One of the best garden center ideas I’ve come across is offering design services for the Do Some Of It For Me crowd – customers who want to try a little gardening but just aren’t confident enough or experienced enough to know where to begin. It’s a great way to bring people into your garden center, and it should lead to some nice sales, since you’re essentially telling them what plants to buy.
A common concern, though, is the amount of time and effort you’re investing in pulling a skilled employee away from other duties for what is often a free consultation. But here’s how Revolutionary 100 Garden Center Hoerr Nursery in Peoria, Ill., solved the problem, and I think it’s a great idea: take that service and make it a special event.
Hoerr used its VIP customer e-newsletter to announce the service:
Garden Plan Sketch Event March 14 & 15
Have one of our garden experts design a small space in your yard for free! Call to set up a FREE 20 minute appointment.
You can read more about the event here.
They’ve taken what could be a challenging service and set some clear expectations in the customer’s mind:
It’s a limited time only, which drives demand. They’re getting expert advice from you, which inspires confidence that they’ll succeed. It’s just 20 minutes and it’s for small spaces only, so they know they can’t expect a full landscaping plan for their half-acre backyard. And it’s FREE, which is always attractive.
Now, if you can find a way to offer a service like this more often, or even all the time, even better. If you stick to your guidelines, you should see a pretty nice bottom line return on your time investment.