This is not a ‘woe is us’ article. I find that many of our customers are interested in the backstory. What happens behind the scenes to make the pretty flowers appear on the retail benches. As Law and Order would say: This is their story.
Apparently IT people are in very high demand right now. Tina and I are in daily contact with garden center, greenhouse, and nursery people across the US and Canada. This has been a wakeup call to everyone because fairly few of them had the ability to sell plants online. We were very fortunate that we have had an e-commerce website for over 10 years. Some others were not so fortunate They had to craft a website and sales system from scratch. Thus, the demand for IT and web design people.
Each one of us in that circle are wondering: How do we sell the crops we have grown, while keeping our staff and customers safe? Make no mistake, safety is absolutely #1, even though all of us plant growers have our life savings, and then some, invested in the plants that were growing before anyone had even heard of coronavirus. But business survival is also at the top of all our minds. Each owner came up with his or her own flavor of what works best in their facility.
All of us in the garden center fraternity, in different regions of North America, may all sell somewhat different mixes of plants. But we all are grappling with the same sorts of challenges. For Tina and I, it was the paperwork end. With one order it’s pretty easy. With hundreds, it’s less so. I’m a lot more tolerant of the next time one of those wonderful Dairy Queen workers forgets to put barbecue sauce in my take-out bag. It’s not as easy as it sounds! We will make it through. It sure is great to have a wonderful community of fellow horticulturists to share successes with, and to jointly work on overcoming challenges.
I’m a last-minute guy. I do my Christmas shopping December 24th. I understand that when you want something, you want something. Right then! Not 3 or 4 days later. So far, we have been able to accomplish it withing a 4 hour window. We hope to maintain that record. We thank you for your patience and we will try really hard not to forget your bbq sauce.
And as one of my suppliers said to me recently, “We always appreciate your order. But this year we REALLY appreciate your order!” A sentiment we all share. Please continue to support all of your local small businesses.