On being different

Here is my final take, (for now) on the interesting issue of plant guarantees.

  1. Most nursery owners say it's a small issue in their business. Quality is great, service is good, our customers are happy, why offer a plant guarantee?

  2. Most nursery owners spend an inordinate amount of time on the issue. This is an observation based on articles I have read in trade magazines, and observation made here at this blog.

I have never advertised a plant guarantee or store guarantee. When someone asks if we guarantee our plants we answer, yes. Rarely do they ask how long the guarantee lasts. If and when they do we answer “as long as your a customer”. Easy to understand. No confusion. No one year time limit. No requirement they use our soil amendments or fertilizers.

The issue of plant guarantees shows just how far we have to go as a industry. I have a feeling we spend way too much time wrestling with issues that most customers could care less about. The people that care about plant guarantees are shopping at the box stores. People that care about plant garden success tend to shop at independent garden centers.

The same thing can be said about organics. Such a simple thing can be made so complex when you get a group of nursery people together. Gee, if we go organic will we alienate our other customers? How can we appear more “green” and profit from this trend? More green? We are nurseries. We sell green every day! We are the definition of the “green industry”

The days of playing it safe and profiting by playing it safe are over. Being average won't work any more. Look at any industry and the sacred cows of that industry and thats the place where change will most likely happen. The business that does what the rest of us we're afraid to do. Yes, it doesn't always work, but at least it's exciting and might get the notice of the information overloaded customer.