Uncertainties in the 2009 economy and market for landscape design/build services make it imperative to limit risk by streamlining operations, said Gary and Cynthia Kinman, founders of the Kinman Institute. The institute, which offers classes to help professional landscape design/build owners improve their businesses and become more profitable, is now offering additional guidance in 2009 through a series of free online newsletters titled “The Design/Build Revolution.”

Each newsletter includes helpful business tips and guidelines developed by the Kinmans in their 35-plus years in the landscape design/build business. With more than $100 million of landscapes projects installed, the couple brings vast experience in the day-to-day operations and problems typical of this business. The newsletters also profile successful design/build owners and their business practices.

The new e-mail newsletters are designed to help a wider audience of landscape design/build contractors understand the key forces that drive profitability within their businesses, as well as the key elements that work against profitability, especially in the 2009 economy. Previously, this material has been available only in seminars and lectures.

In the January issue, the Kinmans recommend that design/build professionals streamline operations and expectations for 2009 work so that they are not forced to support too much staff or financial obligations. They also recommend the following:

Reduce management positions and staff to maximize the efficiency of each person on the payroll.
Limit purchases of equipment and consider leasing for the time being.
Avoid carrying too much credit and extending terms unnecessarily.
Avoid taking on too many projects based on 2008 business costs and expectations.The Kinmans invite all landscape design/build contractors to visit their Web site (www.kinmaninstitute.com) and sign up for this free, informative e-mail newsletter.