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Garden Centre Management

Course CodeBHT255
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Manage a Successful Garden Centre

This course has been very successful in training both staff and managers of retail nurseries and garden centres. Originally designed in 1986, in conjunction with the State Garden Department Manager of a major retail chain store; revised many times since then to keep up with current standards. It is useful for establishing standards in your garden centre and giving direction for the staff and managers.

  • Start or Improve a Business
  • Get a job

“Here we have an incredibly informative course for anyone seeking to improve their ability to run or manage a garden centre. All aspects of indoor and outdoor plant care are discussed as well as stock selection and optimal plant display techniques. Graduates will also enhance their knowledge of typical garden centre products, marketing strategies, and how to get the most out of their staff.” - G Cole B.Sc. (hons), M.Psych, Cert. Psych, Cert. Garden Design, MACA, ACS Tutor

This is an example of what you will do in the course:

  • Undertake simple and relevant practical tasks.
  • Submit written assignments at the completion of each lesson.
  • Prepare 72 plant review worksheets.Research and analyse the operation of garden centres and nurseries.

You can commence the course when it suits you and work through it at your own pace.

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction: Plant classification, plant cultural requirements, soil and nutrition, watering requirements, drainage, temperature, light, humidity.
  2. Plant Health: How to diagnose a problem, pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, frost, sunburn, chemical damage, insufficient light, overwatering.
  3. Stock Maintenance: Quality standards, buying new stock, inspecting stock, extending stock life, disposing of below-standard stock, watering techniques, fertilising, pest and disease control.
  4. Display and Display Techniques: Display units, product location, sales area layout.
  5. Garden Product Knowledge I: Plant containers, tags, soil mixes, equipment, tools.
  6. Garden Product Knowledge II: Chemicals, fertilisers, baskets, terrariums, cut flowers.
  7. Indoor Plants: Major groups, common problems, plants for specific situations, customer attitudes.
  8. Container Stock: Trees and Shrubs.
  9. Seedlings, Bulbs, Herbs and Perennials.
  10. Other Plant Stock
    • A. Deciduous Trees, Fruit, Nuts, Berries.
    • B. Seed.
  11. Marketing: Pricing strategy, advertising, promotions.
  12. Management: Staff control, staff productivity, work scheduling.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Classify and identify a range of different plants, according to their botanical characteristics.
  • Describe a range of plant health problems and their treatments.
  • Understand the importance of maintaining healthy stock and its relationship to maintaining a profitable business.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of garden products sold through garden centres.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of plants, including indoor plants, container-grown plants, deciduous plants, bulbs, herbs and perennials.
  • Describe effective marketing techniques.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of management procedures.

Extract from course notes....

MERCHANDISING SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL PROMOTIONS


What is a Promotion?
A promotion is an activity which produces a change in your customers' behaviour, resulting in extra sales.

How Does It Work?
Firstly, every brand has a price or value understood by customers. A promotion offers extra value or a lower price to the customer.

Secondly, a promotion demands urgency from your customer because of its short availability time ("whilst stocks last").

An attractive product display with a message is often an effective way of increasing sales, but it is NOT a promotion. It should really be called a "display feature: because it does not have the vital ingredient of Added Value.

There are several different levels of promotional strategies:

  1. Full Promotion: all sections at full margin plus a planned and sustained program of promotions.
  2. Lightweight Promotions: all sections at full margin plus occasional loss leader promotions.
  3. Partial Discount plus "Highlights": certain sections at cut price plus occasional loss leader promotion.
  4. Partial Discount: certain sections at low price, other items at full price.

Your strategy will depend on:

  • Location: are your customers local, or do you need to attract them from a wider area?
  • Competitors: what can you offer compared with them?
  • Your shop: in particular, its layout and capacity for extra promotional sales.
  • Limitation: If normal marketing and advertising have failed to establish the true value of a product, a promotion will not be successful because there is no comparative standard. Within a store, promotions can only work well if the basic merchandising job has been done properly. They are not substitutes for product range, siting and space allocation with well controlled displays.

The Basic Rules of Promotions

  • Your reason for promoting is to sell more products to your customers as quickly as possible. Specials should be regularly changed. To do this, the offer should appeal to their immediate or secondary needs.
  • The choice of promotion depends on what you want to achieve ie. if you want more people in your garden centre, special locally advertised offers or personality backed promotions could be very useful.
  • Your promotion should be unique to attract maximum attention.
  • The promotion should be simple to understand and operate.
  • The promotion must represent value for money and be credible and honest.
  • The promotion should be consistent with your own image.

How To Choose A Promotion

Consider the following:

  • Who are the main users of the product or brand?
  • How, when and why do they use the product?
  • How frequently is it purchased?
  • What are its main competitors?
  • How does the customer see the brand versus the competition?

Use the facts to decide how to run the promotion:

  • Determine, in order of priority, the key problem.
  • Identify the money available.
  • List and cost all the possible alternative options that are open (e.g. more advertising, customer promotions, pricing strategy).
  • Having estimated the cost, ask yourself what will the benefit be to you.


Meet some of our academics

Marie BeermanMarie has over 7 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants". Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Ldscp.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.


Check out our eBooks

Starting a Nursery or Herb FarmThis is both a guide to “how to propagate plants” as well as an exploration of the possibility of starting a small nursery or herb business that could eventually grow into a blossoming business! It's often amazing how much can be produced, and the profit that can be made from a few hundred square meters of land. Since it was first published by “Grass Roots” in 1981, we have lost count of the hundreds of people who have told us how this book kicked off a successful business or career for them. 63 pages
Trees and ShrubsA great little encyclopaedia that is valuable for students, tradespeople, or the home gardener needing a quick reference when selecting garden plants. It covers the care and culture of 140 commonly grown genera of trees and shrub, plus many hundreds of species and cultivars. 169 colour photos 94 pages
What to Plant WhereA great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees and shrubs, lawns and garden art.
Marketing PsychologyThe Marketing Psychology ebook will provide you with an understanding of the psychology behind the consumer decision making process. With 52 pages of insight into marketing psychology and consumer behaviour, this ebook help you understand consumers much more effectively. Marketing psychology is about understanding people’s purchasing behaviour and applying that understanding to the advertising, marketing and ultimately the selling of products or services.