Whether it be for a garden centre, nursery, DIY or hardware store we at The Garden Works pride ourselves on providing some of the best and most cost-effective training and development programmes available. Although all programmes may be adapted to specific requirements some of the most popular elements are outlined below.
Plant and Product Knowledge
- An Introduction to Horticulture in the Garden Centre
An ideal course for the new-starters into the business or those working in a different department with an inkling to learn a little about what goes on in that plant-y bit!
The course sections include:
The World of Plants – An introduction to plant naming and why the strange, long names
How Plants Work – An overview of plant metabolism and their requirements to maintain healthy growth and development.
Know Your Plants – Covers the different groups of plants and terminology encountered in the plant area.
Staying Alive – Looking after plants in the sales area covering essential maintenance such as watering, feeding and protection
Gone But Not Forgotten – Essential knowledge to pass on to customers so they can care for their purchases.
Suitable for more experienced members of the team, this introductory course is extended into two full day sessions which may be run independently or in conjunction with each other. The two days are divided into plant knowledge and plant growth as below:
- Day 1 - Plant Knowledge
To acquire a working knowledge of basic botanical terms for use with the main plant groups in a retail environment. It also covers floral structures, propagation and the various methods used for retailing plants in the modern garden centre.
- Day 2 - Plant Growth
This session covers plant growth both in the plant area and in the customers’ garden. The first section covers maintenance in the plant area including watering, feeding and protection whilst the second section concentrates on the customer and products and techniques that will ensure they succeed with the plants they have purchased. This will include growing media, plant feeding
- Product Knowledge
A range of mainly half day training sessions are available covering common topics within the plant area and garden sundries department e.g. trees and shrubs, plant feeding plant care (Insecticides, fungicides etc.)
This can be presented either as a general course covering all areas or aimed at specific sections such as plants, gifts, outdoor living etc. It is aimed at helping team members understand the effect of merchandising on sales by using colour and texture, improving customer flow, creating link sales and using customer segmentation profiles and the importance of monitoring and measuring results.
Where appropriate it can also include product ranging.
- Engaging Customers
This could also be called ‘Selling Skills’ though that tends conjure up negative messages. Even so our teams need to understand the value they represent on the shop floor when engaging with a customer, helping them, transferring their enthusiasm and ensuring that customers make the right decisions and go away with all they need. Attitude, knowledge, approaching skills, overcoming objections and closing the sale nonetheless play an important part in this session.
- Customer Care
The customer is the most important element in our business – without them the rest is futile!
This course emphasises the effect that our appearance and behaviour have and how they can influence the impression given to our visitors.
The day will also cover communication (both verbal and non-verbal), approaching, listening and questioning skills, dealing with objections and closing the sales.
- Increasing Sales and Maximising Profits Workshop
This course is divided into two sections which are best run on separate days although the content may be edited to cover the whole spectrum in one day.
Part one is entitled Understanding the Business and is designed as an introduction to business terminology, the effects of wastage and loss, security, discounting and the importance of good time management and team working.
The second part is more sales based and covers an overview of general customer care and selling skills, product knowledge, display and merchandising plus the value of entertaining our customers in a way which ensures repeat visits.
- Train ‘n’ Coach (Two Great Vehicles to Drive Your Business)
Training and coaching are integral components in team development but, for premium results must be approached in an effective manner. Training can be implemented to develop new skills and knowledge whilst coaching is effective in helping team members to do what they already know even better.
- The Entertainment Factor (Beyond the Heart)
WARNING!....this course is only suitable for the most radical of entrepreneurs, those who are willing to throw caution to the wind, to release themselves from the shackles of a standard approach and to embrace a future virtually unrecognisable from the present!
OK, I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea!
Facing the challenges of a changing customer profile and new channels for buying garden products it is becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain prominence in the marketplace. Customers no longer venture out purely to “buy stuff” but require other reasons to get in their car and drive….they want to be surprised, excited, entertained and garden centres are in prime position to profit from this change but will need to adapt their outlook, fashion their offer and shape it to accommodate the “new shopper”.
- Running a Demonstration
Standing in front of an audience can be a daunting experience but with a few simple guidelines it can be easy, efficient and a very satisfying method of “getting the message across”.
This course can be run as a single day however it is most effectively run over two days (preferably a Friday and Saturday) when the first day concentrates on presentation skills etc. and the second day can be a mentoring day in front of a live audience on the shop floor.
It also comes complete with full sets of notes to train team members on how to run a selection of promotions. This includes background notes, a training plan, presentation, demonstration outline and a suggested recipe sheet.
In- House Training Packs
- GW45’s and GW45PLUS
These are packs to buy to enable you to run your own training sessions. To understand the concept better simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free sample pack.
A unique set of in-house training modules which can be purchased for in-house use. The modules are geared up to be run by an in-house tutor in approximately 45 minutes on the shop floor.
Each module covers a frequently asked question as below:
- How do I choose the right compost?
- Will this plant last more than a year?
- Can you advise me on planting containers?
- How do I get started with this foreign language?
- How do I get rid of bugs on my plants?
- Which weedkiller should I choose?
- How do I choose a plant food?
- What do I need to know about planting in the right places?
- How do I know if a particular plant will grow in my soil?
- What is the right way to plant a tree or shrub?
- How do I know the right time to prune my shrubs?
- How do I enjoy my garden and help the environment?
Each module contains everything necessary to run the training session in-house and on the shop floor i.e. Background notes for the trainer to read beforehand and hand out afterwards, a training plan to ensure the session runs smoothly and on-time, a presentation which can be run on a laptop or printed off etc, exercises to engage the participants,
The GW45Plus range cover popular promotions to run on the shop floor. These will contain the same elements as GW45’s but also include a sample demonstration and a leaflet which can be adapted and printed out to give to customers.
Subjects available include:
- Patio Potatoes
- Get Ready to G(y)O
- Herbs for Cooking
- Grow Your Own Pizza
- Strawberry Success
- Coming Up Roses
- Seed Sowing Indoors
- Automatic Watering
- Success with Tomatoes
- The Three Sisters
- Bulbs in Container
Build Your Brand
In the modern retail environment your brand is, by far, more important than those on your shelves or benches and a brand is not simply a logo, a design or a uniform.
It is more than that, a way of life, a common goal, an ethos, a desire that can all be summed up in a single word…….culture
‘Culture may even be described as that which makes life worth living’
TS Elliot 1885-1965
A culture usually describes a group of like-minded individuals with a common set of ideals, aspirations and goals thus a remarkable culture will result in a remarkable brand.
Any culture, whether it be the ancient Egyptians, a group of football supporters or a retail team will at the heart of it share three fundamental things….belief, customs and artefacts
- Belief is the underlying principles that guide the group, the ultimate motivation for carrying out day-to-day activities.
- Customs are the unique ways in which these day to day activities are carried out
- Artefacts are the items associated with the group whether they be tools and trinkets, football scarves or plants and products.
The unique Build Your Brand programme is designed to fit into each situation in whatever way is most appropriate however this usually entails a session with the owner/senior management to determine the vision and set the parameters. During this session it should be agreed the reason(s) WHY the business exists in the first place and, in the words of Simon Sinek….making money is not a reason why a business exists rather it is a result of running the business.
This should then be followed with mentoring sessions with the whole team to instil the beliefs and motivation for being a part of the organisation, determine the behaviours that will facilitate this and identify the tools and facilities that will be needed in order to reproduce the vision on the shop floor throughout the centre radiating one single message.
This may also highlight some training needs in order to be successfully rolled out through the centre.
The Garden Works
9 Long Croft
Barton Preston PR3 5AL