I wanted to addressÂ a commentÂ at my last post,Â Social Media, Fear Holds Us Back! Carolyn commented, â€œI am a nursery owner who has started a blog to communicate with my customers. People keep telling me I need to be on FB, and I am investigating it. I donâ€™t currently use FB myself so itâ€™s a bit of a learning curve. The biggest thing holding me back from doing it is not fear of new things (I didnâ€™t even know what a blog was before I started mine in November) but time management issues. I have no employee to delegate social media to: if someoneâ€™s going to manage FB, it will be me. And I donâ€™t have very much excess capacity. Itâ€™s hard to judge what kind of work a business FB page would generate, and I donâ€™t want to be overwhelmed with comments/questions from my customers that I canâ€™t answer.â€ We need to re-think what it means to be a retail nurseryperson, and small business owner. We have to focus on the important stuff, and focus less on the noise. If our customers want to ask us questions via one of the social media platforms then we need to be there answering those questions. Most people know the answers are on The Internet. They just donâ€™t know where to find them. There are a million sites all claiming to have the answers. Itâ€™s like walking into the Library of Congress and trying to find one book. You have to know where to start looking, or know someone that knows where to start looking. When potential customers have found your website or Facebook page while searching the web it means you have succeeded. Succeeded big-time! Out of all the different places they could have ended up at they ended up with you. Once you establish that you are a trusted resource, itâ€™s much more likely they will want to do business with you in the future.
The future of the retail nursery trade is less oriented towards new things as it is towards new ideas. The idea that every small garden center now has the power to become much larger in the eyes of the community than its physical location might suggest. By becoming the go to source for all things horticultural you become an indispensible resource in the community. Every garden center should have an idea what they want as their sphere of influence. If youâ€™re going to be the best in the world, you have to decide how big your world is. Is it the neighborhood, town, city, county, region, state, etc.? Once you have chosen your sphere of influence, youâ€™ll have a better idea of how you can become the go to source for all things horticultural in that world. Youâ€™re the expert, right? You just need to help people find you. If they find you then yes, you will have to spend more time on Facebook, or the blog. But that's success! How you will find the time to deal with all the new customers is up to you.