As the country slowly creeps back to life. I thought I should give a rundown of what our business looks like after lockdown and what we have been up to.
A some of you may know myself, Eddie and Faith got a much-needed break at the end of July. We hired a Campervan and drove the North Coast 500 for 10 days. I was a bit apprehensive as a lot was still closed and I was not sure what the extra measures would mean, but without a doubt it was one of the most amazing experiences and would recommend it. Faith turned 5 whilst we were away and had a ball swimming at all the stunning beaches and being an explorer through all the rock pools and caves.
Other big news is that Faith Started school this month. She has settled in well, although after months of her being with us every day it is strangely quiet not having her around which I am sure a lot of you will also feel right now.
As a business I feel we have been very lucky in that we have been able to continue working through lockdown. And we have managed to return into our showroom and bring all our staff back on. As a family business it was important for us to make some small initial cuts in order to preserve our business long term, which we have managed to do. The last 6 months have been an enormous challenge for us as it has been for most others. We worked with 2 members of staff mainly from home with a crazy 4-year-old on the loose. But I hope we are starting to see things returning to a bit of normality.
We are now back in the showroom; everyone is back on board and the kids are back at school (Hallelujah!) I have loved being back in the office again. I feel so much more productive and connected to the business working from here. But with faith just starting school I may have to do a few afternoons working from home whilst Fiona covers the showroom. As I was working solely from home for such a long time we have this well organised so, there is no disruption to business.
The showroom itself received a much needed make over during lockdown thanks to Eddie’s hard work and is now looking better than ever. The biggest problem we have had over the last few months has been getting new stock in. We are now fully stocked again which makes a huge difference in the choice we have for our customers.
We have put in place new Covid Health and Safety measures within the showroom in line with government requirements. We ask that all our customers wear a mask within the showroom and sanitise their hands on entering before looking around any cars. There is hand washing facilities available and we have introduced additional cleaning within the other areas.
As we have a large showroom space we would never really be at capacity, all we ask is that only one set of customers at a time will be allowed to enter the office space to complete paperwork, although 90% of this can now be done online.
We are still offering free delivery to all our customers and the option of a contact free service from start to finish for those reluctant to visit showrooms.
We have had a great first full month back and love getting to see all our customers again. I’m not going to lie I am struggling with the masks as its making it difficult recognising customers when they come in, so please don’t be offended if we don’t know who you are straight away. I have had a few customers this week I have known for years and couldn’t recognise them behind their masks. Due to this I have just taken delivery of some visors for me and Fiona so at least you will get to see our smiling faces.
I would like to also thank all our amazing customers who we have seen over this unusual time. I know I have said it before, but I love my job and that is down to the customers we get to help. I have really missed having that face to face contact when I was working from home, so it has been lovely getting to see you all again, even from behind the masks! I have really enjoyed getting to chat to you all again not just messaging people online or over the phone. I feel getting to know our customers is a big part of our service as it helps us understand what is important to you and give you the best service, which can be harder to do over a computer.
Looking forward, I am excited for the next few months, getting back to a routine and pushing forward. I know that we are far from back to normal yet and may never be again, but I think its important that we accept the changes we are having to make day to day and just find the best way to work with them.
Life goes on, and if we can get through the last 5 months … we can get through anything.