For over a week, I contemplated whether or not to share how Mother's Day 2020 panned out for LORA. Honestly, it's taken time to come to the frame of mind I have now. Deciding the answer was yes, I feel sharing my story is important too.
For months, I have experienced this global pandemic like everyone else. Yet, post-Mother's Day, I have now felt it. Perhaps that sounds strange, but there's a difference. LORA did not do well this holiday. In fact, it was my worst Mother's Day on record.
Reflecting back a few months, I've been stuck at home, trying to work and grow LORA virtually in some capacity, all the while trying to help support my floral community. My heart hurt. Early on, I vowed to continue talking and especially try to support the florists on LORA with words of encouragement, hope, promotion, and connection.
With so many unknowns, I was excited to receive the green light from Governor Jay Inslee allowing florists to resume business safely and just in time for Mother's Day!
There was much work to be done in a short amount of time, but it was a ray of hope. As my seventh Mother's Day in the floral biz, I quickly ramped up a strategy. Timely social media advertising, effective price points, and site enhancements with stocked shelves (meaning floral arrangements online and ready to sell). It was rushed but all in all, I felt as ready as LORA could be given the time provided.
Every single day I monitored the overall pulse of my site (like always). I ran reports, read the data carefully, and made adjustments as needed. Early on, I knew something wasn't right. LORA actually had slightly more traffic for Mother's Day than Valentine's Day. Why didn't the site convert?
Now, I want to be careful how I phrase this next sentence because I respect my industry a great deal. I think the reason LORA didn't convert was because the retail floral market was flooded with all florists in the floral industry. Everyone was trying to survive and Mother's Day was a lifeline. Unfortunately, LORA Bloom was the third party and customers were shopping direct. I refer to this as micro-local or hyper local. All those months before, shopping local and supporting local businesses had been encouraged. And, that's exactly what the market did. It was a blessing.
However, it was a bittersweet reality for LORA. The only one to blame is f-ing Coronavirus and the powers that didn't try to get ahead of this sooner. This time I really felt it. And that's all I'm going to say about that. :)
Looking Onward and UP!
Like all life lessons, I have learned a great deal from this experience. I have been knocked down so many times as a business owner. Yet, over the years it's easier to get back up and dust myself off. I have learned how to get back up and move forward within days rather than weeks or months. This experience forced me to take a hard look at what I was doing and how to adapt and protect LORA.
One of the most useful tools I have is my network. I have some dear friends in the local and sustainable community. Talking with them and sharing my failures, helps me to realize I'm not alone. EVERYONE is hurting right now. Everyone is impacted. It's incredible how one conversation can enable the brain to snap out of it. Those few little words and SNAP! Perspective is changed. It's a beautiful thing when we allow our minds to shift like that.
As much as I want to blame someone or something, it's been a blessing in disguise. Covid-19 has exposed flaws and cracks in LORA, which I'm going to get on top of. It's also forced me to restructure LORA's strategy and pivot in multiple directions not just one. Ideas that were on my to-do list are now in motion, and it's exciting!
Coronavirus happened. It's here. We can't go back and change it. But, this is what I have learned. Coronavirus will not break LORA. Coronavirus is going to make LORA!