Our business is always slower in the winter, and December has never been a 'barn burner" for us. This year it has been so slow, and we can't blame the rain. It's been pretty sunny, without any storms to keep people away. It's weird, but hearing about other struggling businesses is somewhat comforting, in that we realize it's not something we are doing that is keeping people away. They are cutting back, and spending their money on things that they feel are important.Â It may be that cup of cappuccino, or the once a night out for dinner, or we hope the gift of a living plant. The bottom line is we in our industry have been hammered by a series of events. We have gone over the different issues here, so there is no need to go over them here now. What we do need to understand is that changes are taking place that will eventually result in a whole new nursery industry, or industries. It's hard to see these changes when we are all so focused on just getting through winter to spring. That's the nature of being focused, you put blinders on so that you can get done what needs to be done. That's one reason I haven't posted as much on this blog lately. We are focused! We are building our new daycare, as well as keeping the garden center going. The daycare business is our answer to getting another job. We are entrepreneurs, so when we realized that we needed some more cash flow to even things out, Monica could have taken a second job. We have commercial property so instead we decided to create a whole new business. That's our second job!
It has been liberating for me. I have always wrapped my life around the "nurseryman" moniker. That's what I have been for the last 30 years! There is a lot of ego involved with the garden center. It's our baby, and we want it to work.Â Yet, due to series of event's which are effecting all of us, we realized to keep the baby growing we had to do something to get to spring.
Admitting that things are tough, and that we need to do what ever we can to keep the garden center going, allowed us to open our eyes to stuff that was happening around us that we hadn't paid attention to.Â The fact is that we are all in that situation. We need to open our eyes to the events going on around us, while still remaining focused on our day to day goals.
I guess my point is, even though times are tough we need to stick together. There is comfort in having people who have been through, and are going through the same issues. There is also comfort in hanging with people who are optimistic, and willing to talk about the big picture, all the while focused onÂ our day to day business. If you interested in hanging with us, check out our LinkedIn group, Garden Centers, Nurseries, and New Media. We have 144 member's as of today! Members from all around the world, who are positive and forward looking. There are discussions going on that could change your business, and life. I believe that our group is changing the horticultural world, even though we cannot see it at this time. If your interested, here is the link to check it out.
Things are happening that we cannot see, because we are so focused on our day to day business.Â We are in a transformational time, and we know it. It's scary when thing's change, especially as much as lately. But I am confident that those of us who do our best to embrace change, will be the most able to survive, and thrive. You may think it's easier for me to embrace change, since I have been talking about it for the last four years. No, it's not easy, and that's why I believe it's the right thing to do. If you want to be a part of that change, in an industry that is crying out for it, join your fellow garden center enthusiasts. We don't know where we are headed, but at least we will be headed there with a group of positive, forward looking people. That's the kind of crew I want to be part of in rough seas.