Floriculture/Seasonal Color Design and Installation is about creativity, color, and structure by pairing the best available variety of plants from my growers. To achieve this goal, I design annual beds and containers with this is mind to create designs that will thrive all season long , Fall or Spring. First I collaborate with my local growers before each season to find out about any new and improved flower variety introductions I have to work with. Designing and pairing the right plants with like needs is extremely important in the success of my designs that will provide inspiring and beautiful color combinations. Secondly, communicating with my vendors about availability and timing makes my process easier so I know when I can begin the design process and what I have to work with. Installing too early or too late can be detrimental to the success of the installation process. Keeping up with weather conditions is extremely important on the timing to start the installation process, too early , plants are too small and can be affected by cold, start too late , heat also a factor. We have a 6 to 8 week window for installation in order to insure success . Communication with my customers in advance of the upcoming season helps insure my customers get the designs and plants they requested. This is insured by placing my orders in advance with my growers , availability is day to day due to all my competitors use the same growers. Staying in touch with industry trends, new plant introductions, improved amendments, installation techniques that will help improve the customer experience. Lastly , using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Next Door app has greatly improved my exposure by posting my projects at real time and running ads to create more business. Its all about Flowerpower!
A key component of 3. Fromme Design’s business strategy has been finding ways to pursue larger scale and richly complex projects while being a one-person firm. My true passion is integrating artistry, plants, and the visitor experience into compelling spatial experiences – not the day-to-day operation and management of a large design firm.
The ongoing creative relationship with Chris Barkley and his team at HDLA has been a spectacular success. 3. Fromme Design and HDLA’s skillsets are exceptionally complimentary; our collaborative ethos with clients is the same; and we each deeply appreciate what the other brings to every project. The trick has involved keeping our firm’s individual identities while becoming a seamlessly unified team with a shared brand.
We rolled out a clear career path for the field. With all the labor wage increases, we wanted something tangible to hold on to, a way to be competitive in our market, and simultaneously add value to our team. We attached each increase to a skills chart ranking so if someone comes to me wanting more money, my response can be, “Great! I want you to have the opportunity for more money! Let’s see where you are on the skills chart.” That usually leads to a conversation of the skills we need that person to improve on to get to the next level of pay and we put a plan of action into place to make that happen. We have 4 levels of crew member progression and three levels of crew leader. This system gives opportunities for growth without feeling like the only way forward is an office job.
We recently implemented a new software - Aspire - to better run our business. We needed better visibility of our performance and feedback on estimated vs actual for our jobs. It wasn’t an easy transition as it can be very disruptive and expensive, but we knew the end results would be worth the pain. I encourage all businesses, regardless of size, to lean into software and what it can do to help you run your business better - operationally, financially, and in service to your customers. Do this, and then still realize that it is a tool, do not be servant to the software, use it to improve the way you operate and serve your clients.
Paley Landscaping, in 2023, has made a concerted effort to organize, clean up and straighten up our shop and trucks. Less time spent hunting and searching is time better spent loading the trucks early and getting started on all the craziness our industry involves. By no means are things where I want them to be, but the time of me or my employees hoping and praying to find equipment is a thing of the past. I firmly believe the time and money spent keeping things reasonably organized increases my bottom line.
This Spring, our Construction Department brought concrete installation in-house which has allowed us to be more responsive to our clients and keep projects on schedule due to not relying on subcontractor's unreliable schedules. This new offering was largely due to hiring a Project Manager who had owned their own concrete company for many years and investing in training for many of our crews. These crews can now perform all sorts of decorative and specialty concrete elements which has been seeing lots of growth due to the Modern landscape trend. We also feel that the ability to self-perform more work and being able to offer a wider variety of services help us better prepare for any economic turbulence.