has been and gone for yet another year and I am still trying to decide if ours in the shop was a triumph; or disaster. Not a disaster in the sense of things going wrong, but because it was by far busier than I had planned for and by Saturday afternoon we had completely SOLD OUT of flowers. Now while this is amazing in one way, it wasn't in another. I literally had to turn customers away (and send them to my competition which is never a good thing). How did this happen? Was it down to bad management? I guess in a way it was down to bad management, but not because I am bad at what I do, but because I never in a million years expected us to be as busy as we were.
When working out what flowers I needed I first look at the orders I have; from there I make sure I buy in enough to cover every order before I work out what I need to buy for the shop. I got out the last 3 years worth of orders and saw that on average we increased our customer base by roughly 35% year on year, so going on this information I increased my order by an extra 35% (on top of the extras I had already ordered). This increase and the phenomenal amount of flowers we had come in should have seen us right the way until tea time on Sunday; for us to have run out so early on a Saturday is just mind blowing. Thank you to you all for your continued support, and massive apologies to those of you that we had to let down because we just didn't have enough in stock to be able to supply you with the flowers you wanted (just a point to note on this though - try not to leave it so late next year then we went have to let you down).
So a big YES to it being a triumph, but a big YES to it being a disaster (not really the right words when there are real genuine disasters going on in the world but the only word I can think of for now to explain my failure - that's more like it) on us not having enough flowers.
Thinking being out of flowers for Sunday was bad it got worse come Monday (and Tuesday) morning. Flowers were so scarce on Monday (one of our wholesalers ran out completely and couldn't get more until Tuesday) that we had to just buy what we could (luckily we didn't have any specific orders for a particular flower) but then came Tuesday and with it the snow. Due to the ineptitude of this country to function when we get a few flakes of the gorgeous white stuff, the South East ground to a halt, the result of which left all the dutch lorries the other side of the Chunnel; they weren't able to come through until the back log of traffic on our road networks was cleared, so instead of getting the flowers I ordered at the usual time of 5am, I finally got them at 5pm. Thankfully as always our customers were great and understood what was happening, but there was a mad dash for them to collect and us to deliver after 5 yesterday evening.
This lack of flowers and not being able to make up orders left me with nothing to do for the day, so I decided to have a clear out, tidy and change in the shop (I hope the lorries never get stuck again). I knew halfway through I'd made a mistake but kept going and I have to say I'm very pleased with the result. Even the shelving unit that I find so hard to look full without being messy turned out ok, so in the end all is good.