Peaks & Valleys

Peaks and Valleys

by Danny Summers

Twelve Weeks
The majority of a garden center's income happens in a 12-week period in spring. Exactly when the 12 weeks begin fluctuates of course, dependent upon location (climate zone) and seasonal weather breaks. The balance of the year the center is trying to hang onto the profit dollars by working on building income and keeping costs as low as possible.

Last week, when we were discussing the Peaks & Valleys of garden retailing, Steve Bailey made a comment to me when referring to The Group's WDR and the Average Sale Comparison graph which is always on the cover page. He said, "The graph for Average Sales is very close to the actual Peaks & Valleys of overall sales and Group Clients could look at that for areas to help with budgeting." Here's a view of last year's full year chart. When looking at this chart, the weeks are across the bottom. Don't worry about the legend on the left side (Average Sale Dollars) for now, but think about the peaks and valleys as total sales. The lowest Valleys are when you have little or no sales and the Peaks are currently your busiest times of the year. It's almost like going from 0-100mph.

Steve's idea got me to thinking.

Twelve Weeks - to the MAX
Within the 12-week period of spring, centers are typically operating at overload capacity, doing all they can to satisfy every customer, keeping fresh product flowing and helping staff from becoming totally exhausted. For this discussion, we accept the fact that the Peaks are something you have to maximize and get over (like climbing a mountain) the remaining weeks.

But What About the Rest of the Time - the 40+/- Weeks?
A number of Group Centers determine some weeks to actually close, normally after Christmas and before spring season prep begins. But even if you are able to close on a seasonal basis, you still have a number of weeks where new sales could mean a world of difference. What we are talking about is filling in some of the Valleys in those 30-40 weeks remaining. Did you notice how the 12-week icon above is green and the 40-week icon is red?  The goal is to change the 40-week icon to green too!

Leveraging The Group
We have centers within The Group who have found their own way to building sales in Valleys in their market. Each are different and it is not a one-size-fits-all answer. But, the fact is The Group, collectively, has the ability to help each center to find ways to build sales in their own Valleys. This comes through Group sharing.

At The Fall Event 2019, we have two activities scheduled on tour day when we are at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens – OPEN MIC and BREAKOUT SESSIONS. OPEN MIC is not about bringing your best vocal talents, but specifically designed for sharing business-building ideas and success stories for the Valleys. This will be fast-paced idea introductions to give you connections for follow-up.

The BREAKOUT SESSIONS later in the day will be moderated by our Service Pros in major areas for managing the business. This also is a time to follow-up on the ideas you heard during OPEN-MIC. Watch for more details in the coming weeks.

So What's Your Best?
If you have success story for building business in the Valleys to share, give me a call or email. We are looking for 10-12 of the very best ideas to share.

And, if you would like ideas on how to fill-in the Valleys of your business year... don't miss The Fall Event 2019!

See you soon!


Want more information on The Fall Event 2019? CLICK HERE

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