- Written by Caroline Marshall-Foster
- September 26, 2016
- Category: Editor's Blog
Currently I both gurgle and rattle as I administer medicaments by the gallon in an attempt to throw off yet another bug that has knocked me sideways. Not bad enough to send me to my bed ... well not permanently ... but enough to mean I am dripping around like a leaky tap being as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Now I'm lucky. Nothing I do is brain surgery important or so time critical that I will let people down – quite frankly sending out invoices late is more likely to make peeps happy than sad or cheesed off. And then of course I have the wonderful Hannah, Katie and Helena to pick up the pieces. But I am still waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on things, I have made stupid mistakes and I've missed a couple of opportunities that may not come back never mind losing valuable hours ... they deffo won't return!
On the other hand, a florist being knocked sideways is FAR more important. Because what you do IS usually time critical (be it birthday gift, funeral, wedding etc) and can't slip. You are expected to be on duty whatever, deliver orders on time and have everything the customer wants and when they want it. Illness – be it a bug or a brain tumour is not allowed in the world of independent retailing.
Why am I blithering on about this? Well, apart from the fact Sudafed is obviously having a rather odd impact on my brain cells, Christmas is just around the corner. And I think it's going to be a goodie. I am already told sales in certain places are running at +20% year on year (interestingly more at the independent end than big boys) and I don't see any reason for that to stop. I also, wildly perhaps because of said Sudafed, predict Valentine's will be a stonker for independents as well and that dear reader is only 20 weeks away.
May sound a lifetime but in terms of planning it's not a million miles away especially if you need to get a plan in place that will cover ALL eventualities – bit it flood/fire/major illness or just a bug that wipes out everyone.
At its simplest it's about being careful yourself – you know the old Vitamins/healthy diet/flue jab blah blah blah stuff. At its most compex it's about having a strategic plan in place that covers – be it with insurance or back up personnel - for the very worst to happen and the business still carry on. Being ill is one thing, losing money for the sake of a bit of pre-planning is another.