Profitable Enterprise

My 16-year-old son is learning the value of a dollar. For him, it’s a tool that buys gas, car insurance, hitting lessons and registrations for baseball camps, tournaments and events.

He doesn’t really have an emotional attachment to the almighty dollar and, as of yet, isn’t concerned with having more than he needs on the day he needs it.

But, he understands, without it he can’t keep chasing his dream of playing baseball in college and beyond.

Here at our business and, no doubt, at yours, keeping enough dollars flowing in is a necessary evil. In a slow economy, like the one we’ve faced since 2009, it might become priority number one.

In a more robust economy, it might not be as large a concern—allowing you to be more selective about the types and quantity of projects you accept and spend your time on.

This bedrock principle is why we titled our magazine Landscape Architect Business . It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that in order to be an effective landscape architect—defined as someone who uses his or her abilities and vision to transform our world—you first need to find work, which means you need to stay in business.

It’s a bit simplistic, I know. But, these three words help keep our editorial team on task when working to create each issue of the magazine.

Take this month’s edition. We offer an excellent piece by Steve I. Apfelbaum, Alan Haney and Jacob Blue on the “Native vs. Nonnative” debate, asking the fundamental question, “Should you design with nature or against it?”

Couple that with an equally powerful piece by Thomas R. Tavella on using sustainability as the path to profitability, and you can see how we can offer “business” advice without necessary delving into financial models, EBITA and such.

As the magazine grows, we’ll be able to expand our editorial coverage and dig deeper into ways you can use your firm’s intellectual power to drive profitability and change the world—all at the same time.

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue as much as we did when we created it. If you do or don’t, please let us know. You can email, write, call or fax.

Till next month…

Rodney J. Auth