You have all probably read about what the or that small business is doing after the prime ministers announcement yesterday (Monday 23rd March), but I thought I should probably update you on what is happening here, because it’s important.
Last night amongst the small business community. there seemed to be mass hysteria about what to do and whether or not people should close. But for some of us this isn’t really an option until the government announces help for small businesses. This is my only income, if I don’t get orders I don’t get paid and although I feel there is a responsibility to look after everyone, I also need to be able to survive myself.
After some serious thought (I am still umming and ahhing to be honest), I have decided that my business will continue to be open until I am not longer able too (aka there is a full lockdown, like in Italy). I will only be processing UK orders and these will be done once a week; on a Monday, this means that all the other work that comes with running a small business can be done at home, but also means I can still accept and process orders.
To minimum my contact with people and to prevent any worry I have put a few measures in place;
- Post will be collected from my office every Monday, the bags are left outside for the postman to collect so neither of us encounter each other.
- It is only me who works in my office and this will continue for the foreseeable future.
- I will be printing and designing all order at home and only going to the office for the time needed to process orders on the laser cutter and printer; no unnecessary time will be spent at the office.
- I have minimised packaging as much as possible so that it can be easily disposed of when received by a customer (please note: there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 survives on post but we want to make this as minimal as possible incase it is possible).
- Any deliveries we receive into the office will be cleaned and wiped down before use, and packaging discarded immediately
Other things I will be introducing:
- Send direct; I will be adding FREE gift wrap to my website and paid for gift wrap to NOTHS and Etsy so that if you want to send a little something to a friend or family member but know you cannot see them, it can be wrapped and sent direct to them.
- Gift Voucher; This is an exciting new thing for me, I have added a gift card to my website for you to purchase between £5 and £100 to help support me through this period. The voucher will be a unique code and sent to your via email.
- Digital Downloads; I am still working on the logistics of this but I am hoping to offer some inspiring and thoughtful artwork which you can then download at home and have instantly.
I am hoping this forced quiet period will allow me to focus on all the project I haven’t had time for and get things like my blog off the ground so that when it comes to things getting back to normal I will still have a business.
This is an extremely uncertain time for small businesses and I ask people to please be kind when commenting about businesses staying open if they don’t seem essential to you. For some of us and also for some of our customers, we are essential.
Should this change and should I need to close for any reasons, this will be announced via social media.
Please stay safe and follow the governments guidance. The sooner we work together the sooner we can conquer this hideous virus.