Flipping through the most recent Landscape Contractor Lighting Issue, we couldn't help but notice that three of The Lighting Summit attendee's were featured! We want to give a congratulatory shout-out to all of them!
Joel Mayor is the owner of Texas Outdoor Lighting in Texas. Find out more about Joel and his work on the Alamo in A Son of Texas Shines on page 24.
Rick Bequette is the founder of Brilliant Nights Outdoor Lighting in Florida. Read about a few of his residential projects in For the Love of Lighting on page 36.
And, this year's newest attendee, Kyle Adamson, owner of Red Oak Design in Kentucky. Read about his work on a 20-acre estate in Painting with Lighting on page 32.
Click to view the Landscape Contractor Digital Magazine»
Congrats again, we look forward to seeing you all in January!
This blog post is coming to you from our friends at Landscape Management. Editor, Marisa Palmieri, attended The Lighting Summit, an annual event we host every January that is geared for landscape lighting professionals. She recently wrote an article sharing a few things found illuminating from guest speaker Doug Smith executive chairman of Ervin & Smith…
Last month I traveled to The Lighting Summit in Omaha, Neb., to join the crew from McKay Landscape Lighting and their guests—16 landscape lighting professionals from across the country.
Jerry McKay, a member of the LM Editorial Advisory Board, started the Summit last year to create an intimate conference and networking event for lighting professionals. It includes a few speakers, a nighttime tour of McKay lighting projects and even a home-cooked dinner by Jerry’s wife, Cheryl. All in all, it’s an excellent event.
As I looked through my notebook from the Summit, which I’ll write more about in a future issue, I went back to a few comments I highlighted during a talk by Doug Smith. His presentation was supposed to be about marketing, but it was about much more. Smith is executive chairman of Ervin & Smith, a digital marketing agency he founded more than 30 years ago. It’s been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies and voted one of Omaha’s “Best Places to Work.” Smith is a marketing authority, for sure, but he also has a lot to share about business and leadership.
Here are a few things I found illuminating. I thought they might interest you, too.
Don’t discount. “If you don’t believe in your price, the client senses it,” Smith said, noting he doesn’t
consider himself a pro salesman. Still, he tries to learn about sales whenever he can. For example, he’s a fan of author and speaker Mark Hunter, aka The Sales Hunter. He emphasizes it’s important to scale back a project when a client asks for a lower price. Sometimes, that means walking away. “It’s hard to turn away business, but if the bottom 10 percent of your accounts aren't profitable, you're better off letting them go to focus on getting better jobs,” Smith said.
Details matter. Smith referenced the proverb “For want of a nail,” which I’d never heard before:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the rider was lost, for want of a rider the battle was lost, for want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
When Smith explained it, the message was clear. It certainly applies to marketing and branding, but it could extend to profitability, customer service … the list goes on.
Stay strong. “Be a better person than you really are,” Smith said. What he meant was, it’s OK to have a bad day, but you can’t show it because it doesn't serve your team.
“A few harsh words that aren't warranted can create hard feelings that last for years,” he said. “You need all these people on your side. You need to be the shining light in your company.”
View the article via landscapemanagement.com here.
In January of 2014, Jerry McKay, owner and founder of McKay Landscape Lighting, hosted the first annual Lighting Summit. The landscape lighting conference was designed with the landscape lighting professional in mind. With so little opportunity for professional development in the landscape lighting world, Jerry decided to host a conference that would be geared towards the business-side of lighting. The conference avoided discussion of product and focused on how to run a better lighting business.
Not only were the attendees able to learn from Jerry's twenty plus years in the business, but they were able to collaborate with each other in a non-competitive environment. With eight attendees from across the country, they were able to gain business relationships that will be useful for years to come. With breakout sessions and meals together, attendees had plenty of opportunities to collaborate and share ideas.
Topics covered at The Lighting Summit 2014 included:
After a successful first year Lighting Summit, we are looking forward to next year! Stay tuned for more information about this year's Lighting Summit as well as scheduling information for next year's Lighting Summit.