OAN President Mike Coleman admits to being a procrastinator, but not when it comes to renewing his Nursery Guide listings.
I have a serious problem with putting off things until the last minute. Whether it is writing this column, getting my taxes done, ordering plants or planning my wife’s birthday party, I am usually staying up late the night before the deadline and hammering the work out.
I like to blame it on the fact that life is just too busy, but the reality is, I just let these important tasks stack up and I don’t use my time effectively.
This cramming is a bad habit I solidified during my formative educational years. The night before tests or due dates, I often had to “pull all-nighters” to prepare or complete my project. I enjoyed a certain amount of success with this game plan, so I guess it has stuck with me and I still subject myself to the same insanity.
To save myself the dire consequences my procrastination habits could have at my business, I rely on some top-notch people to make sure everything gets done on time.
One important deadline that will land shortly after you read this is signing up for listings in the OAN Nursery Guide, a classic nursery industry marketing tool that never stops working for you. Listings are due May 1.
Nursery Guide and its predecessor, the OAN Directory and Buyers Guide, have been around for 42 years. For nursery people around the nation, it is an indispensable resource for finding plants and the people who grow them, plus suppliers and service providers.
This resource is so important to our operation that the non-procrastinators in our office are in charge of getting our listings compiled and sent to the OAN in a timely fashion.
Not only is the printed version of the guide one of the most important marketing tools for us, the more recently constructed online version at www.NurseryGuide.com adds marketing punch and flexibility, which makes the combined effectiveness of the two more powerful.
The OAN pooled its own funds with government grant awards and invested in this exciting and dynamic marketing tool.
The online Nursery Guide is incredibly user-friendly. It allows us to add or adjust our listings in real time and provides opportunities to add plant photos, buy digital ad space throughout the year, and provide a link to our own webpage.
These features expose us to those customers who use the Internet to source plant material — a customer base that is constantly expanding.
I use both versions when finding plants and steer customers to growers who produce products that I do not.
If I happen to be using a computer or my smartphone, I can quickly pull up the site and find the plant or grower in seconds. If I am in my pickup, I can just as quickly grab the well-worn printed version and get the same result. It’s the best of both worlds!
This double-fisted marketing power tool is an example of how the OAN works for its members. With the help of the marketing professionals at Pivot Group, OAN has built a system that makes traditional and digital-savvy nursery buyers’ jobs easier. As an OAN member, however, you can only take advantage of these tools by using them.
That means we will all have to quit procrastinating.