What I've learnt from Covid 19
The last few months have been exhausting...
After 7 years of successful trading, we went into 2020 with confidence and a full order book. The year started well with a full staff team, plenty of productive progress on the field with plantings and the first workshops of the year fully booked.
Then we arrived at lockdown.
The weddings and workshops were all cancelled, our florists had no events so like us were just taking bouquet orders. All of a sudden the crops I'd grown were the wrong ones.
So what are the lessons I've learnt over the last 14 weeks, and how will it make me stronger for the coming seasons.
1) Keep it local.... My local customers were fab, they bought from me, they told their friends, and heh, those chats from the end of the driveway kept me sane during lockdown. I also had support from a local business group - Surrey Hills enterprises, my best investment for my business without a doubt. Zoom calls from other Entrepreneurs trying to "pivot" and save their businesses too, gave me inspiration, hope and also a wonderful array of local products to buy. Amazing local grown meat, locally produced wine, natural beauty products and real Indian takeaway food just some of the businesses also in SHE.
2) Keep a reserve.... Oh so difficult with a seasonal business, and high outgoings, but heh, I've now set up a separate account to save those workshop fees so I never have that heart stopping moment when I realise I can't refund all the monies. Thank you to all my customers who've accepted flowers, or taken a rain check. I'll be back in touch with you all again soon.
3) Family comes first .... Well they always have, but having the boys at home a LOT more than normal has shown that I actually like spending time with them, particularly to exercise. Plus I'm so looking forward to a holiday with them too. This does mean that we're actually booking time out for next year. Luckily I've now got a good ring of florists and other flower growers nearby, so a no from me doesn't mean there are no locally grown flowers available.
I'm sure everyone has learnt their own lessons from this "pause", I hope Plantpassion will come out stronger, with a better range of flowers for all our new customers, and a flower grower with a great back up team, and a customer base who appreciate locally grown flowers.