On the 1st of February this year we celebrate 20 years of Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd.
Quite a milestone yet it seems like only yesterday I was talking about setting up a company to deal with just one plant.
I can clearly remember people (including my wife) who thought this was a stupid idea. Luckily, I tend not to listen to others and am pretty confident in my approach to business. Also, luckily I didn’t require any borrowing to set the company up as I had funds from the landscape architecture practice that I had been running since the age of twenty. I say ‘luckily’ as I’m sure if I had required overdraft or funds then the bank at the time would have refused on the grounds that this was an untried business approach.
When I first broached the idea of Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd most people response was ‘Japanese… whatweed???’ …nobody (apart from a select few) had heard of the plant let alone the problems it could cause.
We were the first (and only) company that offered to deal with just one species of plant.
This was a niche company and could have failed very quickly had we not hit the market at the right time.
Our approach to marketing the company was blunt. We offended some people with our graphics and our straight to the point message, but we got through to the people that mattered and we began to gain traction.
Our first major project was in North Manchester where a London based developer had been quoted £3 million to remove Japanese knotweed from their development site – a figure which had not been allowed within the budget costs. We were already working for the client on the landscape design of the site and offered to look at alternate strategies – offering a price of just over £280K to provide a chemical treatment option. This was accepted and works were carried out to the full satisfaction of all involved.
So the story began.
Our name spread and our reputation grew – almost as quickly as Japanese knotweed itself.
At the time we were the only company offering a single species approach and we were often the only company that could price for Knotweed removal.
One notable project that sticks in my mind was in Gorton where we quoted £23K to deal with the problem plant. We were contacted by the client’s quantity surveyor who said ‘we want you to do the job but we have an alternate quote of £20K – if you match that price I will give you the order today’
Knowing that nobody else would be able to provide a quote- I said ‘ if you have a price of £20K you should go with them’ – I then ended the call.
A few minutes later the owner of the company came on the phone – ‘I’m really sorry the QS was trying it on – we can give you an order for £23K’
I said – ‘it’s now £25K in cleared funds up front’
I know, I know …. different world though.
We now have multiple competitors, some good, some bad, some I would consider to be friends. It’s a whole different ball game out there.
I still would suggest that we are the best Knotweed company in the UK and would happily sit on any project large or small and say that we provide the best service available.
After twenty years you do build a certain amount of skill and experience… and we’ve seen knotweed in just about every type of project you could imagine …and probably one or two that you just simply wouldn’t believe.
To hear more, contact us for a presentation on twenty years of Japanese Knotweed Solutions.