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Business owners often have a hard time envisioning how they can add more to their already busy, demanding schedules. So why should they try to cram membership in an industry association or professional organization into their agendas?

Because membership in an industry association offers numerous benefits, including one of the most important ones, which is keeping business owners abreast of important, ever-changing industry issues, trends and legislation. This comes with great networking opportunities at association events, as well as access to conferences, seminars and trade shows brimming with education, training and certification opportunities.

One more reason association involvement makes a lot of sense: According to the Petroleum Equipment Institute, 85 percent of all business failures occur in firms that are not members of their trade association.

To reap all of these benefits, of course, association members must take some time being involved in association activities. And that brings us to one of the other unique benefits of associations: leadership opportunities. Business owners can grow in their associations and take on active roles as decision makers helping to guide direction and improve their industries as a result.

HighGrove’s Active Association President

Leading the Industry: CEO Jim McCutcheon Is PLANET's 2014-2015 PresidentSince 1995, HighGrove Partners CEO Jim McCutcheon has been a member of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the national association for the landscape industry. PLANET represents more than 100,000 landscape industry professionals who create and maintain healthy, green living spaces for communities across America. This year, beginning May 1, McCutcheon took over as PLANET president.

Having been involved at various levels in PLANET, whether on committees or with events, the transition to the leadership team and president feels like a natural progression for McCutcheon. And the role not only gives him a chance to help better the association and the industry, but also himself as a business owner. “It’s one thing to be a single owner of a business and work with a team and make decisions,” he says. “But it’s different in an association because you have stakeholders and board members. It’s good for me because it’s a challenge and helps improve and build my leadership skills as well.”

Some of McCutcheon’s goals this year include helping the association with a rebranding mission to ensure potential members, as well as member clients and the media, understand what association members represent and what the profession is all about.

McCutcheon is also keeping a blog documenting a year in the life of PLANET’s president — you can read it on our website.

Building A Business, Building An Industry

Leading the Industry: CEO Jim McCutcheon Is PLANET's 2014-2015 PresidentFor McCutcheon, being an involved association member — and now president — has not only helped him as a leader and business owner but has also helped his company. “We have gained so much in terms of how we operate as a company and the success we’ve experienced,” he says. “I believe in lifelong learning. We have learned so much through association education and symposiums.”

“Also, being active in the industry helps with recruiting and retention as current and potential employees see we are a leader in the industry,” McCutcheon adds.

Work with An Industry Leader

HighGrove Partners is proud to be involved in its national industry association. Give us a call at 678-298-0550 or use our simple web contact form. We’d love to share our industry experience with you!

And for more insights from our green industry professionals, subscribe to the HighGrove blog.

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Last modified: May 23, 2014