South-Western - Management  
Entrepreneur Column
Topic Entrepreneurism - Managing Growth
Key Words growth, life-cycle
InfoTrac Reference CJ102894044
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News Story

Roy Robison and Karl Ruser established Landscape Alternatives in 1986. The company specializes in Minnesota native wildflowers and prairie and ornamental grasses. Many of their products are hard-to-find and unique. The company has capitalized in a movement to grow more environmentally-friendly plants that require less effort to maintain.

The current nursery is on one acre of leased land in a metropolitan area. It was ideal when the business began, but now that sales are approaching $1 million annually, they need a new spot that is more spacious, won't cost too much, and is still close to the metro area and their customer base.

Landscape Alternatives does not compete on price, but rather by providing a unique product and service. It works with other more traditional nurseries when a customer wants a more mainstream plant. Initially, Robison and Ruser did some design and installation themselves. But now they focus on supplying landscaping firms with the plants. They have a website that they use to list inventory and give directions, but have no plans to sell product over the Web.


Landscape Alternatives is at which of the traditional life-cycle stages of an enterprise?


The owners are confronting a growth wall. What does this mean?

Source "Entrepreneur Column," Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, Saint Paul Pioneer Press (U.S.), June 8, 2003.
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