A lot of people dream of self-employment. But running a business, like many other aspirations, isn’t for the weak. In fact, approximately 50 percent of all small businesses fail within their first five years of operation, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The group attributes this to a variety of causes, including insufficient experience, lack of capital and mismanagement. The reason is never that they didn’t understand their industry, but rather that they didn’t understand the many facets of running a business.

Running a business takes grit and guts… but also knowledge. There are certain things that give an entrepreneur an edge to succeed. A business plan, for instance, which includes a mission statement, goals and core values, can serve as a guide for an owner as he or she makes business-related decisions.

As we redesigned and planned our new content strategy for Turf, we talked a lot about your business challenges and pain points. We listened to you, our Turf readers, as well as our LawnSite members, about your struggles and successes. And we realized one of the things you need most is regular business guidance — from industry experts as well as your peers. So we framed our entire content plan around that premise. Every month, starting with this issue, we have an entire magazine dedicated to helping your business achieve sustainable, long-term success. We don’t share occasional business tips; we dive into every facet of your business monthly in our magazines and daily on our websites — from marketing and sales to operations to owner-specific challenges to opportunities.

We’re here to help, but perhaps more importantly to understand. Because we have access to 175,000 LawnSite members sharing their daily business questions and suggestions, we’re able to walk in your shoes and experience what you’re going through and, in turn, provide help where you need it most. In these pages, you’ll notice a lot of regular insight from our LawnSite forums to continue those discussions and keep the ideas flowing.

As James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

Let us be your business advisory board. As you read our articles and soak in the advice that’s applicable to your business, feel free to ask questions and share ideas with our LawnSite members as well as with me at nwisniewski@grandviewmedia.com, so we can continue providing you with sound business strategies and advice. Go ahead, gain an edge.