Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Presented By Mike Biskup, Owner of Greenkeepers

When designing landscapes, homeowners may envision grandiose gardens and lush lawns that are the envy of the neighborhood. But such designs can be difficult to maintain, and homeowners often find they are not worth the time or money.

Avoiding such costly mistakes allows homeowners to fully enjoy their lawns. The following are a few landscaping mistakes homeowners may want to avoid so they can spend more time enjoying their landscapes and less time working around the yard.

• Planting the wrong trees and shrubs: When planting new trees and shrubs around your property, choose varieties that won’t overwhelm the property by growing too large.

• Choosing non-native plants: It’s always best to choose plants that are native to a particular region. Native plants have already adapted to the local climate, meaning they can withstand the worst weather that climate has to offer without homeowners having to put in much effort.

• Too much lawn: While a large and lush lawn appeals to many homeowners, a yard that is all grass can be difficult and expensive to maintain. Lawns without trees are susceptible to damage from the hot summer sun, and homeowners often respond to that threat by overwatering their lawns. Try adding a garden in the backyard or even adding landscape features to their property.

• Planting without a plan: When planting new trees around a property, some homeowners plant without first considering the ideal locations for new trees. This can prove an expensive mistake. Planting too close to your house may eventually threaten your home’s foundation. Planting too close to a home may threaten the home during a storm, so consult a landscaping professional when planting new trees so the trees are located in a place that does not threaten the value of your home or the safety of its residents.

A professional landscaper can help and guide you with different strategies and remedies, like low-maintenance plants, to create a beautiful admired yard. Greenkeepers Lawn Service and Landscaping Inc. has been providing outdoor living enhancements since 1999. We offer unique ideas, custom designs and a variety of services to enhance your
outdoor living. Quality, professionalism and experience is never compromised at Greenkeepers, no matter how big or small the job. Call 330.721.0059 to speak with one of our designers to see how we can make your outdoor dreams a reality.

Greenkeepers also has a sister company, The Mulch Barn, a landscape supply company that offers mulch, gravel, topsoil, and sand to it’s customers. You can have these items delivered or pick them up yourself! So whether you are a “do-it-yourselfer” or not, we can help!

Thank you Greenkeepers! Mike and his team are easy to work with, explain their plans, and have done a phenomenal job! What makes Greenkeepers di•fferent from other companies is that Mike is honest with you and does not try to sell you products or services that you don’t need. He works with you and designs landscapes that ‚ t your vision as well as your budget. His team is respectful and the work is always done in a timely manner. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with! ~ Emma, Medina

Recipe for Retirement

1 part Objectives
1 part Risk Tolerance
1 part Asset Allocation
Annual IRA Contributions
Annual Savings Goal

Directions: Whisk together Annual IRA Contributions and Annual Savings goal and set aside for later. Mix together Objectives, Risk Tolerance, and Asset Allocation unti l well blended. Slowly add Contributions and Savings at regular intervals. Set timer for Retirement age.
Serves: Retirement on your terms may include: Days spent with grandchildren, relaxing at home with a good book, sunset walks on the beach, a trip to Rome, Italy.

Saving for retirement is not quite as easy as a simple recipe. The ingredients listed above will need to be collected. Your input is used to determine your objectives and risk tolerance. The Asset Allocation is then built upon the foundation of your wants and needs. As you can imagine, those objectives and risks can change over time, and your investment plan will need to be adapted to those changes. The most important thing is to start the process.

Collect the Ingredients. First assess your financial situation. Start by making a list of your financial goals, this will help define your objectives. For instance, you may have a goal to pay off your mortgage before you retire or maybe your goal is to retire at a younger age. Write all your goals down even the ones that may seem to stretch outside your limits. Next, list your resources; your household income, other sources of income. Think outside the box here as well, your accountant and financial advisor are a resource to you. Also list your savings. This may be in many forms, from a 401(k) account, Individual Retirement Account (IRA), investment accounts, or life insurance. The last step in assessing your situation is to consider your tolerance for risk. All of this information will give you a better understanding of what the next move should be.

Build an Asset Allocation Mix. After reviewing your current situation, enlist the guidance of a financial advisor to develop an asset allocation strategy that is specific to your wants and needs. Asset allocation is the process of deciding what percentage of your money to place into the three major asset classes: stocks, bonds, and cash. While asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against loss, with asset allocation, your portfolio may experience less fluctuation in value than individual assets within the portfolio.

When you buy a stock, the shares of stock represent ownership in that specific company. The different-sized corporations are classified into categories of large capitalization, mid-capitalization, and small capitalization. Within these classifications, the stocks can be further identified by style, either growth or value.

When you buy a bond, you are lending the principal amount to the issuer who pays you back both interest and principal. Some of the major types of bonds include U.S. Treasury bonds, corporate bonds, and municipal bonds.

Adapt your Recipe. It is important to evaluate the progress of your plan in order to help ensure you are on the right path, because changes in lifestyle, financial goals, and time frame can all have an impact on your investment plan. When planning and preparing for my own retirement, I hit a bump in the road. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2011. Even though I’m now cancer free, this event radically changed my objectives for retirement and for the present. Previously, I wanted a comfortable retirement with the luxury of traveling to interesting places. Currently, I feel the need to make sure that I have good health insurance in my retirement and I no longer want to put off exploring the world. My timeline for travel has accelerated. I experienced a life changing event and have adjusted my financial goals accordingly.

My recipe for retirement is a starting point. One that begins with a self-examination of the goals that are important to you. I believe the key to retirement is preparation and utilization of the resources available to you. When building a relationship with a financial advisor, you will gain insight on defi ning your objectives and risk tolerance. A trusted advisor will help you build an allocation mix and adapt it to life changes. Join me in preparing for retirement.

Katherine Carp is a Financial Advisor with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, member SIPC and New York Stock Exchange, and can be contacted in the Westlake, Ohio office at (440) 250-1630.

Article Provided By Katherine M. Carp, Financial Advisor. Katie began her investment industry career 14 years ago after graduating from The Ohio State University with a bachelor of science in mathematics. Following her graduation, she accepted a position in the municipal bond department of an Ohio-based investment ‚ rm. Since then, she has established a strong command of the intricacies involved in this industry. Katie joined the Stifel team in 2009 and shares her team’s commitment to providing outstanding client service. In her free time, she is an active supporter of the American Cancer Society.

Books to Read to Help Grow Your Business

Lemonade Stand Selling

By Diane Helbig

As a small business owner, the growth of your business rests squarely on your shoulders. While you may not be comfortable with some (or all) aspects of the sales process, you must master sales. It’s tough to grow a business if you don’t. The good news is sales doesn’t have to be complicated. Diane provides clear and actionable ideas to easily and successfully engage with prospects and clients. You’ll find yourself enjoying sales instead of dreading it!

Finally, we’ve made the small business sales process Lemonade Stand Selling! Each chapter is focused on an aspect of the sales process. This book is a no nonsense, easy to understand resource for everything sales – from defining the value of your product or service to successfully closing deals. You’ll learn the Lemonade Stand Selling approach to:
• Prospecting
• Presenting
• Networking
• Handling Objections
• Closing
• Nurturing your client base

There’s no need to struggle with or avoid sales anymore. Just grab a copy of Lemonade Stand Selling and discover simple, relationship based, and comfortable methods for excelling in sales. You’ll find ideas for prospecting, how to use social media marketing, what to do, and not do, when networking, the importance of nurturing your client base, how to close, and what to do when you get an objection. This book really is soup to nuts! Diane takes you through the entire sales process in an easy to understand manner. Why make selling complicated and confusing? After all, you knew just what to do as a kid. Lemonade Stand Selling gives you the tools you need to accelerate the growth of your small business.

Reading this book is like getting sales advice from a good friend – who also happens to be an expert sales coach! It’s encouraging and easy to understand with plenty of examples to show you the way. If you’re struggling with your sales, this may just be the pick-me-up you need. – Tina Lo Sasso, Managing Editor of

For more information on Lemonade Stand Selling or to contact Diane Helbig, call 216.534.2030 or visit Lemonade Stand Selling is available through



Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership – From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life

By Sarah Alexander

Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership is not another book about leadership. Instead, it provides the reader with the essential element to leadership: the inner foundation to lead ourselves. If you want to be a leader in your personal life, this book guides you through the seven key lessons that make up the thinking, attitudes and deep inner knowledge that underpin effective 21st century leadership.

Leaders are described as those who lead a group or an organization towards a vision with a shared mission and shared values. Leaders set the tone and keep on course with their vision of the bigger picture. Those willing to take a firm stand are the new leaders of today: individuals who are willing to do their very best to stand in support of goodness, fairness, justice, equality, high morals, and ethics, and right and just treatment for all.

In organizations, business ethics are coming to the fore. Corporate social responsibility is becoming necessary. Investing in the community is based on sound business principles. Together with these changes going on within and outside us, many of us feel the calling
to raise our standards and change our values. These transformations come from the awakening or our innate Spiritual Intelligence. It is nudging us to look at our underlying motives and values as well as the motives and values in the world. It is bringing us into greater conscious awareness of ourselves, our lives, and the impact we can have on the lives of those around us. As we wake up to this inner transformation, we see that we have no choice but to respond to this call to act in higher, more responsible ways.

The key to being a leader in your own life is to let go of all the thinking, attitudes, mindsets, and beliefs that are blocking the truth of who you are. Ultimately, the journey from manager to leader in our own lives equates to a shift in values.

Sarah Alexander is a spiritual awareness coach. Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership is available in paperback from Amzaon and all good book stores and in digital eBook formats.