Everyone knows there is no silver bullet for success in garden retail. Success is achieved by cost effectively implementing hundreds of elements well and ongoing, with consistency.
Success requires a sound business plan which incorporates –
- A clear vision and philosophy
- Developed and scaled to the market size and demographics for the existing economic climate
- Detailed sales, purchase, expenses and capital investment budgets
- A fully developed, action plan with total implementation detail.
The Key is Implementation
Hundreds of excellent ideas fail or have only limited success because of poor implementation.
A Consultant colleague of mine, Bill Brett of Garden Retail Success Ltd, recognised this in 2003 and developed the ‘Making it Happen’ mentoring programme for garden retail. There are now scores of garden retailers in three countries in this program, achieving considerably more success than their peers, even in the current difficult economic and climatic circumstances.
‘Young’ businesses with lack of experience in retail and management usually achieve very significant sales increases in the first two years in the ‘Making it Happen’ programme (20 – 40% per year). This mostly comes from improvement in layout, merchandising, signage, and a well planned and implemented ‘in-store’ promotion programme – becoming very pro active.
More mature businesses that have been in the ‘Making it Happen’ programme for three or four years have the early significant sales increases, then settle to 4 – 8% increases. These owners are getting to grips with better financial management, and through using Key Performance Indicator monitoring as a tool, (with guidance from the mentor) have taken steps to improve profitability mainly through improved stock turn and reduced expenses. This improvement in financial performance is achieved by introducing systems for better time management and streamlining procedures, especially the supply chain.
According to Bill and his team garden retailers in the ‘Making it Happen’ program are achieving greater profitability since joining the program. Many have doubled sales over a 5 year period, most have increased stock turn by 50% or better and most have reduced total expenses by 5 – 7% of sales, resulting in a 200 – 300% increase in bottom line net profit.
The majority of garden retailers in the programme (88%) have formed groups for benchmarking, and meet 2 or 3 times a year for discussions focussed on KPI / benchmarking.
The ‘Making it Happen’ mentoring program includes –
- A visit to the garden centre, audit / appraisal and report and draft Business Plan.
- Regular weekly support service – by email or phone as required.
- Monthly Key Performance Indicator monitoring (and benchmarking where agreed).
- A set of 8 Garden Retail Manuals for implementation reference and training
This program is very affordable for small and medium garden retailers as well as larger retailers.
In discussion with Bill and his team we believe it would be ideal if we could offer this service to our clients that require a regular ongoing development service. This would combine the skills and services of both our businesses.
For more information on ‘Making it Happen’ [contentblock id=2 img=gcb.png] or visit www.gardenretailsuccess.com