Claire Hartnell, Director of CJ Garden Services Ltd, had been slowly growing her garden maintenance and clearance business since its inception in 2001, but 13 years in, had no real plan for how to propel the business forward. As Claire explained, “we’d never had any formal business training and really needed some expert advice.”
After having met the ActionCOACH Solent team at a BNI event, Claire and her husband have been collaborating with them ever since, meeting regularly to work on specific issues and also developing and refining consecutive 90 Day plans. The 90 Day Plan is a tool that ActionCOACH use to maintain a client’s focus on their overall goals, with specific strategies to implement and milestones to achieve which will move them towards those big goals, a step at a time. Claire says, “it’s a great strategy to keep you focused, having a plan to revert back to and keep you on track.”
CJ Garden Services Ltd provides professional grounds and garden maintenance services for commercial and domestic clients in the Southampton area, and whilst they were generating lots of new business leads, they were suffering from high staff turnover, an issue typical for this type of business.
“On ActionCOACH Solent’s advice, we embarked on a recruitment campaign like never before. We now have a smarter procedure, employ better people and as a result, have a much more stable, professional workforce.” CJ Garden Services Ltd boast an exceptional workforce of professional, friendly and experienced gardeners who proudly don their CJ Garden Services Ltd uniform when they’re out visiting clients.
“ActionCOACH Solent taught us how to work ON the business rather than IN the business. We used to function with a trowel in one hand and a ‘phone in the other. We were bogged down in the detail, we needed someone to show us how to stand back and make better, more informed decisions.”
“It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight, but thanks to ActionCOACH Solent, we’ve made the change and the company has benefited hugely – no more VAT returns at 3 am, we have a bookkeeper who has taken that off our hands.”
“Colin at ActionCOACH Solent also helped us with our lead generation. We undertook a Facebook campaign and local advertising. As a result, in June this year (2016) we had our best month ever, with turnover up 30% from June the previous year. We’ve also employed the ActionCOACH 5 Ways Formula, which has maintained our focus on getting better leads. Enquiries have been flooding in and I’m proud to say that we convert over 98% of the jobs we quote for.”
Claire explained that the improved staffing and procedures have freed up time for her to focus on business networking, which has generated great leads too. “When you run your own business, you’ve got to get out there and meet people, you can’t be a faceless organisation. We’ve made some fantastic contacts through various networking events and it’s ActionCOACH Solent who demonstrated the difference that would make to our business.”
When asked if there have been any “lightbulb” moments, Claire responded, “employing the services of a virtual office to answer the ever ringing landline. I can get on with what needs to be done now.”
With as many new business leads coming in per day as they had in a week this time last year, CJ Garden Services have their sights firmly fixed on a bigger, brighter future.
Visit CJ Garden Services Ltd’s website here.