Although many small businesses are able to thrive during these times, most are just surviving through this Covid Pandemic.
I spend less time processing orders… and more time, applying for grants. And though I definitely have more time to get those “rainy day” jobs completed… it seems my ambition to do them faded along with the ability to shake hands.
Like everything else, the year 2020 didn’t adhere to our typical sales cycle with anticipated seasonal and holiday ups and downs. Fifteen years of sales reports couldn’t help decipher what was happening nor prepare us for what was going to.
In the beginning we were hopeful because we didn’t see anything unusual. In fact, we may have seen a slight increase in pinstriping tape sales… likely due to people being home and bored.
But unfortunately, where sales would have continued through the summer, they slowed down… a lot… likely due to so many people being out of work and having less discretionary income.
As fall approached we were happy to see a slight uptick in custom rear window decals and truck lettering orders… likely due to certain restrictions being lifted and businesses needing a cost effective way to advertise.
Hopeful once again with the holidays approaching, we quickly received a reality check as sales were about half of our normal holiday sales… likely due to parents forgoing presents so they could afford them for their kids.
We’ve experienced ups and downs. We’re familiar with them unfortunately. Back in 2012, when located on the south shore of Long Island, NY, we experienced Superstorm Sandy firsthand. Our business came face to face with 5 feet of water… and lost. We lost tragically. From $25k+ worth of equipment, to $10k+ worth of inventory, Sandy had no mercy.
But in the end we prevailed. We built back up, purchased new equipment, outsourced our sales until we were back in business (quite literally).
And that’s our plan post-Covid. To build back our sales, find new customers and make new relationships. Lawn signs are going up along the highways, and if we’re being honest, fingers are being crossed.
If your business has been affected by Covid, we understand. All the grants in the world can’t squash the mental anguish this Pandemic has caused… the emotional uncertainty… and the unbelievable sadness of lives lost.
But I can’t help remembering some of these same feelings after Hurricane Sandy… and yet here we are. Take comfort in that as I try to do the same.