Diary of a Small Business Owner (3/16/20) - Let the Hustle Begin

Diary of a Small Business Owner (3/16/20) - Let the Hustle Begin

I wrote our entire team an email this morning and promised I'd do so each morning. But I also promised I would tell them what I knew, which right now, is not a lot. In times of uncertainty, people appreciate honesty more than hubris. Truth wins. 

Some of what I wrote:

First off, what I do know and can promise:

  • Each morning, I'll update you on the latest plans and work available. When possible, I'll share what I know and our leadership team is planning farther out, but even now our best strategy is to truly take things one day at a time.
  • We're working furiously, even if you can't see it. In an attempt to maintain our corporate sales volume, our sales team is calling, emailing, and reaching out to past and future clients to send gifts in lieu of meetings.
  • There will still be work to do, and we'll try our best to keep you busy. Whether it's inventory, data entry, packing, or cleaning, we'll try and find as much work as possible, but please plan on hours to be drastically reduced.

So that's my job now - emailing each morning about how much the world has changed in 24 hours.

I spoke with Rob for a while this morning as we briefly engaged in a planning exercise we've never done before: worst case scenario planning. Probably the least fun thing I've ever done as an entrepreneur.

But the most honest.

Then I went to our store. We had two employees report in, both of whom were fine to come in and appreciated the hours. We discussed a plan to break down the store - to move to our warehouse what's needed for bulk and corporate sales, what's expiring by the end of next month, and what we need to move as soon as we can. We also prepped for inventory (tomorrow) and deep cleaning (Wednesday). 

We even spent a few minutes being optimistic, thinking of how we could use our indefinite store closing to rearrange and even make some changes we've never had time for: A fresh coat of paint. Better shelving and arrangement of products. Big murals.

Any silver lining these days is practically platinum. 

With that pair busy I visited our warehouse. I needed to fill in for an employee who was experiencing symptoms. Silver lining gone.

Thankfully, after a call to the doctor it was ruled his usual difficulty with seasonal allergies although he'll be monitoring progress closely. 

I packed up a few orders and got a few bits of good news: our sales team closed orders totally 83 boxes. And online orders ticked up a tad today. Maybe we can do this. 

Take Me to Nashville Gift Batch

Our sales team remains motivated. Usually I'm the one who can pump them up at a moment's notice, but now they're pumping me up. Optimism isn't in short supply at Batch, and it feels good to know I'm not the exclusive owner of that. And honestly? I never was. I may be the head cheerleader, but all along there's been a team with megaphones and pompoms right beside me. Together we're just as loud as ever because we're all yelling, working, hustling, and striving. 

Go, team.