A local wholesale nursery and garden centre is on target to increase its turnover by 20-30% after taking advantage of Business Gateway Fife’s Expert Help programme.
Aimed at local businesses that need support to overcome specific challenges, the scheme matches eligible business owners with experts in areas such as social media, website development, and search engine optimisation to help grow their enterprise.
Hedgehogs Nursery, based in Glenrothes, applied for support through the scheme to help improve the SEO of its e-commerce site - www.scotplantsdirect.co.uk - as well as its social media presence.
The company, which was set up by Bob and Pat Kean in 1998, also secured a £5k Digital Scotland Voucher that helped them fine-tune their online selling platform. Now, the husband and wife team project their turnover will increase about 20-30% from last financial year.
Bob said: “We’re in a highly competitive industry but the support we’ve had has helped us stand out from the masses. Hitting our projected target would be a great shot in the arm as it’s been a challenge to incorporate all the necessary elements to make our ecommerce site more attractive to customers across the UK. Thanks to the support we have had from Business Gateway and the raft of experts we have worked with on social media, marketing, and upgrading of our website we are more confident. Now, our spend on Google is decreasing, our organic listings are improving and the website is performing better than ever.”
Alasdair Busby, Business Gateway, said: “Pat and Bob came to us looking for help with their online presence. Through our Expert Help Programme we were able to identify local experts who could help them with specific aspects of their business. With these projects now complete the business is in better shape than ever, and is well placed to take advantage of the growing demand for plants and garden materials both on and offline.”
Originally set up to supply landscape architects, like Bob, with plants and materials the business, based in Crompton Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, now also runs a weekend nursery open to the public.
In 2007, the company launched www.scotplantsdirect.co.uk, selling everything a gardener needs, not just in the UK but to far flung places such as Kabul and California. The company has also ploughed a niche for itself as one the few sellers of bare root plants, trees and fruits.
Bob said: “Bare root plants, which are only available November to March, are inexpensive and sold without soil to customers throughout the UK that need to cover large areas of ground without spending a vast amount of money. They’re also the most economical way to plant hedges or your favourite fruit trees. Wintertime is also the best time to purchase ornamental trees, such as flowering cherry, rowan, alder, so you can get them planted before the spring. It’s difficult for garden centres to hold this type of stock in large numbers, so many people will use the internet to find a good company to supply bare root plants.
“Now that our SEO has dramatically improved and we have an up-to-date website we expect to attract even more customers over the coming winter months which will help us reach our turnover target.”
To find out how Business Gateway Fife can help your business, call us now on 01592 858333. For further details on our Expert Help programme, click here or to see how we've supported other businesses, read more of our case studies.