November / December, 2008

PondBizMag-Nov-Dec08Publishers’ Perspective

Who is Your Competition?

Welcome to PondBiz Magazine. Our goal is to help this industry find new ways to share knowledge and experience, so every business can reach their own potential in the quest for excellence. I believe we all win if we work together.

You ask, “who is your competition?”

Every business has competitors. For many of us, we think of the pond dealer across town, or that site on the Internet as our biggest competitor. I would suggest you rethink that perspective a bit, and consider this. Isn’t any business in this industry really competing for the same discretionary income that the travel industry is trying to attract? Are we not really competing with Nike, for that $90 our customer might spend on a pair of running shoes, or the outdoor living store trying to sell the new outdoor kitchen system.

We are also competing with the oil companies, as they drain cash out of our customer’s pockets, who might otherwise have spent that money on a new koi or night blooming water lily. These competitors are a bigger threat to our businesses than that other dealer in town could ever be.

So what do we need to do? First we need to try to stop seeing each other as the enemy, and start supporting each other. As an industry, I believe we will all be best served if we can consider others in our small community as friends and partners, working together to lift each other up. Together we can all achieve greatness and fulfillment. We really do have more in common than our differences. We have all made the commitment to make our living in the garden pond business – around a product that brings great joy to those who add them to their yard. Ponds are a universal symbol of comfort and peace, achievement and serenity.

My vision for PondBiz Magazine is to be a force to bring the industry together in a common goal of sharing knowledge and passion. I see a great community of hard working, committed entrepreneurs, sometimes fractured by differing methods, but united in a vision. The vision of providing a bit of heaven, whatever its form, to as many homes and families as we possibly can, and supporting them in a long term relationship of trust and joy.

So I ask you this. Will you join me to share your wisdom with your fellow pond professionals? PondBiz Magazine is the conduit. You are the source and the recipient. We can all learn from each other if we are not afraid to share what we have learned the hard way, openly with each other. I have met with many of you already about this, and have commitments to get the ball rolling. Together we all get better at what we do, and the industry becomes stronger and more successful.

Let us hear what your dreams and visions, challenges and barriers are. Let us help solve your dilemmas so we can all grow and prosper together. We are here to serve. What can we do for you?

The “Greener” Side of Ponds

There are environmental benefits to maintaining a pond or water garden. Replacing some or all of a homeowner’s lawn with a pond, to conserve energy, save money, support the environment and reduce personal stress.

The Herons are Coming

What can you do to stop the herons from eating your customer’s favorite fish? Heron statues may look nice, but do they work? Fine out what does work.

Beetles Take a Bite Out

Beetles can help take a bite out of one of the World’s most Aggressive weeds – “purple loosestrife.”

About the Pond Lotus

The venerable Lotus dominates the watergarden world with its grace and mystery, historical tradition and perpetually clean leaves. In their new book, The Lotus: Know It and Grow It, Paula Biles and Kelly Billing go deep into the how andMore...

Water and Wildlife

Ponds and water features are magnificently magnetic. Learn what the ‘Wildlife Habitat Program’ organized by the National Wildlife Federation is and why you need to know about it?

15 Things You Can Talk About to Get Top Dollar for Your Koi

Are you getting top dollar for the koi you sell? Learn the qualities that make one koi more valuable then another, such as the importance of kiwa, depth of color… Then you will know how to explain to your customersMore...

Fail or Flourish

Things to offer clients in this economy – diversify your business – lighting, hardscape are places to start. Is rainwater harvesting in our future? Diversifying is essential to bringing you and your business back to life.

Wind Power is Finally Here

Wind power technology has improved significantly over the past several years. Answer the question, “How might a wind turbine affect my neighbors?” Learn what you need to know about today’s wind power options.

The Use of Water in Pond Maintenance

Today it is important for us to know what can be done to reduce water losses in our ponds. Are you wasting water by back-flushing filters and vacuuming the bottoms of ponds? Adopt water-wise maintenance methods to reduce water loss.

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