calendar.

On that day, Bridget Behe, professor of horticulture at Michigan State University, and a frequent contributor to GPN, will present a day-long workshop on what growers and retailers need to know when it comes to marketing the products that they grow and sell.

Drill sergeant Behe’s program is designed to get you and your team back into shape for the spring season.

During the interactive workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the hows and whys of marketing green goods. Behe will cover topics from business purpose/philosophy to marketing math and social media. Behe also will discuss effective merchandising techniques, understanding customer behavior during their shopping experience, pricing strategies and more.

The workshop will take place at Michigan State University’s Education Center in Novi, Michigan.

You can learn more about the MSU boot camp by visiting

Are you in marketing shape for the spring season? You still have time, but not a lot. Spring WILL be here before you know it.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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