Running a garden center in Canada will take some thought and planning. The extreme cold in winter means that you will need to have a plan in place as to how you will keep your doors open all year round.
As long as you keep on your toes and are creative with your business, though, you should be able to join the ranks of other successful garden centers in Canada.
Here we give you some ideas to get you started!
Be more than a garden center
Diversifying your business will give people reasons to come to your center all year round. Most garden centers in Canada have a gift shop as part of their business. Offering more than plants is a great way to increase your profits in a sector that has a short season.
There are, however, so many other ways that you can bring customers to your business in and out of season. It will, however, take you looking to create an experience for your customers over and above selling plants.
You could create play areas and activities for children that would give parents more time to shop. Hosting events or classes is another way to bring people to your center. You might easily be able to adapt your space to host markets or flower arranging classes.
Another idea is to partner up with a restaurant which would give people even more of a reason to come to your center. If you find the right partnership that offers your customers the option to stay and have a really good quality meal, you have a chance to become a destination retail spot.
Train your staff
Having a knowledgeable and friendly staff will make a difference to your business. Your staff will be a reflection of your business and so they are worth investing in. With more skills and knowledge to share, your employees will become part of the reason that your customers keep coming back.
On top of that, investing in your employees will also show that you value them. The best way to keep employee turnover down is to make sure they know that they are valued.
Marketing your business
Once you have created the perfect environment for customers along with events, activities or extras to entice them, you will need to get the word out. Marketing your business to the right demographic in the right way is vital.
Online marketing is a great place to post beautiful images of the stock that you have available. Remember to have a strategy and to keep everything on brand, though, if you want it to have an impact.
Social media platforms that are image-based, such as Instagram, would suit your needs if you were able to put in the time to get high-quality images of your stock. Other platforms, like Facebook, work well if you are promoting an event.
You will need to stay active and engaged with your online followers if you want to use social media to market your business. Alongside this, a good website is important. It is fairly easy to create one these days and there are no excuses not to have a relevant and attractive business homepage.
Finally, don’t forget about other more traditional marketing options. If your center is visible to passersby, you should make sure that your business has curb appeal. An attractive business will more easily lure in customers.
You can also offer promotions or rewards for loyal customers and make sure that word of mouth spreads about your business. A several pronged approach is usually the best way to make sure that people visit your business.