It’s no secret that the pandemic was detrimental to many small businesses worldwide. More than half of small-business owners in the U.S. surveyed by Business Wire last October reported a significant decline in sales, and over 200,000 businesses were forced to closed in 2020.
While things seem to be on the rise for many, uncertainty remains both due to the lingering threat of outbreak, and concerns over the trajectory of economic rebound.
While owning a small business
usually always comes with some unpredictability as a general rule, the pandemic definitely turned just about everything upside down.
We can all agree that having an entrepreneurial mindset was one of the most crucial factors in determining whether small businesses survived the chaos and disruption of the past 2 years.
Planning ahead, while not always feasible (cough, cough COVID), where you can and while you can, will save you when it comes to combating unpredictability.
One of the biggest challenges many small businesses have faced is a lack of supply battling against an increase in demand. For the floral industry, this is no exception.
“It’s because it takes about a year, year and a half for the planting season to produce the quality and look that our suppliers are looking for and thus, when COVID first hit, farmer’s were unable to go out in their fields and plant,” says Judie Hoopai, Co-Owner, Higdon Florist.
Ordering product ahead of time has become a necessity and a part of daily life.
Mike Black, owner of JetFresh, a wholesale florist in Miami-Dade County, Florida, suggests placing standing orders. Not a huge amount, but your baseline, your nuts and bolts, about 40-50% of what you need.
“Standing orders are prioritized over the open market. Sellers know the product is sold, it’s a done deal,” says Black.
Even as things begin to open up, continue this mindset and don’t let your guard down. As we’ve seen, our newfound unpredictable world unfortunately isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Choosing the right business partner is a challenge in and of itself, let alone post-pandemic.
In a world where small businesses have had to shift, pivot, and in many cases change the way they do business entirely, the importance of having the right people by your side has never been more essential—and can ultimately mean the difference between failure and success.
Employees have gone through it, just as much as you have. Every step, every hardship, every rocky road. Show them how much their hard work means to you. Mike Black and his team came up with something so unique to show employees their appreciation. They wanted to give something that would genuinely benefit their employees. Mike Black states, “80% of our employees at the farm are female. These women work really hard. It’s back-breaking work. I know I couldn’t do it. They have to be at the farm at 6 or 7 a.m. and then have to go home do family things?” Black’s staff came up with the idea of giving employees the opportunity to bring in their laundry and have their laundry done for them while they’re at work.
“We built a room, bought some commercial washing and drying machines, and eliminated that whole chore they would normally have to do on the weekend. We wanted them to have some more time to spend with their families.”
On top of that, they also have a doctor that comes to the farm if his employees need any medical attention and give free eyeglasses to those who need them.
Supplying lunch at a minimal cost to the employee is also a daily practice. If they work late, dinner is also supplied free of cost.
“They have done so many wonderful things, not just for the business side of it, but for the social side of it, and I’m very proud of them for the things that they’ve done there.”
Showing your employees a little bit of genuine appreciation can go a long way.
Mike Black is the President of Jet Fresh Flower Distributors, a wholesale florist in Miami, Florida. His career began at the young age of 17 in his parents wholesale floral shop. Growing up, he didn’t really like school, but loved the hustle and bustle of the floral business.
Black took his natural entrepreneurial spirit and ventured out on his own. Jet Fresh Fresh is a family-owned and operated wholesale flower importer, distributor and grower providing fresh-cut flowers worldwide.
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