Shoot added to Cotswold Gardening School curriculum

29th August 2017. The Cotswold Gardening School will be including Shoot for Professionals as part of the school’s standard curriculum for all students starting courses this year.

Nicola Gammon, CEO, Shoot with Caroline Tatham, Principal, The Cotswold Gardening School with last year’s graduating class.

This will include the students taking the Garden Design (one-year, ten-week, and one-year concise which is new this year) and the Planting Design courses.

Watch the video below to hear what the Principal Caroline Tatham says about Shoot and why she has decided to include Shoot as part of the courses her school runs.

The students will use the Shoot Professional package in the following ways:

  • to compile their plant portfolios. A close study of 50 plants for the 1-year garden design course and 25 plants for the ten-week planting course. This involves all the technical info and images but also importantly design uses.
  • research for planting plans – this applies to all courses.
  • source for mood boards – all courses.
  • source for sketchbook research – all courses.

Nicola Gammon, CEO Shoot, is delighted that Shoot will be included as a standard part of the Cotswold Gardening School curriculum.

“We are often told by recent graduates they only wished they knew about Shoot at the start of their studies… as Shoot is not only a tool to help new designers to become more profitable, but it is also a great educational aid. I am thrilled the The Cotswold Gardening School will be including Shoot as part of the curriculum going forward and hope other horticultural and design colleges also decide to include Shoot as part of their courses too.”

If you are a student and wish to sign-up directly for a student membership of Shoot please contact us or  read more here. Or if you are a horticultural or design college and you are interested to offer a similar programme for your students please contact us at shoot@shootgardening.co.uk and entitle your email ‘Shoot’s Student Programme’.

Maintenance Matters event

The Shoot team were joining yesterday at Capel Manor College, Regents Park by an outstanding cross-industry panel including:

We discussed a variety of topics. One thing there was general agreement on was the importance of  garden care and the need to raise the profile and value placed on proper after care.

Discussions were varied and it was evident that there is a complicated, wide-ranging set of issues to tackle .

Relationships

We discussed at length the relationship between the ‘garden designer’, ‘garden after care professional’ and the ‘client’. Some designers are frustrated that unqualified ‘gardeners’ are often decimating their client gardens leaving them unphotographable, and many aftercare professionals are unhappy that some ‘designers’ leave them with gardens which cannot be developed properly because the designer has planted it poorly to start with.

We debated whether garden designers should own aftercare too, and there wasn’t clear decision one way or another. In some cases where the client will pay for that service then the garden designer may ‘own’ it.  A suggestion was made to encourage garden designers to hold regular ‘client reviews’ every 6 months as part of the garden designer ‘best practice’ process.

Action point: It was mentioned that garden designers could help gardeners by adding more winter interest to their client gardens. Seasonality is a big issue for many professional gardeners and having more winter interest to manage would help ensure they are employed 12 months of the year.

Regulation and qualifications

The issue of skills and qualifications came up quite a bit on both sides. It is estimated that there are 10,000 practicing ‘garden designers’ in the UK but only 200 who are registered with the SGD. A similar issue relates to the ‘gardener’ community with a similar number practicing but only 500 registered with the Gardeners Guild.

Action point: Is there a better way to regulate qualified and unqualified practitioners and how could we do that?

Client education

A big issue to tackle is educating the end-client to:

  • expect to pay for proper aftercare
  • understand the difference in ‘gardening’ skill sets and how to hire the right person
  • pay a living wage which is at a minimum £20/hour but will vary across the country

Action point: Gareth Manning of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture will table a proposal that the Institute’s next annual meeting in October help to create marketing materials that garden designers and gardening professionals could hand out to clients explaining how to make a hiring decision, what to look for and what to expect to pay for different skill sets.

Responsibility of the media

We all agreed that the general media doesn’t help raise the value of gardening. Many television programs show the ‘instant garden’ for ‘very little money’ and imply that gardening is really ‘easy to do’.

Action point: We would like to engage the media to help raise the value the public places on gardening and we will consider drafting a cross-industry ‘open letter’ to producers of programs which undervalue gardening.

By raising the value placed on gardening we also hope to attract more young people into the industry as it will be seen as a job like an electrician for which you can make a good living.

Professional education and mentoring

There was an agreement that many newly qualified do not succeed because they do not know how to run a business and aren’t trained to handle project management. Could these be included as part of the education process?

Action point: Gareth Manning mentioned the Chartered Institute of Horticulture does offer some mentoring. Please contact them to find out more.

Getting together more frequently

It was also agreed that having meet-ups like the one we had yesterday is really helpful in itself. Could the SGD cluster groups also invite local professional gardeners to meet with them too? Could the industry bodies such as the SGD, Gardeners Guild, CIH, BALI all link to each others’ websites? Could shows such as the Landscape Show and FutureScape offer more networking?

Action points:

  1. Nicola will set-up a LinkedIn Group for people interested this topic
  2. Shoot will hold more events like yesterdays but organise for  them to be held in the early evening so more people can attend

Here are the slides of the event.

We are continuing the conversation we started at this event in a new LinkedIn Group  called ‘Maintenance Matters’. Please join too.

 

Sponsoring the APLD in Boston 2017

Shoot CEO Nicola Gammon visited Boston for the annual APLD conference held in Boston in July. Shoot became a bronze sponsor of the APLD for the event.

We are thrilled that during the conference 45 APLD members signed up to beta trial Shoot across various US states.

We are also really pleased to have filmed a new testimonial video with APLD Landscape Designer Rick Laughlin while in Boston.

Rick Laughlin, APLD Landscape Designer from Salt Lake City talks about Shoot from Shoot Gardening on Vimeo.

Read more about our USA beta programme here.

 

 

California Calling

I’m Nicola Gammon, the founder of Shoot, and I am just completing a very successful trip out to California, USA to explore launching an American version of Shoot for garden professionals.

I had the great pleasure to meet with a range of Landscape Architects and Garden Designers in Northern California to understand their work processes, plant research and presentation needs, as well as their client communication processes. We also discussed development ideas and explored how Shoot can best be amended to add most value to garden professionals and their clients in California.

Two garden designers, Jenna Bayer and Debby Ruskin, were particularly helpful to me. I particularly want to thank them for their support and helping set up meetings during my trip.

Jenna Bayer

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Jenna Bayer, of Jenna Bayer Garden Design Inc.

Jenna Bayer, of Jenna Bayer Garden Design Inc. (based in Mountainview, California and Hillsboro, Oregon), was instrumental in helping me make the trip worthwhile. Jenna has known about Shoot having lived in the UK when we first launched and was delighted to know that we are planning a US version of Shoot.

Jenna also runs a successful garden school called the Garden Bootcamp and can see how graduates could use an online system to keep all their new gardening knowledge and learning organised and accessible. So in short, Jenna believes there is a need for a website such as Shoot in the USA to support both professional and novice gardeners.

After my meeting with Jenna yesterday in Mill Valley, the whole Shoot team are thrilled she has now gone on to join Shoot as our first professional member in the USA starting with a 20 garden professional subscription account.

So a very big thank you to Jenna from the entire Shoot team for her membership, support with developing a US version of Shoot and also for helping make other connections for me with a larger group of designers based in Palo Alto, California.

Debby Ruskin

One of the Palo Alto based garden designers Jenna connected me to is Debby Ruskin, of Ruskin Gardens Co.  Debby kindly hosted me on Tuesday to meet a group of 9 garden designers all based in the Palo Alto area.

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Robin Salsburg, Tina Roushall, John Black, Kaitlin Hammersley, Mary Dateo, Kristen Rudger, Connie Lefkowits, Debby Ruskin and Janet Bell

It was an absolutely fantastic opportunity for me to meet with a large group of interested garden designers all in one meeting. So a very big thank you to Debby too for helping to organise the garden designer group and for hosting my presentation and follow-on discussion. It proved to be a very useful and productive first session. I hope many of the attendees will become part of our ‘Beta’ development group giving us feedback on Shoot as it develops for an American audience.

NEW update! Since our trip we have now added for California based members:

  • Standard U.S. measurements
  • USDA zones
  • Sunset zones
  • WUCOLS zones for water consumption

StartUp Woman Event

Nicola Gammon, founder and CEO of Shoot, attended the StartUp Woman event today sponsored by Santander and hosted by the amazing June Sarpong M.B.E. (below left)

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Other panelists included Baroness Shriti Vadera (above right), Kelly Hoppen MBE (below right), Melissa Odabash (below left), Kanya King MBE and Jaqueline Gold CBE (above right).

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Baroness Shriti Vadera, who is also the Chairwoman of Santander, started off talking about the benefit of diversity and the positive impact women in business have on the bottom line of the companies they work in.

The panel of inspirational founders each told their start-up stories. Common themes across all female entrepreneurs was confidence, hard work, believing in your own inner voice and … brazen ‘blagging it’ to make the connections needed to take their business to the next level.

In reponse to some of the audience questions about confidence, Jaqueline Gold suggested you write an email to yourself reminding yourself of all the positive things you have achieved. My own advice is pretend you are confident even if you are not feeling confident. No one else knows! Put your shoulders back, face forward and move with purpose. Everyone else will think you are confident and you’ll start to actually feel it.

Finally, Joy Jibrilu Director General Tourism from The Bahamas gave one lucky lady who is about to fundraise on Crowdcube a free trip to The International Women’s Empowerment Summit, October 20th to 21st 2016 in the Bahamas! As a previously successful female founder who raised £500,000 on Crowdcube I was pretty gutted that we weren’t included the draw. Maybe there is still a way to get to Bahamas event…

Landscape Show 2016

The Shoot team were delighted to be part of Landscape Show 2016.

Shoot show stand

Shoot had a stand (E1) this year for the first time. Tania, Karl and Nicola gave many, many demos to interested garden design professionals.

tania-demos-at-landscape-show

Most garden designers particularly liked the ‘multi-plant add’ feature which creates visual plant mood boards and the monthly, co-branded care emails which are sent to clients.

Shoot seminar talk

Nicola Gammon, Founder & CEO of Shoot, also hosted a panel talk ‘How to develop and grow client relationships’. Nicola was joined by Gillie Leaf Garden Design, Joan Mulvenna Garden Design Manchester; and Marc Piechocki I-Echo Landscape Design.

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We were thrilled that it was was a full house for the talk and that we got many tweets saying how much the visitors are looking forward to using Shoot.

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The seminar panel discussed how to use Shoot across the entire business development life cycle. From generating new leads and referrals at the start of the process, to saving time during the planting planning and garden handover process, to retaining valuable clients with collaboration and branding, to finally how to successfully close a client relationship to reduce follow-on questions.

See our slideshow here:

The panel also really likes how the entire Shoot experience is personalised for their business and their clients.  Plant lists are always comprehensive and personalised as we add any missing plants for you. You can also add your own photos, notes, correspondence, care notes and branding.

Book a demo to learn more with Tania here. Contact us at shoot@shootgardening.co.uk if you have any questions about how Shoot can help you to grow your garden design business.

New Team Member

We’re delighted to announce that Karl Schweppe has joined the Shoot team as Operations Director.

Karl Schweppe photo

Karl has been working with us as a product consultant for the last nine months and, having fallen in love with Shoot and its users, has joined the team with the ambition of taking Shoot to the next level. He comes with more than fifteen years’ experience researching, building and launching successful digital products.

As part of our ambition to improve Shoot, Karl is creating a product panel where users can help suggest, define, test and build better features. If you’d like to be involved and help shape the future features of Shoot, email Karl at karl@shootgardening.co.uk

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Giving back

Nicola Gammon, founder & CEO of Shoot, announced a personal commitment to give back by signing up to Founders Pledge.

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“I thought — what kind of legacy do I want to leave as a human being? It was an easy decision for me to give back to the community, and to donate to MassChallenge, an organisation that has helped me and my business so much.”  Nicola Gammon, Founder of  Shoot

Through Founders Pledge, a charity that was spun out of Founders Forum, entrepreneurs leverage their success and give back to society, committing to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds (not equity) from a liquidity event to a social cause of their choice.

As of March 2, Founders Pledge has had 329 pledges across 249 businesses with $18.2b in aggregate valuations, making the total value of pledges around $70 million. Founders Pledge charges nothing, allowing pledgers complete control in selecting the recipients of their donation, and brings together their community with regular events.

Pledges have been signed already by a number of MassChallenge alumni, including Nicola Gammon (founder and CEO at Shoot) and James Roy Poulter (co-founder and CEO at Pronto), David Hellard at Zipcube.com and Danilo Leao at BovControl.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com, MADE.com, and Founders Forum, also supported the announcement today and stressed the importance of giving and connecting the tech community to opportunities to give at all stages of their life cycles.

When you have 80 people together in a room who have ‘made’ it, there is not as much energy. Getting together with younger entrepreneurs and using our influence collectively for good with Founders Pledge, we can accomplish so much.” — Brent Hoberman, Founder of MADE.com

Front of mind with clients

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Shoot keeps Tendercare front of mind with our clients. Adam Robinson, Design (Tendercare)

Shoot for Professionals is a great way of maintaining continuity with a client beyond the garden handover stage and it also allows us to brand the regular care instructions which helps to keep Tendercare front of mind. If the client adds more plants to the garden themselves they can edit the Shoot garden page and we have an up-to-date record of what’s in the garden when they come back to us  to talk about additional plants or designing other areas of the garden.

We’ve just designed and built a small garden for a client in Flackwell Heath and, as the clients are not big gardeners and were looking for something low maintenance, we thought it would be a nice gesture to give them a year’s subscription to Shoot and upload all of their plants to the website in addition to the planting plans and other visuals. The full service Shoot package will ensure that Tendercare Design stays front of mind with the client.

Note: If you shop at Tendercare they will provide you with a PDF print out of your plants purchased to upload into Shoot.

Shoot for Professionals – Pricing options

Shoot has recently launched a new Professional garden management service for garden designers and their clients.

The new Professional service now includes:

  • Real-time collaboration on gardens, plants and garden care
  • Unlimited sharing with clients, staff and suppliers forever
  • Your clients, your branding
  • Multi-plant add in one click
  • Business listing with web links, profile, photo and logo

At a recent TendercareTalks event there was a discussion about the various commercial options to provide the Shoot service to clients. We thought we’d describe 4 sample commercial options to help you work out which package is right for you.

1) I want to try out the full Shoot service for Professionals at the lowest cost possible

We can help you to learn more in a few ways:

2) I am convinced Shoot is a great service. I want to pay for my clients to get the Shoot service with my branding on gardens and care emails. I want to pay for my clients for any time period of my choosing – from 1 day up to forever. And I may wish to share each garden with more than one person.

Some clients are important enough to you that you may wish to sponsor their Shoot account and build long-term relationships with them. If you want to sponsor the Shoot service for a few clients the pricing goes down significantly if you upgrade to the next pricing tier up. For example, you can provide sponsored support for 5 client gardens for only £29 a month. If you pay annually upfront you also get 2 months free. You can choose to sponsor each client for as long as you wish. You can sponsor for 3 months, a full year, or even several years. It is entirely up to you how long you provide the sponsored service for. Also, all gardens you create can be shared with many people as you need to at no extra charge. So you can invite, for example, ‘Mrs Smith’, ‘Mr Smith’, a landscaper, maintenance gardener and even a plant nursery at no extra charge.

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If you decide to stop sponsoring the garden you can then ‘Transfer’ the garden profile to the garden owner and they can continue to pay for the subscription directly.

 

3) I want to be a Professional member of Shoot. I want to set-up my clients’ Shoot garden for them, and to keep copies of all the gardens I create. But I want my clients to pay for their own subscription directly and I don’t mind that the service doesn’t have my branding.

If you prefer not to pay for your clients’ use of Shoot that is fine too. You can sign-up for the lowest priced Professional tier in Shoot and simply create and send each client garden to the customer and they can decide to pay for it. Click ‘Transfer’ link to send a garden to someone else. You can keep a copy for your own records.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 18.11.03The client will get a fully completed garden profile but it will be a restricted view as a free member until they upgrade for £36 per year. You can also offer a combination. You can sponsor a client for a short period of time and then send the garden profile on to the client for them to continue paying directly later on.

4) I don’t want to pay anything, I don’t want to be a member of Shoot myself and I don’t need to keep a record of the garden profiles and plant lists I create. I would like to set-up garden profiles on behalf of my clients as a service for them.

If you only want to help your clients with a garden profile in Shoot you can ask your client to join Shoot and share their login details with you. You can then login as them to set up the plant lists and notes for the client. You can do the work logged in as them on their behalf and then allow them to continue on their own with Shoot directly without ever becoming a member yourself.

Here is a handy table of the options and benefits of each commercial choice.

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We hope these commercial options give you all the commercial flexibility you may need. Please send us comments, feedback or request a demo by emailing the team at shoot@shootgardening.co.uk