Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have struggled to survive. But for some, the pandemic has provided an opportunity to thrive.
Garden Connections is one of those businesses.
“COVID-19 was a game-changer for us,” says Fred Hann, owner and lead landscape architect of Garden Connections, a unique design-build company that works with condo owners and developers to transform bare balconies and terraces into beautiful outdoor living spaces.
“For us, one of the big problems we had pre-COVID…was getting customers. Everybody was so busy in their own lives…when they came home at the end of the day, they were exhausted and never paid much attention to their balcony or terrace.” Fred says that once COVID-19 hit, people were forced to pay attention to their bare spaces and terraces as they spent more time at home. That’s when he says his sales started to sky-rocket. “We were taken by surprise and shocked by the onslaught of calls and inquiries from people looking to revitalise their spaces. As a result, what we did was develop a strategy of how to deal with [those leads].”
He credits much of his success in closing leads to using the Sandler Methodology which was introduced to him by his TAB facilitator and coach, Phil Spensieri. Not only does he value Phil’s resourcefulness, but he also appreciates his ability to keep him focused. “It’s a big thing for Phil to keep people focused on their game. If you’re focused, you can move forward and see the change.” Although Fred admits he is a visionary, he says with Phil’s guidance and mentorship he is able to accomplish his goals. Since meeting Phil, he has become more focused on understanding his financials and other important business metrics that are key to growing his business. “Phil’s experience from working with a lot of other businesses plus his experience in financial services is really important for me.” He also commends his peers from his TAB Peer Advisory Board for providing their knowledge and expertise to help shape his business, especially during these unprecedented times. If it wasn’t for Phil and TAB, Fred is unsure if he’d still be in business today. Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey prior to joining TAB, he says he was considering exiting the business. He recalls thinking he made a big mistake and being down on himself. But, with the advise of Phil and his colleagues from his TAB Peer Advisory Board, Fred has transformed his business for the better: “When one door closes, three other doors open.”
While it may seem like Garden Connections is solely in the business of improving aesthetics, Fred says he’s in the business of changing lives. “We’re creating something that will fundamentally change the lifestyle experience in condominium and vertical communities.” Looking towards the future, Fred is excited for what’s to come. “We’re going to be a part of the ‘great recovery’ – we really are!”