Better Communication Equals More Profit

Danny Gouge

Everyone is trying to manage costs, inventory, labor and margins and increase turns. Goals like these aren’t unique to our industry. They’re common for all businesses.

The group Greenhouse Grower brought together last year at The Grow Summit shares these goals. Businesses from all areas of greenhouse floriculture were present, and we discussed how we can address the industry’s many concerns.

Consumers were a big part of our discussions. If we can get consumers to have a higher perceived value and a good experience with our products, they’ll pay more. We see other industries that are successful in this approach. So how can we increase margins and the perceived value of our products and services?

Communicate With Consumers

Let’s start by facing the facts: Most consumers today are not avid gardeners. People want their yard to be nice, but they have limited time for research or maintenance. They want a good product, information on how and where to use that product and fast service. We have to keep it simple as they make buying decisions. If consumers have a good experience and we can gain their confidence, they’ll return for future purchases.

Right now, consumers visit the garden center and are largely overwhelmed. So the first step in our revolution is to condense information into short, easy-to-understand messages they can digest. The second step is to offer high-quality plants in prime condition. Third, we must merchandise effectively.

Try placing products together by categories like sun or shade – not in alphabetical order. Consumers do not know plant names, so presenting plants alphabetically simply does
not make sense.

Signage, tags and bench cards must be the instruction manuals for consumers. Signs must direct them and draw attention to the products you want to sell. Again, making the process simple will increase turns, expand profits and give consumers a better chance to be successful.

Communicate With Your Customers

At Willoway Nurseries, we grow more than 2,000 plant varieties. We ship to 27 states in the Midwest. Our customers place spring orders and then take advantage of our location to restock as needed throughout the season. Many of our customers are making buying decisions by the week, so it’s important we keep things simple for them – just as we should for consumers.

I try to condense our 2,000 varieties down to our “wow” plants of the week. Beginning in May, we produce a weekly list of 50 to 75 “wow” plants that are in prime condition for sales that week. We post a dock video to our website and social media channels that actually show how plants look as they’re being loaded onto the dock.

In addition to the videos, we create a monthly eNewsletter that keeps our customers posted on new products and marketing and merchandising ideas. We also provide a plant database online where customers can search for information by name, type or site condition. Customers have 24-hour access to photos and information on the plants we grow, as well as our availability.  This system also provides customers the tools to print professional bench cards with their logo and pricing.

The key really is communication – to your customers and to consumers. Our staff meets weekly to review crops, products, services and promotions.
Take advantage of information, too. Collect eMail addresses and produce eNewsletters that tell consumers what’s new with you. Tell them when products will be available for their stores. Train staff on new products so they can answer questions and offer solutions.

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...
Dramm-Echter-Pink-Gerbera-Daisies

November 22, 2016

Dramm & Echter Donates Pink Gerbera Daisies During Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day Event

“As a local flower farm, we are honored to show our support by sharing symbolic pink flowers with each participant as they reach the midway point on their amazing journey,” says Bob Echter, Owner of Dramm & Echter.

Read More
deming-pdsa-cycle

November 21, 2016

How The PDSA Cycle Can Help You Improve Your Business

No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.

Read More
afe-fundraising-dinner

November 17, 2016

AFE Fundraising Dinner Celebrates Success, Raises Almost $20,000

The American Floral Endowment’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, did more than just honor industry champions. It also raised nearly $20,000 for the future of floriculture programs.

Read More
Latest Stories
Dramm-Echter-Pink-Gerbera-Daisies

November 22, 2016

Dramm & Echter Donates Pink Gerbera Daisies During …

“As a local flower farm, we are honored to show our support by sharing symbolic pink flowers with each participant as they reach the midway point on their amazing journey,” says Bob Echter, Owner of Dramm & Echter.

Read More
deming-pdsa-cycle

November 21, 2016

How The PDSA Cycle Can Help You Improve Your Business

No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.

Read More
afe-fundraising-dinner

November 17, 2016

AFE Fundraising Dinner Celebrates Success, Raises Almos…

The American Floral Endowment’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, did more than just honor industry champions. It also raised nearly $20,000 for the future of floriculture programs.

Read More
hoffman-nursery-owners

November 9, 2016

How Hoffman Nursery Invests In The Future Of The Greenh…

Hoffman Nursery believes in the future leaders of horticulture, and the operation invests in several programs to cultivate young people in their careers.

Read More
2015 GROW Summit_discussion shot

October 28, 2016

How We Can Inspire Millennials To Get Involved In Horti…

By uniting our efforts, we can attract new generations of growers and consumers to the horticulture industry, starting when they are young.

Read More
green-plan-it-gardening-outdoor-nature-explore-classroom

October 22, 2016

Here’s A Great Way To Bring Horticulture And Scho…

The Green Plan It Challenge gives school students in the U.K. the opportunity to participate in a 10-week project where they rethink the role of green space and develop solutions to horticulture-related problems.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

October 19, 2016

How Jeffery’s Greenhouse Is Investing In The Indu…

Greenhouse Grower reached out to Albert Grimm, the 2016 Head Grower of the Year and Head Grower of Jeffery’s Greenhouse, to ask what he and his company have done in the last 12 months to invest in the industry. Here is what he had to say.

Read More
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses has significantly reduced the amount of time and labor spent pulling and processing orders, while improving plant quality at retail

October 1, 2016

Political Stalemate On Labor Means Your Opportunity To …

Despite the frustrating nature of our current political climate, now may be the best time for you to address your long-term labor and automation needs.

Read More
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy G…

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
customer-base

September 21, 2016

6 Creative Ways To Expand Your Business

Marketing experts offer tips to help you catch the attention of new customers and grow your business.

Read More
America In Bloom Project

August 29, 2016

Your Chance To Help America In Bloom As It Celebrates I…

America In Bloom is launching a fundraising campaign to help the group continue its mission of creating beautiful and vibrant communities across the country.

Read More
Next Generation

August 27, 2016

Australia Launches Initiative To Ignite A New Generatio…

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd says the goal is to identify and build future industry leaders at all stages of their career through investment in a host of new initiatives.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

August 12, 2016

IR-4 Project Receives Federal Funding For Pollinator An…

Grants from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative will fund IR-4 projects on protecting pollinators through ornamental horticulture, and downy mildew management strategies.

Read More
Emily Teng

August 11, 2016

American Floral Endowment Announces Its 2016 Scholarshi…

This year, thanks to the generosity of several donors, AFE awarded more than $35,000 to 17 students pursuing careers in horticulture.

Read More
Josh Henry, North Carolina State University

August 8, 2016

Get To Know Joshua Henry, Winner Of The 2016 Richard T.…

Henry, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is pursuing a Master’s degree in horticultural sciences, with a focus on crop nutrition in bedding plants and flowering potted plants.

Read More
Workers

July 23, 2016

5 Reasons To Invest In Employee Training

Training and developing your employees is critical to the future success of your organization and the horticulture industry at large. Here are five reasons why your employees are worth the effort.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]