How Professional Certification Helps You

You may have a wealth of information regarding indoor landscaping. Your mind is full of all the tip and tricks you’ve learned over the years as you have served your clients and created inspired plantscapes.

The question is how do  you communicate that you have the necessary knowledge to manage plantscapes to your clients. The easiest way to tell your clients you know your stuff is through certifications.

Certifications carry a certain weight that say you care enough to pursue them and that you have completed the needed training to qualify for them. They display that you maintain a very specific skill set.

Certifications give your clients confidence that you are well trained for the job and learning the most updated information. When your clients have more confidence in you they will offer more jobs and more word of mouth referral. Certifications will also prove to potential clients that the work you do is complex and it is worth investing in the service you provide.

Trade Organizations

So what certifications are out there? You can start by finding trade organizations that relate to interior landscaping. Several of these organizations include  OFA an Association of Horticulture ProfessionalsPlantscape Industry Alliance (PIA), American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).

Membership in a trade organization will help you network with other indoor landscape professionals, give you access to the latest research and knowledge, inform you of opportunities for furthuring your education such as seminars and connect you to suppliers.

Some organizations also offer certifications. For example, PLANET offers a Landscape Industry Certified Manager and a Landscape Industry Certified Interior Technician. These certifications can be received  through acheiving 70% accuracy on a written exam that is based on specific industry related materials. This certification program also encourages you to remain up to date on current information as it requires continuing education units including seminars and self study to maintain your certified status. Those who are new to the profession and do not have an accomplished portfolio or a broad client base with good word of mouth referrals can use certifications to lend credibility to your service offerings.

Help Getting Started

If you would prefer not to spend the time or the money on certification, membership in trade organizations can still be incredibly valuable. When you are just getting started in the field of interiorscaping trade organizations are an excellent place to start. Doing some research ahead of time will help you understand what you need to know how to create a successful business. Not only do trade organizations have access to technical information, but industry information as well. Useful resources such as pricing guides and reputable suppliers can be found through trade organizations. Trade shows, conferences and events can also help you network with those more experienced in the field. Getting to know others in your field will help you know who to turn to when you have business and technical industry questions.

Your Turn To Share

Certifications will give your clients confidence whether it is as a technician, manager or area specific knowledge such as pesticide application. Maintaining certifications will help you develop beautiful, safe and healthy plantscapes for your clients. Having a certification may also be the last piece of information your potential clients needs to feel confident in your services and invest in your services. Whether or not you choose to be certified trade organizations can also be an excellent resource. What trade organizations are you a member of? What industry event has been helpful to you? Have you pursued any industry certifications?

Photo “Queen’s Commerce Class of 2008 group photo 19″ courtesy of eddiehosa

Melanie is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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