Founding partner and Company Chairman, Phil Anderson started out in true entrepreneurial style as a sole trader in office plant maintenance. He later partnered with his brother, Brian, and grew the company to the market leader it is today, servicing around 900 sites across the UK. With a career spanning nearly 40 years Phil has undoubtedly learned a lot and seen quite a few changes. I caught up with Phil to ask him to share his experiences and advice.
Q. What was your inspiration to work with plants and flowers in the first place?
A. I had worked for a wholesale flower and plant nursery and had developed a love of flowers and plants so it seemed a natural progression.
Q. What has been the toughest part of growing your business and how did you overcome it?
A Starting out on my own, with no capital or income. I didn’t join my brother financially for a few years, so I didn’t milk his profits. It was a stressful time and I got shingles through the worry of it, but the sheer need to succeed drove me on.
Q. What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
A. Constantly look at your cash flow.
Q. If you could go back and give some advice to the 20 year old you, what would it be?
A. Don’t try to start something in half measures – give it your all.
Q. What has been the biggest contributor to the success of Planteria?
A. The next generation being given a free hand in the business.
Q. What has been the biggest change in the industry during the 39 years Planteria has been running?
A. Customers’ expectations are always increasing.
Q. What are the most exciting developments in corporate horticulture?
A. It has become the accepted ‘norm’ in office, you no longer have to sell the concept, you just have to understand your clients’ needs and show them why you are the best provider.
Q. What is the thing you are most proud of about your business?
A. Our level of service and our staff.
Q. When do you want to retire.
A. Never, completely!