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View Full Version : Tip Of The Day - 11/16/05 - Industry Association Question


Sean Adams
11-16-2005, 07:40 AM
Is there anyone who is a member of any of the industry associations - whether on a national level (PLANET), or on a local level (STATE ASSOCIATION)? If so, what made you join, and if not, why have you not joined? Is there something about the associations you feel is missing or does not cater to your needs or business?

PR Fect
11-16-2005, 09:45 AM
Have not. The cost. We belong to many groups, political and social. None have the high dues as the Lawn Care Associations do.

zturncutter
11-16-2005, 10:45 PM
Was a member of the PLCAA several years ago before they became PLANET, saw no benefits, seems like a lot of money for a few stickers. Same was true of other local oganizations I have belonged to over the years. I track all of my calls and really saw no benefit.:rolleyes:

Guthrie&Co
11-17-2005, 12:58 AM
what do you really get out of joining other than a few stickers?

Z Queen
11-17-2005, 01:13 PM
That's too good...(wiping the laughter tears from my eyes).

Want to be a part of them, but these orgs seem really geared to the "big" companies and forget their grass roots foundation. Expo was a prime example of that. If you weren't a big company, or a prestigious golf course, no one wanted to waste their time talking to you. Sad, but ok. Collectively, smaller LCO's continue to have a voice as well. Kentucky hosts were great though...had a good time.

dvmcmrhp52
11-17-2005, 06:05 PM
There is no real benefit to belonging to such organizations in my mind.

What's the tangible benefit?

Sean Adams
11-17-2005, 06:34 PM
I'm not going to say I agree or disagree....but I will say that I feel that organizations in this industry do not give attention to the needs of its members - the true needs - like Dave says - no real tangible benefits.... I understand there is a certain level of satisfaction or pride tha comes with showing your direct affiliation with a professional association....if there was an organization or association that directed its efforts towards the needs of the members, lowered the price, and found a way to provide real, needed benefits then what?

PR Fect
11-17-2005, 07:07 PM
I'm not going to say I agree or disagree....but I will say that I feel that organizations in this industry do not give attention to the needs of its members - the true needs - like Dave says - no real tangible benefits.... I understand there is a certain level of satisfaction or pride tha comes with showing your direct affiliation with a professional association....if there was an organization or association that directed its efforts towards the needs of the members, lowered the price, and found a way to provide real, needed benefits then what?
Then they would have one heck of a bunch of members. And numbers means power. Power to really do some good for its membership. PR

dvmcmrhp52
11-17-2005, 08:23 PM
....if there was an organization or association that directed its efforts towards the needs of the members, lowered the price, and found a way to provide real, needed benefits then what?



Then maybe you'd have something worthwhile...............

DLS1
11-17-2005, 09:09 PM
I'm not going to say I agree or disagree....but I will say that I feel that organizations in this industry do not give attention to the needs of its members - the true needs - like Dave says - no real tangible benefits.... I understand there is a certain level of satisfaction or pride tha comes with showing your direct affiliation with a professional association....if there was an organization or association that directed its efforts towards the needs of the members, lowered the price, and found a way to provide real, needed benefits then what?

Could it be Sean is think up his next idea of starting a lawn organization.

Gives us the benefits? Will it last longer that a year? How much will it cost?

How will it make us feel good?
:D :D

Sean Adams
11-17-2005, 09:19 PM
ummm....well, not exactly what I was thinking...

I think an organization in this industry would need to be exactly what has been discussed - affordable and worth something - I say this with the utmost respect, but over the last 5-8 years there have been web sites and associations, etc... that have been started by industry big wigs who were one-time CEO's of major companies and their ideas were either way, way ahead of the times or their concepts did not make any sense in regard to the "regular" people in this industry....and make sure you realize the associations are not only expensive for members...someone mentioned the companies showing at the trade shows were only interested if you were a big company or golf course - hard to blame them considering.... they have a limited amount of time to show what they have, they pay a hefty price to show what they have and they incur significant expense shipping equipment, people, air fare, etc.... all for maybe 10-12 hours max of people checking them out...they are trying to recover their costs as best they can

I guess an industry association would benefit best if it was created by the members...sounds idealistic maybe, but the "members" would dictate what the membership is worth based on the ability of the assoication being able to bring to the table what they want.... I'm guessing up to this point it has been a difficult task providing exactly what people want and finding an affordable way to offer it.

dvmcmrhp52
11-17-2005, 10:27 PM
Welll..........
Here's a thought............

You being the main man in "industry communication circles" with the "average" folk, why not put a sticky up top and find out what's cooking in the brainpans of the Lawnsite membership. Maybe, just maybe, something would rattle the "thinkers" into getting the idea...............Maybe..............
:waving:

Dreams To Designs
11-18-2005, 08:17 AM
I'm a member of the NJNLA and have seen some benefit from it so far, but not enough. Like most organization, too many people have the power and not really the membership.

Perhaps we should invite them here to participate or sponsor and see what the responses are. As an industry, we need organization, but it needs to benefit the people that make up the organization not the folks with all the money and power already.

Kirk

kris
11-18-2005, 09:28 AM
Membership in Industry Associations have many, many, valuable benefits if you are committed to improving your business and the industry.

You have access to many programs and services that can save you money.

Networking with others to have the industry's concerns addressed on legislative and regulatory issues is a very big plus.

I could go on and on but I really need to get to work this AM... just a few other benefits would be...Promotional Assistance, Industry development... here, the association was instrumental in establishing the Landscape Gardener Apprenticeship Program , and also the Horticultural Technician (CCHT) testing program.

Great thread Ill keep an eye on it for further participation.

Lanelle
11-18-2005, 10:40 AM
I find it rather odd that no one has mentioned the role that the state and regional associations fulfill in dealing with government. When new regulations are proposed here, the VNLA polls its members and lobbies for the benefit of the members, whether it be water quality issues, land-use, pesticide regulation, labor legislation or other issues. The regional (local) associations have done the same thing regarding zoning issues and county regulations. Most companies are too busy working to constantly monitor what the politicos want to do to further regulate and tax us.
And if you are thinking that membership in an association will result in more sales calls, you are missing out on the main benefit. I have found that the educational opportunities, networking and information are very valuable. Many associations provide opportunities for both employees and owners to gain training and learn the latest on a wide variety of subjects from both industry and research experts that you couldn't afford to hire on your own.
It is important to determine which association is the right one for your company and interests.

As past president of one of these associations, I can tell you that the problem isn't that a few people want to exercise a bunch of power, rather it's not being able to get more people to volunteer to work on behalf of the association. And when we send out questionaires polling the membership on serious issues facing our industry, not many take the time to respond. If you are willing to serve on an association committee, you will very likely have the opportunity to move up the leadership ladder. If you never go to anything or read the publications that the association provides, you won't get much out of your membership. As others have said here before, you get out of it what you put in to it.

kris
11-18-2005, 11:00 AM
I find it rather odd that no one has mentioned the role that the state and regional associations fulfill in dealing with government.

Networking with others to have the industry's concerns addressed on legislative and regulatory issues is a very big plus.

First off, nice to see you Lanelle:waving: If you re-read my post you will find that I did indeed mention that.

Sean Adams
11-18-2005, 11:01 AM
Lanelle,

Thanks for posting your response. Good information....

PR Fect
11-18-2005, 04:45 PM
Lanelle, glad to see you found an association that fits your needs. Maybe others need to look at the VNLA as an example. I was thinking more on a national level. There are many other organizations that could be used as a template. NRA, AARP, AMA, AAA, American Legion. All of these are household names, are grassroots based, with small membership dues, and have the power to work.

Sean Adams
11-18-2005, 05:15 PM
Funny you would mention the American Legion...just talking to a member and he was telling me the same thing - very simple, very organized, inexpensive but powerful

dvmcmrhp52
11-18-2005, 06:54 PM
As past president of one of these associations, I can tell you that the problem isn't that a few people want to exercise a bunch of power, rather it's not being able to get more people to volunteer to work on behalf of the association. And when we send out questionaires polling the membership on serious issues facing our industry, not many take the time to respond. If you are willing to serve on an association committee, you will very likely have the opportunity to move up the leadership ladder. If you never go to anything or read the publications that the association provides, you won't get much out of your membership. As others have said here before, you get out of it what you put in to it.




This is the problem with most organizations, a few people are always doing it all and things tend to get "old"..........

zturncutter
11-26-2005, 11:31 AM
I have found my FREE membership on Lawnsite to be more valuable, entertainment AND pertinanent information value, than any state or local association that I have belonged to.:cool2:

edcolo
12-27-2005, 12:29 AM
I belong to the NJLCA (New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association). I enrolled last year as a student member; this year I am enrolled as a business entity.

I advise everyone to be part of an association that represents you and your goals at an State and National level.

Associations work if they are properly structure and have a common goal an vision for their members. As you may know, you pay a fee but you are also welcome to participate in their meetings and different commitees. They are many kinds of associations out there representing different segments of the industry:

Turfgrass Associations
Nursery Associations
Hardscaping Associations
Irrigation Associations
Landscape Architects and Designer Groups
Landscape Contractors
Snow Management Groups
Arborists Associations
Contractors buying big volume of materials as a group

All of these groups have monthly or bi-monthly meetings, social events, award ceremonies, training sessions with recognized industry leaders and consultants.

Furthermore, they represent you and lobby for you at a State and National level on issues such as H2B visas, water restrictions, fertilizer restrictions, pesticide regulations, taxes, help remove stupid laws sometimes, etc.

They also help administer certification exams or licenses in you area such as CLT, CNP, CLP.

And do no forget who runs the industry trade show near you!

In conclusion, yes, they are worth it, the more members and participation from them the better.
I understand sometimes you do not hear from them and you want to get more for the price of your annual membership; however, get involved and stop complaning. Take action! It benefits us all.


Ed Correa, CLT
Terra Landscaping
Dover, NJ

edcolo
12-27-2005, 12:31 AM
I belong to the NJLCA (New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association). I enrolled last year as a student member; this year I am enrolled as a business entity.

I advise everyone to be part of an association that represents you and your goals at an State and National level.

Associations work if they are properly structure and have a common goal an vision for their members. As you may know, you pay a fee but you are also welcome to participate in their meetings and different commitees. There are many kinds of associations out there representing different segments of the industry:

Turfgrass Associations
Nursery Associations
Hardscaping Associations
Irrigation Associations
Landscape Architects and Designer Groups
Landscape Contractors
Snow Management Groups
Arborists Associations
Contractors buying big volume of materials as a group

All of these groups have monthly or bi-monthly meetings, social events, award ceremonies, training sessions with recognized industry leaders and consultants.

Furthermore, they represent you and lobby for you at a State and National level on issues such as H2B visas, water restrictions, fertilizer restrictions, pesticide regulations, taxes, help remove stupid laws sometimes, etc.

They also help administer certification exams or licenses in you area such as CLT, CNP, CLP.

And do no forget who runs the industry trade show near you!

In conclusion, yes, they are worth it, the more members and participation from them the better.
I understand sometimes you do not hear from them and you want to get more for the price of your annual membership; however, get involved and stop complaining. Take action! It benefits us all.


Ed Correa, CLT
Terra Landscaping
Dover, NJ

Grassmechanic
12-27-2005, 08:35 AM
I belong to the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. I've been a member for over 20 yrs. MTF works in conjunction with Michigan State University (MSU) in providing education and research in the turf industry. They also keep it's members informed of upcoming legislation that may impact the turf industry. MTF sponsors a summer "Field Day" and a winter Turf Conference. These two events draw folks from around the world to experience the latest in turf technology. Indiana and Ohio have similiar foundations, and I'm sure there are others too.

Lindenwood
12-28-2005, 01:08 PM
Look at an example of a professional and you would never come up with a
landscaper as a first, second or even 25th choice!
We joined Nari this year because they spend a lot of money to get the public to understand that they are doing business with an organization that only has professionals under it's membership. They pound the airwaves to get this point across and it works!
After 29 years in the green business, I can tell you that I would not join any
organization that did not focus on pointing out the benefits to the public in
choosing a professional landscaper. Everybody whines about underbidding in
their markets. How about making the public aware of how inadequate these
companies are. They have price and nothing else to sell!

Dreams To Designs
12-28-2005, 01:58 PM
Sean, maybe it's the lack of communication that they all suffer from. The once a year trade show, maybe a newsletter, a lame website and sometimes regional meetings that aren't too inconvenient is about all. You try to network and maybe make a few contacts, and if you attend a social event maybe a few more. But, are they really in touch or in tune with their membership.

When we come here, we get answers everyday and any time of the day. There is always advice, not always good, something to learn or an outlet for amusement to share with others in the same industry. Maybe space for the national and state associations with a public access forum and a members only forums that would enable them to share and exchange ideas and answer questions. It would be great to have one that did it all, but with so many other regional and national associations already, that do some real good, it may get lost in the alphabet soup. Of course, if it were spawned from Lawnsite, you already have a devoted following!!!

Kirk

zturncutter
12-28-2005, 05:43 PM
"get involved, stop complaining" I have been involved in the green industry since 1977 for my mine and my families livelihood. I have been involved in different associations over the years. Perhaps in some areas of the US they are more effective, I can only speak of my personal experience and stand by my previous posts. Food for thought, an association wants you to pay them a year in advance, guarantees you nothing concrete and says if you really want results you should come to work for us for free after paying our advance fee. We all should try this with our customers, they all pay us a year in advance, no more receivables hassles, and we will leave the mower and they can cut their own lawns:) I belong to the NJLCA (New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association). I enrolled last year as a student member; this year I am enrolled as a business entity.

I advise everyone to be part of an association that represents you and your goals at an State and National level.

Associations work if they are properly structure and have a common goal an vision for their members. As you may know, you pay a fee but you are also welcome to participate in their meetings and different commitees. There are many kinds of associations out there representing different segments of the industry:

Turfgrass Associations
Nursery Associations
Hardscaping Associations
Irrigation Associations
Landscape Architects and Designer Groups
Landscape Contractors
Snow Management Groups
Arborists Associations
Contractors buying big volume of materials as a group

All of these groups have monthly or bi-monthly meetings, social events, award ceremonies, training sessions with recognized industry leaders and consultants.

Furthermore, they represent you and lobby for you at a State and National level on issues such as H2B visas, water restrictions, fertilizer restrictions, pesticide regulations, taxes, help remove stupid laws sometimes, etc.

They also help administer certification exams or licenses in you area such as CLT, CNP, CLP.

And do no forget who runs the industry trade show near you!

In conclusion, yes, they are worth it, the more members and participation from them the better.
I understand sometimes you do not hear from them and you want to get more for the price of your annual membership; however, get involved and stop complaining. Take action! It benefits us all.


Ed Correa, CLT
Terra Landscaping
Dover, NJ