A business owner shares the secrets of success.
As manager of the Almaden Valley Nursery, located in the highly competitive retail market of San Jose, Calif., Wilder maintained higher goals than simply selling his customers beautiful plants and flowers. He also sought to distinguish his business by providing his customers with a memorable shopping experience. In this efficient manual, the author shares how he and his employees created the brand of customer service that made the nursery not only profitable, but renowned in the gardening industry and throughout California. By using these business practices, the company has grown so much via word-of-mouth that it has not spent money on advertising in ten years. From the welcome sign to hiring practices to the merchandise return policy, Wilder advocates setting and maintaining a rigorous standard of excellence in every detail. At the nursery, that meant offering to help customers carry their purchases to their car, and not just providing planting or selection suggestions with a smile, but in a friendly, thoughtful and humorous way. Wilder also describes the tools his management team developed–an online newsletter, personal thank-you letters, etc.–to keep the business in their customers’ minds, to keep them satisfied and to keep them coming back. He demonstrates how the company not only cultivated knowledgeable employees, but encouraged their creativity and participation in the perpetual effort to do things better. At the end of each chapter, he offers action items to get readers thinking about how to apply the material to their own companies. With straightforward, concise prose, Wilder delivers concrete methods for improving any business, without the clutter of gimmicks, buzzwords or charts. Though readers may find some of the nursery’s particular practices a bit cheesy, the philosophy behind them, based on 25 years of retail experience, is sound.
How to grow your business and make it stand out in the garden patch.