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  • Writer's pictureJan Peterson

Is There A Silver Lining After COVID-19?

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

Repeat after me "My current situation is not my final destination".

We all have little control over the havoc COVID-19 has caused in our lives, and although we may not see it yet - there may be some positive changes we can make as a result of the pandemic.

If you're like most florists in our area, this Mother's Day holiday hit like tsunami, and you were stop and go depending on when orders came in and when you sold out of flowers and had to restock quickly to get through the weekend. Many of our customers reported being overwhelmed and understaffed because they did not expect the volume of orders they received. Some customers ended up turning away business because they could not handle the demand, while others kept restocking, fulfilling and burning the midnight oil.

We too were challenged by the limitation of available product and timing of shipments. No florists, wholesaler, or grower could have predicted the sales for this holiday.

The good news - this Mother's Day gave our industry a much needed boost in sales. The elimination of social gatherings and restaurant dining, seemed to have increased flower sales this holiday. Many small florists depend on May sales to carry them through the dog days of July and August, so robust Mother's Day sales gave us the boost to continue.

The bad news - it's hard to predict what sales will look like over the Summer and into the Fall. So where do we go from here? We keep reaching out to customers, finding ways to stay creatively engaged, and reworking the "ways" we do business in order to "stay" in business.

Where is the silver lining after COVID-19? It forces all of us to reassess our businesses - from what and how we sell, to logistics, staffing, technology and more.

A recent study by the Harvard Business School suggests several positive changes in the way both large and small businesses are being forced to re-evaluate their business models. Here are some of their findings:

  • Fewer staff, means more cross training, so people can fill in for one another.

  • Frequent communications - as daily needs change, regular briefings and dialogue with employees become more important.

  • Flexible work schedules - by changing start and stop times to better fit employee needs, companies can retain staff.

  • More emphasis on helping others as part of the business culture and more mission and value driven goals that allow employees to contribute and feel good about where they work.

  • Empowering employees to make more decisions and work together to find solutions to problems.

  • More goal clarity - which forces management and employees to focus on what really matters.

We can all think about ways to streamline, improve and reassess our businesses. The health crises is forcing all of us to make changes and evaluate what is truly important to us.

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."

Winston S. Churchill

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