Working with Pro Landscaper on the feature last year felt like a real achievement and helped us to gain further industry recognition which has just been great. Despite it being a competitive industry, its so friendly and eager to reach out and connect with one another. It’s a huge testament to our name, that we now have people coming to us, simply because of the good things they’ve heard.”- Lucy Osman, NAO director.
How has the company developed over the last year?
We have had a great 2023 at NAO Landscapes, winning several multi million commercial landscaping packages. We have grown our turnover to nearly triple on the previous year and grown our senior management team of staff. We have a new central London head office and are looking forward to what the next 12 months has in store for us.
“It’s been a mental! Taking on multiple contracts in January, so that really propelled us to the next level. It’s quite an intense level of growth, to jump from sort of 3 million, close to 10 million in a year. it’s a bit insane.” – Lucy Osman, NAO director.
What changes have you made/seen throughout the year from a business perspective?
Working on much larger contracts has meant the implementation of greater process control. We are working hard to make sure we offer the same level of quality control on larger contracts as we do on smaller projects.
Has your role within the company changed?
I am a bit less out on site and more in our new office, but I still aim to visit each project at least once a week.
What are the biggest challenges that you’re experiencing at the moment?
It’s hard to grow without facing challenges, inevitably we have been through ups and downs. Working hard on tenders to lose out at the final stage, unforeseen changes to design and program delays. Ultimately it is all part of the fun of large-scale project management, although sometimes its harder to remember on particularly tough days.
What have the biggest challenges been over recent years?
Growing rapidly is pretty exhausting work, for everyone within the business, it is constant change and readjustment. We are in the business for the long term so patience is key to the twists and turns of the commercial level of landscaping.
“Recruitment and growth has been one of our main challenges to overcome. Most of our team growth has come from word of mouth, people approached us now, which is really nice to see. Although we still feel it’s quite a small company in terms of closeness, it’s definitely a family type environment with a really social team and a desire for team activities and daily interactions which has been great.”– Lucy Osman, NAO director.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think winning our first £5m contract was a huge moment for us all.
Having dreamt of becoming a large-scale commercial landscaping firm in London, are you there yet?
I hope so! A little bit further to go perhaps…. We haven’t sat still enough to fully appreciate where we might be. There is always potential to improve and grow, especially with the continued demand for commercial landscaping in London and the south east. I am focused on the quality and delivery of our service and am sure that this will reward us in the long run.
What are the future plans?
To keep growing and really build on our team of key players. We are keen to increase the size of our employed staff and enhance our project delivery experience to our clients. We are also keep to push for greater green and environmental policies within the business and our contracts. We are hoping to get further involved with the delivery of Electric car charging stations and water recycling.
If you had any words of wisdom for the future generations joining the industry, what would they be?
The best way to learn is from the ground up, in landscaping take that literally! I started at the bottom of the chain and it has really helped we understand he best site processes and material limitations. Many of our key management staff have had this same ground up education and I trust their knowledge and experience more than anyone else. Working on large scale projects it is easy to see the individuals with great potential, it is an area where you can show you are interested and committed to delivering a quality above and beyond. At NAO we try to encourage training and development to nourish the careers of people excited by the future and potential of landscaping. The sky is the limit!
“Nick learned from the ground up, you know, he started as a labourer himself, and I think that has always been what really worked for him personally. Having that understanding of the limitations of certain materials, he knows where there could be snags or difficulty, because he’s got that experience having laid the material himself.”- Lucy Osman, NAO director.