- How did you get started in the industry?
I was a weekend lad at Hambrooks garden centre then went to Pershore and to Boningales before going back to Hambrooks to run the production unit, then back to Boningales in sales until I left to set up my own company. What advice would you give to others starting out? For younger people coming into the industry, the key to starting on your own is listening to customers and communications. I'm back to how I originally started off, outside. I fell into nursery sales but I took the plunge and I've not looked back.
- What does your typical day involve?
I make a few calls, set up the job, then carry out the job, but while I'm working I'm making calls. It's a logistical thing like a game of chess, making three or four moves ahead for your next jobs. Organisation is key. After the working day I make any calls I need to in the evenings. I'm hands-on with back office on site as well. You can do that with modern communications. I also organise specialist services like chainsaws and diggers because I have good contacts. I'm plant sourcing and installing with top-end garden designers. There's a shortage of good plant people to interpret plans, track down and source plants and free the designers' time. Most projects so far have come from old customers and I've been promoting on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- What is the best aspect of your job?
Being back out of the office and starting on a new job every two or three weeks. Over the past 12 years I've sold several million plants but I've not planted any or seen them mature. Every day is like being in a National Trust garden - there's some really nice schemes.
- What does the future hold?
To grow the business to where I have one or two teams. I want to bring younger people into horticulture and train them up.