Richard McKenna, ­Nursery director at Wyevale East Nurseries, Swanley, Kent

Richard McKenna, nursery director at Wyevale East Nurseries, Swanley, Kent
Richard McKenna, nursery director at Wyevale East Nurseries, Swanley, Kent

The Wyevale East cash-and-carry service is a relatively new arm of Wyevale Nurseries. It was set up about three years ago and offers trade accounts to businesses.

Richard McKenna didn’t get the business to the position it is in today just by being a good plantsman. He is involved in all aspects of business operation from marketing and stock control to project planning and knowing how to break into different customer sectors. He says: There are a lot of people in horticulture who love plants and run a business, but the business skills are equally as important as plant knowledge.

McKenna embarked on his horticultural career 10 years ago at Writtle College studying an HND in commercial horticulture, then he moved into the garden centre sector as a trainee manager. He returned to Writtle to get a certificate in management studies. Knowing the importance of training, McKenna fully intends to go back to attain a Masters in the subject in the future.

McKenna’s job includes checking stock, making sure staff are aware of jobs that need doing, serving customers, ordering stock, overseeing deliveries and planning advertising.

He says anyone joining the industry now is in a strong position. It is short of people willing to put the training, effort and hours in, but if you do it is a very rewarding sector to be in.

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