“Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
One of the greatest joys of gardening is sharing your passion and knowledge with others. How many times have customers come to you excited to begin gardening, but unsure of where to start? Or worse, they’ve already invested time, money, and labor only to find their investment withering in the sun. Garden coaching is an excellent way for garden centers and landscapers to provide a valuable service to customers while also establishing thought leadership in your industry.
So, what is garden coaching, and how can it benefit your business and your customers? Let’s take a look at this trending service now.
The Role of a Garden Coach
As a garden coach, your experience and know-how can help your clients find their garden’s full potential. Most focus on teaching clients to do the work for themselves. However, some also choose to get their hands dirty. They may offer to help design, plant, take care, and even harvest produce, all while sharing their expertise along the way. One-on-one, usually on-site, coaching helps new gardeners with things like:
- Site analysis
- Garden placement and design
- Plant identification
- Pest and disease analysis
- Plant placement and bed preparation
- Proper pruning and deadheading techniques
- Instructions and timetables for planting vegetable and herb gardens
- Plant care and fertilization recommendations
- Resources for subcontractors and products needed to reach their goals
You can save your clients time, money, and labor by fine-tuning their goals and avoiding making costly mistakes. Your fresh eye and expertise can empower people to have the gardens they want by teaching them the skills they need.
Why Garden Coaching is Good for Business
There is no better boon for your business than a community of engaged, confident learners and fans. Your coaching services will foster trusting, collaborative relationships that will benefit your garden center or landscape company for years to come. You’ll not only be developing gardeners but establishing real connections and customer loyalty, beating out the big box stores with personalized services.
In general, initial consultations usually run longer and range in price. Follow-up visits or virtual meetings are typically charged at an hourly rate. Some customers may just need that initial consultation, but many will benefit from continued guidance and support, whether monthly, seasonally, or yearly.
Another benefit of garden coaching is that your clients will likely support your business in other ways in return. As they work to create gorgeous landscapes, fun outdoor entertaining areas, or vegetable and herb gardens, they will turn to you for the plants, supplies, and continued guidance boosting your business pipeline.
Who is Looking for a Garden Coach?
The profession of a garden coach has gained traction in the last 5-10 years. Today, as people are turning more and more toward their homes, your knowledge of local conditions, plants, and design is invaluable. As people seek out life coaches, fitness trainers, or take art and cooking lessons, garden coaches are a natural extension of the desire for growth.
You’ll find some experienced gardeners who want feedback on projects they are planning for a fresh perspective. But, the majority of your clients may be people that want to dig in and enjoy the fruits of their labor. For example, new home buyers with a blank slate and homeowners that inherit a garden are ideal candidates for garden coaching. You can often find them roaming your garden center wide-eyed, looking a little overwhelmed.
Another great area for coaching is food gardening. It’s taken off in recent years and has accelerated due to the current pandemic and stay at home orders. People are finding comfort and joy in growing their own food and herbs. Your knowledge can help them maximize their harvest.
With so many people looking for kind, encouraging, and skilled mentors, your one-on-one advice and assistance are extremely valuable. With almost no start-up fees involved in offering your expertise to guide all levels of gardeners, it’s a win-win for both you and your customers. One that will benefit your community and business for years to come.