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Showing posts from tagged with: Signage

Key Partner Spotlight: Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin

Commercial Flower Growers of WisconsinThe Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin was founded in 1953. Its membership includes retail and wholesale business owners, employees, allied businesses, educators and students from Wisconsin and neighboring states. CFGW is also one of five Wisconsin green industry associations that are part of the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF). The benefits of joining. CFGW members have opportunities to network with colleagues and participate in educational and special events throughout the year. Those include the Annual Field Day held in August and Annual Fall Conference held in October. There, members can learn from others with the same interests and at the same time share their own personal knowledge. That way everyone stays up to date on the latest trends and issues occurring in the industry. It also has the advantage of making your business more credible to current and future customers by being associated with the best commercial growers and green industry professionals in Wisconsin. How to become a member. Becoming a CFGW member is simple. Visit their website at Click on the ‘join’ link on the left hand side. That’ll take you another page where you again press ‘join’ to complete the membership application. Once you become an official member, you’ll receive a Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin certificate to display at your business. Then you can start taking advantage of the opportunities that come with being a part of the Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin.

Infrared (IR) Film Advantages & ROI

Protecting your growing business with insurance is important, but there are other ways to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Midwest Greenhouse Supply suggests choosing a greenhouse covering can be the least expensive and most important decision a grower can make. Still, it’s surprising to see how many growers are not taking advantage of infrared (IR) plastic film on their greenhouses. The low cost of purchasing IR film compared to the cost of fuel can result in growers receiving a payback of less than one week - or about a 2,500 percent return - on investment. This, added to the enhanced plant response, lets growers optimize their only FREE resource - the sun. How did IR Film start? In 1972, film producers in Spain put diffusing particles in polyethylene films to diffuse light with the hope that the even distribution of light would produce a faster, fuller and more even crop growth. The results showed that not only did that happen, but also helped unheated greenhouses stay warmer into the evening. It took 12 years before the technology was tested/researched by Rutgers University in 1984. The experiments validated plant response and demonstrated a savings of up to 35 percent could be achieved with IR versus conventional/clear film. The research also concluded the savings might average out to 15-20 percent over a heating season. The Advantages of IR Film. During the day, energy from the sun enters through greenhouse film as short-wave radiation and is quickly converted to heat when the waves strike plants, floors or other objects like benches. In these conditions, the use of an IR film diffuses light and spreads the light evenly throughout the greenhouse. This diffusion reduces shadowing, allows more light to reach lower into the plant canopy and provides less stress to the plant by averaging out leaf temperatures. These combined benefits may result in an earlier crop. The reverse of this happens in the evening when the heat provided by the heating system is lost by conduction, convection and radiation through the glazing and infiltration of cold outside air through cracks and openings. The IR films ability to slow re-radiation can result in minimizing the total heat loss to usually about 12 percent. ROI Results/Example. Manufacturer techniques have continued to improve resulting in the differential cost of IR (compared to traditional film) of 2-4 cents per square foot. The following example demonstrates the potential ROI that can be achieved through the use of IR film. Assumptions.

  • 30 X 86 foot greenhouse (2,880)
  • House located in Ohio and operated at 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night
  • No 2 Fuel Oil is purchased at $2.05/gallon
  • Annual fuel usage in conventional/clear covered greenhouse is 1.25/sq ft
    • Annual heating cost of 2,880 greenhouse would be $7,380
  • Life of both conventional/clear and IR films is 4 years
  • Square foot cost of IR film is $.03 higher than conventional/clear film
    • Increased cost on 2,880 square feet greenhouse would be $86 or $21/year
  • Fuel savings attributed to IR films is 12 percent (conservative to Rutgers findings)
Based on the above assumptions, a 12% savings in fuel costs ($885) compared to the increase annual cost of IR film ($21) results in a return on investment in less than 12 days. As noted, there is nothing in a greenhouse that can make more money than optimizing the free resources of the sun. Please contact Midwest Greenhouse Supply (440-310-7051, for a free, no obligation customized quote and/or ROI analysis on your polyethylene film or other greenhouse structural needs. Hortica has partnered with Midwest Greenhouse Supply to help you reduce your poly costs up to 30% through our Customized Poly Program. This program is exclusively available to Hortica members.

Making the Most Out Of Exhibiting at Trade Shows

Trade shows provide an excellent opportunity to build relationships and make sales. If you are trying to reinforce your market position, enhance your company image, educate attendees about your products and services, capture sales leads, learn more about your customers and/or study the competition look into exhibiting at trade shows. They provide the opportunity to interact with others including potential customers, existing customers and vendors that have similar interests as you. Choose the right shows. To some, it might seem like attending each and every trade show is beneficial; however, you want to make sure that you are choosing the right ones for your business. The trade shows you exhibit should be relevant to your company and provide you with the opportunity to get a return on investment. Take the time to research and learn which shows your potential customers will be in attending. Be Prepared. Keep track of the shows that you want to attend and register on time. Many have deadline dates for exhibiting and waiting lists for booth space. Give your booth staff ample time to prepare and determine the necessary materials to take to the show. Do some pre-show marketing by inviting prospective customers to visit your booth via pre-show mailers, emails and social media sites as an effort to generate additional booth traffic and ultimately sales leads. Interact with show attendees. Engaging show attendees with examples of your product, a quick video of your services, some type of interactive game/contest or a unique giveaway may attract them to your booth. These are easy ways to break the ice with potential customers, as well as gain their contact information. Be sure to follow-up with them after the show. Having your business present at trade shows can be extremely beneficial. These tips may help you attract new customers, retain current customers and make the most out of your trade show experience!

March is Workplace Eye Safety Month

  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day about 2,000 U.S workers experience some sort of job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Some of these injuries are due to small particles or objects that come in contact with the eye and/or scratching it. These small particles could be anything from dust and wood chips to metal slivers. Other injuries may result from:

  • Solvent/chemical splashes
  • Welder’s flash
  • Eyeball laceration
  • Corneal abrasions or conjunctivitis
  • Concrete or metal particles or slivers embedded in the eye
  • Facial contusions and black eyes
It is possible any eye injury could result in vision loss. Approximately 10-20% of eye injuries will result in temporary or permanent loss of vision. This could be a devastating injury and simple measures can be taken to prevent these injuries from occurring. Preventing eye injuries in the workplace can be achieved through two methods:
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – eye goggles, shields or other devices worn by the employee
  • Engineering controls – machine or equipment guards or enclosures
The protection you choose for your employees should be made after completion of a careful and thorough hazard assessment. This will assist you in identifying the hazards that are associated with the job’s tasks. Remember that even a great PPE choice might not be effective if you have not built in engineering controls to your workspaces. Any employee working in an environment or on a job where eye hazards cannot be completely eliminated through engineering controls must have the appropriate eye protection in order to avoid an injury. Eye protection should fit and be comfortable to the individual. Go to the Occupation and Safety Health Administration’s online tool for selecting proper PPE for eye and face protection. All protective eyewear used in the workplace must be American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 certified. Examples of eye protection include:
  • Goggles
  • Face shields
  • Safety glasses (with shields)
  • Full face respirators
  • Welding helmets
Remember face shields should not be used as the primary type of protection. Safety glasses or goggles should be used in conjunction with face shields. It is also important that you install an ANSI approved eyewash station and train your employees on how to use the station. There should be first aid instructions posted close to potential danger spots. If something gets into an employee’s eye, you should flush it with clean water for at least 15-20 minutes and seek medical attention. If however, your employee’s eye is cut or punctured, NEVER rinse or wash and do not touch your eye or lift the upper lid, seeking immediate medical attention. You should provide good work practices for your employees, stressing caution in the work place. Make it a habit to instruct employees to remove all dust and debris from hard hats, hair, forehead, and/or top of eye protection before removing. Encourage them to never rub their eyes with dirty hands or clothing. It is essential to remember that even though you might not be performing the job you should still protect yourself around the area in which the job is being done. You should not only be aware of dangers that could cause an eye injury but also be aware of germs. Diseases spread fastest through the eyes so encourage your employees to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes. Here is a checklist to share with your employees to ensure they have a safe workday: Do you have your safety glasses and/or other appropriate PPE? Have you been properly trained in the use and care of your PPE? Are they handy? Are they in good clean condition? Do they fit properly? Do you know where the nearest eyewash stations are from your work area? Do you know how to get medical attention if needed? Additional resources:

Spring Cleaning For Your Shop

Spring Cleaning With the warmer weather finally arriving, it may seem like your shop needs to come out of its winter hibernation. This is the perfect time to make sure your store is ready for spring! We aren’t just referring to your annual springtime cleaning either. Here are some things to include on your spring cleaning list that will prepare your shop for the upcoming busy season. Make the goals known. Running a business is a lot like coaching a sports team. It is difficult to be successful if all of your team members have different ideas of what the overall goal is! Before busy season hits, it is important to make sure everyone is on the same page. Set aside some time to go over objectives with all of your staff members. Doing this will ensure that everyone will start the season off on the right foot! Out with the old. As you know, the floral industry is constantly changing. Today’s trends might not be quite so popular tomorrow. Take a look around your shop and identify those items that seem to have been collecting dust for the past year. Having these replaced by items that are fresh and currently in style will keep your shop up to date and start off this spring season with a bang by attracting new customers to your business! Bring in some new faces. Spring is one of the busiest times for floral shops, so don’t let the fear of change prevent you from bringing on additional help this season! Adding a person to your staff, even part time or temporarily, can do many positive things for your shop. This extra set of hands can assist your employees and bring a fresh new perspective to your business! We understand that running a business can be stressful, but don’t be afraid to try something new with your shop this spring! Adding these helpful tips to your spring cleaning list can help start off the busy floral season in a positive way.

In The Bloom With Maria: Are Your Outdoor Signs Covered?

MariaKeeping your shop running smoothly on a daily basis can be stressful enough, especially during peak floral holidays.  Valentine’s Day was not only on a Sunday this year, but over a 3 day President’s holiday weekend to boot.  This is a double whammy when customers want their flowers delivered to their loved ones at work on a weekday.  As many referred back to their outdoor marque signs to let their customers know that they were open over this important weekend, it was a good reminder for owners to check and see if their signage is covered under policy. Making sure that you have the correct type of insurance for your particular business can make a huge difference when it comes to the valuables in your store, your outdoor signage, and the building as well. Whether you own your shop or are renting the space, Hortica Retail Sales Specialist, Maria Shepherd, wants to make sure you are protected! When you own the building that your shop is located in or are required in a triple net lease to insure it, it is crucial to have the correct coverage. It is important to remember that you not only need to protect your items inside, but the building as well. In most cases, if you own your building including the contents that are in it, it should be covered by your business insurance policy. If your sign out front is not physically attached to your building, it may need to be specially scheduled or listed on the policy. If the signage is attached, it is usually rolled into the value of the building making it protected under your insurance policy as well. You may be a small mom and pop flower shop that rents or leases instead of owning your own shop. Responsibility for damage or other potential issues to a sign or marquee on these buildings is dependent on what is stated in your lease agreement. Strip malls can also house many other types of leased retail spaces. In this situation, you only have your logo and name on a shared board along with the other shops in the strip mall.  Tenants are typically not responsible for any potential damage to that shared or common signage. It is usually covered by their landlord through the landlord’s building insurance coverage. For leased locations, you also need to consider what’s outside your shop as well. Stores that have an awning with their shop name may be responsible for the length of the awning covering their particular store front. Don’t let the small things like signage fall through cracks in your insurance. Make sure that you have the best insurance policy in place for your store.