Think about it – what garden style is most suitable for a corporate garden? Which garden requires the least water? The least labor? The least amount of space? Square Foot Gardens! You are ideally positioned to help any company create the most suitable garden(s) for the space they have available.
Corporate garden coaching can be lucrative and satisfying for the SFG instructor, the corporation, and the employees in many ways.
Corporate Garden Benefits for the Corporation
· Excellent, low-cost employee benefit / perk
· Increase health and wellbeing of employees
· Promote team work
· Positive publicity for the corporation
Benefits for the Gardening Coach
· You get to help a large group of people instead of just one or two
· Get your name and business exposed to a large group of people; perhaps publicity along with the corporation
· Satisfaction of knowing that many families benefit from your work
· Compensation for your services can be negotiated with the corporation
· Sales of other products: raised beds, seeds, landscape fabric, trellises, grids, etc
· If you convince the company/corporation to buy a large volume of Mel's books as "corporate incentives," Square Foot Gardening Foundation will work with you on a case-by-case basis to get you a commission and get the corporation a discount for volume purchases
· Offer classes for any who would like or need training in SFG; Coordinate a symposium for instructor certification. SFGF will help you with this
· Get to take fresh produce home to families, or eat at lunch
· Reduces work-related stress to work in the garden
· Promotes better mental and physical health to garden
· Promotes a sense of camaraderie between employees and management
· Learning experience for non-gardeners; they can take the knowledge home to create their own home garden
· Feeling of pride and accomplishment
Corporate Giving Gardens
This is a variation on the corporate garden where you still have the same garden, but instead of employees keeping the harvest, it is donated to local homeless shelters or food banks. The garden would still need to be established just as a regular garden. A corporate garden program could have either all-employee harvests, or incorporate a little of both – employees could keep part of the produce, while surplus is donated. Or the corporation may decide to donate all the produce. However it works it is still a "win-win" for all concerned. The employees and the corporation can feel great about helping those in need. Employees still get all the great benefits of physical exercise, sunlight, and connecting with nature.
Approaching Local Companies with Your Service
Aside from a business card advertising your company, you probably already have everything you need to approach a company with confidence. All of the SFGF teaching aides, the All New Square Foot Gardening book, and the foundation website will serve as your references and visual proof of your ability and training. Lots of photographs of your own gardens and those of others whom you've helped – all of these will be ideal sales tools. If you do not want to "cold call" for appointments, there are other ways to advertise this service, such as:
1. An ad in your local paper
2. An ad in your local Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
3. A website
4. Direct mail advertising to a list of companies in your area
5. Postcard advertising
7. Simply drop off your business cards at local businesses
8. Rotary Clubs
1. Example of a corporate garden coaching business: http://www.corporategardencoach.com/why
2. Example of a Corporate Giving Garden: http://www.eatwellworkwell.org/corporate-garden.htm
3. See our August 2012 SFGF General Newsletter for an article on Harvard Pilgrim Corporate Gardens. After the success of their own company gardens, Harvard Pilgrim teamed up with the gardening company they'd hired, to offer the same services to other companies.
4. Also learn about the Avista Utilities Square Foot Employee Gardens in Spokane Washington in our general newsletter for August.