As with most areas of our lives, we as a nation are becoming more and more impatient; we want it now and don't really want to wait! For this reason, offering more mature plants can add value to your business.

If we take hedges as a simple example and think about them in the context of affluent new houses (even in these times there are still plenty around); privacy has always been at the top of a house buyer's list, but it is widely accepted that new properties come with a fence and that's about the extent of the segregation.

Of course, many people are prepared to plant fast growing young shrubs and wait the six to ten years it takes to grow into something resembling an established hedge, but equally there are lots of people who don't want to wait and could therefore easily be sold a more mature plant, reducing the overall time they have to wait for privacy.

Providing you can locate a good source of mature plants, you have an ideal way of up-selling without compromising on your profitability. You can offer a hedge at different heights with different installation costs clearly shown in your proposals, and the client can then decide what height suits their budgets.

Updating Your Image

Updating your image with new business cards and advertising material is another great way to improve profitability and generate new business.

My business is in printing, and I recently printed some business cards for the company providing the shrubs for my garden. This guy just strolled around our new estate pushing his cards through all the available doors and, coupled with the A-board he had on my drive, he managed to gain three other sales from the estate. Two of those sales bought mature hedges and plants, so when I developed my internet site for business stationery and branding, take a look:   www.betterprint.co.uk.

You can choose from many contemporary designs and use the reverse for statements like "we provide mature plants and hedges”. Why not try this technique for yourself - you might just be surprised at the results.