Celebrating 12 months of online garden design
The team are celebrating 12 months of online garden design and looking forward to some busy times ahead.
Hard to believe that My Garden Design was launched a year ago. So much has happened since then. Both inside the business and in the world at large. Please join me on a journey of celebration and reminiscences.
Where we began
My Garden Design began as a seed of an idea, forged mainly from frustration, and in just 12 months has grown into a strong business.
A few years back, during a conversation with fellow APL members, I was struck by the notion that landscapers really do need an alternative way of getting a good garden design created. The traditional methods, or either creating your own design or passing the task onto a local designer left a gap in the market.
As we all know, creating great garden designs takes a long time. It’s not just the creative bit that landscapers struggle with. It’s learning to use the software and finding the opportunity to work undisturbed whilst project managing, training the team, procuring materials, building quotes and everything else involved in running a business.
When we discussed the pros and cons of landscapers working with garden designers, there was a mixture of opinions. Each one of us could name garden designers that are a joy to work with. Equally, we all had designers that we just didn’t seem to ‘gel’ with. When working relationships go sour, there’s little joy to be had in building a beautiful garden.
So, I planned to create a business where landscapers and garden designers complimented each others work perfectly – without ever meeting each other.
Pressure of work and a growing family meant that it was a while before I could get my teeth into creating My Garden Design. Fortunately for me, the COVID Pandemic opened up a window of time for myself and my website designer and in March 2020 – we began designing and building our online garden design portal.
Where we are now
After a lot of developing, tweaking and bespoke coding, by website developer, Gary Marshall of UThink1, The My Garden Design website went live on 17th July 2020. And I for one am celebrating the fact that it’s been kept busy ever since.
Angela Lambert of Writeservice also helped me – and continues to do so – by updating the website and all of our social media profiles on a regular basis.
The site offers an online garden design service for landscapers. At the moment, the service is only for trade customers and that is, of course, reflected in the pricing.
Once registered as a trade user, our website visitors have access to a really useful range of tools. These are designed to help landscapers sell the concept of garden design and make money by outsourcing the design itself.
My Garden Design aims to turn a design around in no more than 4 weeks. Thus cutting the waiting time for end users and increasing our customers’ chances of winning the work.
Our customers – the landscapers – gather all the information needed to create a design. It’s a doddle. Simply by following the process on our website the garden design brief can be built in no time. Let’s face it, Landscapers do most of this anyway (taking measurements, double checking the client’s wish list, taking photos etc). The only difference is that they can use the free tools on the website to upload the information to a secure portal. From there, it is passed to one of our team of experienced garden designers who will start work straight away.
What makes MGD designs unique is that the final design is presented under the landscaper’s own branding. Which means that our customers retain 100% control over the relationship with their clients. MGD do not try to influence the client and never visit the site to give feedback.
The website is very user friendly and is designed so that project information can be uploaded from a PC or a smartphone. There’s no reason why information can’t be uploaded during a site meeting (saves returning to site later!).
New Resources to make your projects run smoother
Over the past 12 months, feedback from our customers has prompted us to create extra resources to make MGD even more helpful to landscapers.
Free, downloadable handout to help you sell the concept of garden design
It’s not always easy to explain to a domestic customer that you cannot start landscaping their site without a garden design. It’s not that they don’t want a layout plan – they don’t understand how complex the design process is and therefore don’t expect to pay extra for it.
Our downloadable leaflet can be customised by adding your own logo and contact details. It explains, in simple language, what’s involved in creating a garden design and how it can actually SAVE money in the long run. The leaflet contains quite a lot of text that you can use in your own documents and on your website. More free stuff worth celebrating!
Enquiry forms to help qualify sales leads
We’ve all done it. Driven to a prospective customer’s home. Spent time with them, measured the garden, brainstormed ideas, driven home, put together costings and then discovered they don’t have the budget to bring their dreams to fruition. That’s what? A day’s work wasted?
Use our downloadable enquiry forms to qualify the lead BEFORE you follow it up. There’s a telephone version – ask the questions as the conversation is flowing. Or, there is an e-mailable version. I find that emailing prospective customers tends to weed out a good proportion of the time wasters. They simply don’t reply.
Guide to measuring a garden
No – we’re not telling you how to use a tape measure! This series of documents explains which measurements our garden designers need you to take and how to present your findings.
Find all of our downloadable documents in the “really useful” section of our website. NB – you need to be logged in to see them.
Really informative articles
The MGD team add at least one useful blogpost to the site every month. And we’re lucky enough to have some great guest blogs too.
Whatever you need to know about selling garden design, explaining concepts to your customers, adjusting your marketing mix and using out platform. We’re always open to suggestions for new blogs too.
Here are links to our most viewed blogs of the year
Finally – your projects – the reason for our existence
Understandably, not all of our clients are keen to share project details with the world, but we have been lucky enough to gain permission to showcase some of the garden designs we’ve been working on. These designs – and the subsequent garden build – are all worth celebrating.
MGD website demonstrations
If you haven’t yet tried MGD for yourself and would like a demonstration of the platform, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Leave your name, phone number and email address and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time to me to show you all of the tools and features on the site.