There is no doubt in my mind that so many people across the world are in a very similar position to me, and some possibly in a much worse place; losing loved ones, their health and their finances. No one would wish this pandemic on anyone and it's a very strange world we find ourselves living in at the moment. The deserted town centres, the silence in the supermarkets and no sound of laughter from children playing together in the streets are comparable to some well known movies and TV shows....very surreal. With all this in mind and the constant worry of having to pay the bills and keeping a small business afloat, its enough to affect anyone's mental health.
I've been following the daily COVID-19 briefs from the PM and whilst I think he is doing a fantastic job in such an extraordinary situation, I can't help but feel a little let down by the system. This pandemic could affect my business drastically. I am in my first year of trading, therefore not eligible for the small business help, I cannot get a grant as I do not own a commercial premises, and taking out a loan at these times is a big no-no. What am I to do to keep my business ticking over?
I have been reading so much advice and consulting my local florist forums and friends and there is a massive divide about what is allowed and what is moral. Despite the call to "stay at home'' official government departments are encouraging small business who have the facility to safely operate contactless by phone or online to do so. The gov.uk website clearly states ''Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.''
It is with this information that I have decided to once again open my online shop. I will be following strict hygiene procedures, fulfil only contactless deliveries for prepaid orders which recipients know will arrive in a specified time slot on two set delivery days - Tuesdays & Fridays. Upon delivering flowers I will maintain a 2m distance at all times from others, wear disposable gloves, ring the doorbell for delivery and immediately withdraw to safe distance or depart.
I will also be launching a few extras on to the website:
1:1 experience vouchers
Wildflower seed bombs
For all items that require to be posted, seeds etc, I will only be going to the Post Office once a week on a Tuesday. This will coincide with my Tuesday deliveries and minimise my contact with the public.
With these infection control measures in place, being lucky enough to work from home already and with the support from a very local flower farm, continuing safe trading is my only option to keep my business ticking over and to generate some sort of income. I hope that my followers will support me in this difficult decision, at this very difficult and turbulent time. I hope you and yours stay safe and well,
Peace & love, B xxx
Find the latest information, announced yesterday, on government support available for the self employed here.