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Bridging the gap with new branches to your business

Bridging the gap with new branches to your business
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Bridging the gap with new branches to your business
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Based at our Churchill Square Business Centre in Kings Hill, Gardens of England has been very busy over the past year. Through diversifying their business services and focusing on client relationships, adapting their approach has seen them through a challenging time for many independently owned companies across the UK. Director, Ron Drury explains how his strategy has allowed him to tackle both the highs and lows of demand.

Providing professional garden maintenance

Gardens of England provides regular professional garden maintenance services, specialising in larger grounds and gardens, which can span above 5 acres in size. Owned by Ron Drury, the business also holds open space maintenance contracts with parish councils, which allows them to maintain recreation grounds, village greens, war memorials and footpaths. But to meet the changing weather, they opened an unlikely new strand to their business: professional gravedigging services for undertakers, churches and cemeteries in and around Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

Diversifying business services

“The idea behind the gravedigging service was that the Achilles heel of any gardener is the winter,” explains Ron. “I soon realised that we needed a strategy there, which would either be to make enough income in Summer to cover the rest of the year – or, build an income stream to see us through Winter, which seemed a better strategy.”

Ron’s industry can typically see challenges during colder and wetter periods as, although there is lots of work to be done in gardens, clients often don’t want to spend on that space if they’re not using it. By bringing gravedigging into his business services, Ron was able to bridge the gap that often occurs for gardeners over the colder months.

“My business partner also came to the company with 26 years of gravedigging experience, so we were able to build that strand for a viable business plan,” comments Ron.

Working from Churchill Square Business Centre in Kings Hill

Gardens of England has been based with us at Capital Space for as long as their business has been operating for the last six to seven years, and Ron isn’t planning on changing his location any time soon.

“Kings Hill is a good location for us, as it fits in easily en route to our local clients across Kent,” says Ron. “We’re looking to grow the business, recruit more and run more vans, all at a controllable pace. Our office at Capital Space works perfectly for this.”

Weathering the storm during coronavirus

“We’ve been very lucky during Covid,” comments Ron, explaining that there has been no downfall in jobs with his client base, but an uplift in enquiries and onboarding. “Part of the reason for this is because of our business model, which targets larger, more prestigious properties and builds long term relationships with customers.”

Gardens of England is clearly not the conventional gardening service provider, and this means that rather being seen as a luxury, their skills are now a necessity that is budgeted for to continue maintenance in large areas of land. With an influx of clients who are working from home, they are happy to invest in their garden space as they now more opportunity to use it.

Equally, the impact of coronavirus saw an uptake in Gardens of England’s gravedigging experience, providing key support for their service areas and helping Ron’s business to level through the past 18 months.

Advice to aspiring business owners

It often helps to reflect on which aspects of a successful business has let it flourish. With seven years now under the belt, as well as a global pandemic, Ron is in a good position to give comment.

“It’s important that you build strong relationships with customers; your business shouldn’t just be about going in and carrying out the service. We work in individual spaces with different owners, and it can take a lot of time to get to know the different characters and requirements. Create longstanding relationships and place value on them, rather than focusing solely on the job you’re doing – or the price that you’re charging.”

By innovating and adding more branches to his business, Ron Drury has created a pandemic-proof model that has kept his company level, whilst also providing a thoughtful and reliable service to valued, longstanding clients. We’re delighted to provide support to upstanding and resilient businesses like Gardens of England across our nine centre locations.

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 4667 or email  info@capitalspace.co.uk