Running a garden center (commonly known as a nursery) is a wonderful career path for anyone who wants to make people happy and has a bit of a green thumb. If you love caring for your houseplants and want others to have that joy as well, or if you just want to work in a space that’s surrounded by greenery all day long, you couldn’t do much better than running a nursery.
Still, there’s more to nursery management than simply selling new plants to people. Your garden center is, first and foremost, a business, and that means that you need to treat it as such. You can’t very well give people the joy of new succulents and orchids if you’re closing up shop. This means that you need a business strategy that streamlines your whole workflow—from houseplant consulting to plant delivery. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to get this done. If you’re in the business of selling green plants and want to make the process smoother, this is the guide for you.
Invest in the software solutions and tools you’ll need.
You can’t get ahead without the right software solutions, even if every houseplant on your shelves is the perfect plant. If your salespeople are spending ages weighing cacti and succulents or mulch and planters, that means a longer wait time for other customers. They will be more likely to buy their blooms at a nursery that works more quickly, and that’s the simple truth. Weighing software is necessary for anyone selling houseplants and pots if they want to get accurate information in real time. An intelligent digital weight program will streamline checkout for your customers and get those new plants into their new home faster.
Group plant deliveries to save on costs.
You can’t really go without a website that offers plants for delivery if you want to compete amongst sellers of house plants (or outdoor plants). Be smart about the plant delivery service you offer, though. Try to organize the plant delivery so that you’re delivering the pots and planters from various orders within a certain area at once. For example, if you’re in New York you might have all the orders going to SoHo go out at the same time so that you save on time and cost. Use data analysis software to note indicators that may show you could be grouping different deliveries and times. You can also look at what other plant delivery services (like Lively Root) are doing and take inspiration from them.
Incentivize employee enrichment.
Having employees who can offer guidance to buyers about their potential new plants is a very valuable thing to offer. Which orchid makes a great gift? What houseplants are pet-friendly? Which cacti should sit on a sill, and which will do fine in a basement? Which blooms will compliment the buyers’ decor? Your employees need to know all of this, and you can teach them! That said, you’ll definitely have salespeople in a cranky mood if you don’t give them a reason to do that training. Incentivize the training by offering a bonus or free shipping on certain items from your store.
To run a great nursery, all your really need is a love of outdoor and indoor plants and a little bit of business savvy. There are plenty of great tips that will help you get ahead selling friendly plants to friendly buyers, but these are a good place to start. Get a weighing application for your staff to use, make sure you’re smart about being among the best plant delivery services, and help your employees get the info they need to succeed.