Make It Happen

The ‘Making it Happen’ programme began in New Zealand ten years ago in response to a request for assistance from Gillian Thrum, owner of Green Door Garden and Gifts in Havelock North, New Zealand.

After attending a retail management workshop conducted by Bill Brett, Gillian observed she knew less than she thought and her head was full of so much information, she didn’t know where to start. To a degree she understood what had to be done, but didn’t know how. She needed help to develop a focus and priority action plan.

Gillian asked Garden Retail Success, formerly Brett & Associates, to come up with a mentoring programme which would involve:

  • An onsite visit for a detailed audit
  • Train staff in modern retailing
  • Assist her to develop a business plan
  • Ongoing assistance (weekly) for implementation detail of all activities and initiatives
  • Monthly monitoring and analysis of KPI’s
  • Meet three times a year to review all activities and results

The result at Green Door was spectacular. Three years of 30% year on year growth followed even though strong competition arrived in the form of a Mega DIY store, and a new branch of a large garden centre chain.

Ten more garden centres joined the programme in New Zealand and formed the Garden Independents Network. They meet three times a year to discuss Key Performance Indicator monitoring and benchmarking, and to network and discuss major topics of interest and benefit to improve results.

The programme focuses on:

  • Practical assistance and implementation - many good ideas fail from poor implementation.
  • Prioritising activities and initiatives to those that produce best return relative to input.
  • KPI monitoring and benchmarking monthly in order to accurately measure all aspects of the business (eliminates gut feel, historical beliefs and emotion)
  • Maximising results as opposed to winning awards.
  • Turning garden centres from passive to very proactive at every level.

As a result of their spectacular success, it has grown to include more than 50 garden centres throughout New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland and members have achieved considerable success with growth in both sales and profitability.


Mentored Garden Centres - click to see larger image


We have mentoring groups operating in England and New Zealand. 


Contact Us if you would like to join a mentoring group or form a group in your region