Posted: 15/11/2014 at 07:23
I think one of the difficulties is that a small garden centre doesn't work - you can't compete with the big chains on buying in the stuff (whether it's bedding plants, pots or furniture) as cheaply as they can.
Small shops compete with the big supermarkets by being just around the corner so you can pop in for a few things, but the thing about garden centres is that you need a car to carry most stuff so it doesn't work like corner shops.
Far better to specialise in something niche that the big chains can't do - I'll travel miles out of my way to go to a specialist nursery like Woottens - but then they started small ages ago and it took them a long while to get where they are today, with a thriving mail order business as well as being open to the public.
Don't want to pour cold water on your enthusiasm but going it alone is a very hard row to hoe.