How COVID-19 Has Affected My Business
Posted on June 01 2020
Friends, when I got word that there was a global pandemic, that there would be a stay home movement, that businesses would be forced to close to the public, my heart sank. How would my small business ever survive this? Clothing isn't a necessity, people are going to forget about Council. They'll only be buying groceries and blow up sprinkler toys to keep kids entertained. But before I let myself get too far down the rabbit hole of fear, I knew I had a choice. I could let this take me over and take Council down, or I could rise to the occasion. I decided the latter was my only option.
I knew that there would be a lot of factors I couldn't control, so I decided to focus on what I could control- and still can- because let's be real, this is still happening with no end in sight. I buckled down and made a plan. I knew I had a captive audience at home just scrolling social media, and you know what? People did want to buy clothing. Retail therapy is real. At first only comfy stay-at-home clothes sold, so that's what I boosted. Then as social distancing events popped back up, dresses, skirts and pretty tops started selling, too. Drive- by birthday parties and graduations were still on, weddings may be pushed back, but everyone still needs something to wear in August or October or whenever it is. Having a new top on in that zoom happy hour made her a little happier.
My new business plan was delivering locally, offering free shipping, sending out clothing on approval for fun try on parties, I did super sale items regularly, discounted my sale section a little deeper, and my clients showed up for me like I couldn't believe. I am still floored when I look at the numbers. I buckled down for low months, and March was a little rough. But April was almost a normal sales month, and you know what? May 2020 beat May 2019 in sales.
I just can't express my gratitude enough. I love getting to know my clients and their stories; why they need that special dress or why they're buying new jeans. Everyone has a journey, it's not just clothes. What you wear is a reflection of who you are, and if you don't feel good in what you're wearing, you're going to be distracted and grumpy. I encourage clients to choose comfortable pieces that make you feel like your best self. I guarantee you, when you like what you're wearing, you'll have a better day.
I have worked my tail off to get Council where it is today, and these past 3 months I worked even harder. I was alone at the store every day, and some days I felt like it was Groundhog Day. When my motivation was lacking, I turned the music up, got some good food/coffee and remembered why I started. Knowing what I am capable of is invigorating. Council isn't going anywhere thanks to YOU!
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