Making It Happen

What can you do to increase turnover? How can you get more customers in the door? How can you improve profitability?


Garden centre owners who approach us to ask about our mentoring service usually have the same concerns and questions:
What can we do to increase our turnover?
What can we do to get more customers in the door?
How do we improve profitability?

The easy and straight forward part is 'what to do'. Here is a simple checklist as a guide:

Always start with ‘Today’s customer’ and what drives their 'buying behaviour’. Consumers are well informed, technically savvy and very experienced when it comes to shopping in traditional and virtual channels these days. They have high expectations around service, value, offers and choice.
Understand consumers from your local area. How can you meet their diverse needs? Find your core audience.

What can you do to get more customers through the door and increase turnover?
1. Get the Offer Right
  • Premises- buildings, fixtures, ambience, layout, car park.
  • Branding / colours
  • Product – range/ mix, quality, pricing
  • Signage
  • Presentation – premises and product
  • Services – staff, information, delivery, landscape & design, in-store demo’s, promotions, newsletters, Loyalty Programme
  • Consistency of service – pleasant, convenient, easy shopping experience
Don’t advertise until you have the offer right (or nearly right)
2. Develop your strategy to attract your core audience and have a point of difference
  • Include attention to convenience, value, and inspiration
  • Make sure your point of difference is tangible, unique and a substantially visible customer benefit
Customer ‘ Word of Mouth’ recommendations should kick in if you have implemented these first steps  correctly.
Then ...
3. Use every internal marketing tool available 
  • Roadside banners
  • Sandwich boards
  • Internal category, end use and P.O.S signage
  • Bag stuffers / return vouchers
  • Loyalty Programme- sustainable and win/win
  • Data base marketing – a weekly email newsletter
  • Social media – start with regular Facebook posts then increase to include other platforms
  • Web site that reflects your premises with a promotions, activities and specials of the week  to bring customers in
  • Events and activities
4. Finally add some cost effective external advertising, appropriate to your strategy.
What can you do to improve profitability?
The back office - Use systems and KPI’s to manage your business
1. Strategy 
  • Maximise Sales
  • Maximise Gross profit value rather than Gross margin
2. Operational Systems 
  • Plan, budget
  • Streamline supply chain
  • Ordering & receiving procedures
  • EPOS systems
  • Time management, job descriptions, staff reviews, regular staff meetings
  • Develop an operations manual

3. Monitor Results 

  • Key Performance Indicators monthly
  • Use these KPI’s to improve financial performance
What is measured, improves; but what is measured, reported and discussed improves exponentially.
 All of the above is being done at most garden centres but for those that are really successful, it’s implementation that has been the key to their success. Many good ideas have failed because they’ve been poorly executed.
Success is more than knowing what to do. It is HOW TO DO IT - IMPLEMENTATION