The Cost Of Living Crisis
First there was Covid-19, which apart from the impact it had on people in terms of health, saw a huge impact on peoples livelihood. Businesses from all around the world were plunged into closing their doors. Whilst this affected businesses of all sizes it was deeply felt within the small business community, of which Leaf & Lake Co are part of.
Thankfully with the support and encouraement of others, namely customers and followers. Leaf & Lake Co made it through the pandemic, just! But I know many didn't. And my heart aches for those who had no other choice but to close the door on their dreams.
Now, here in the UK we are dealing with a cost of living crisis. With energy bills increasing over 200%!! And so once again we all are faced with uncertain times. I won't go into my own personal thoughts on the state of the country but I imagine it is very much similar to what you yourself are thinking.
Over the course of the last few months and the last few weeks especially, I have seen many small businesses announcing closing down sales or just simply shutting their doors without any desire to draw out the painful process of having to call it quits on a business they have put to much time, effort and money into.
And I want to point out very clearly that Leaf & Lake Co hasn't had an online sale (at this point) in over 1.5 months and so is very much heading the same way. I say this not to be dramatic. I say this to be blunt and transparent.
What's the plan of action?
In some aspects I am putting my head in the sand. Not because I don't want to face what is ahead but mainly because I don't have much of a plan on what I can do to get my business through this tough time. I don't have the finances to coast through this untouched/unharmed. The only finances I have are from Leaf & Lake Co sales. That's it. What I get out of the business financially goes right back into it. And with so few orders being received I am having to keep back the money made in order to pay the monthly business bills. I would adore to plough the money right back in to new fragrances or developing new product or even expanding. But it just isn't possible with how things are at the moment.
So, whilst I haven't been able to make a plan of action for Leaf & Lake Co per se, I have made decisions on other things to help YOU.
Find the light.
I think when there is such chaos and fear running rife that it's important that we try to stick together whenever and however we can.
People are working harder, longer hours and the pay just isn't stretching to where people need it to. I am in the same boat and feeling the same fears as you. That's why I am not going to add to your stresses. Many businesses are increasing prices of products and services. I can understand why they are doing this but I am not going to follow suit. I want people to be able to get some 'treats' in their lives still. I want people to be able to have those little things that make them feel good, even just for a while. Where daily life is hard work and coming home to cupboards which are getting more bare by the day and having to face that stomach churning decision and asking 'Do I buy some food or do I pay for some heating?' It just shouldn't be this way. For anyone.
So I am NOT going to be raising my prices.
I can't give a timescale on how long this will last. But I can say that I will keep the prices as they are now for as long as I can.
Days are feeling dim for almost everyone with the current situation. We NEED to find the light to help get us through. Whether that is going for a walk to watch the sun set, curling up under a throw and watching trashy TV or simply reading a book with a wax melt to create a relaxing ambiance. We all NEED to have some joy in our days, no matter how brief and no matter how small.
That's why you can continue to shop at Leaf & Lake Co without worrying how much your favourite product has increased by.
And I will be popping in 'feel good' freebies here and there too to help boost your spirits.
All I ask is that in return you help support me too. And not just my little business but any of the ones that you love. We aren't untouchable. And we need support now more than ever. Personally I am finding this cost of living crisis to have much more impact on my business. And it's scary!!
What can you do?
This applies to any of the independant businesses/services that you love, not just Leaf & Lake Co.
If you are able to place an order, no matter how small. Then please do! Obviously don't get yourself into any debt to do so. And certainly don't go without any food etc to do so either. But, if you find yourself with a little extra then please give consideration to spending it at a small business.
If you aren't able to place and order then there are many ways you can help for FREE. And these take a small amount of your time.
- Share a post on social media- If you are scrolling your feed and see a post from a business you like then give it a share to your feed. It helps 'reach' and tells the fussy algorythm that that post/page is interesting and so will result in it being shown to more people.
- Like a post/comment- This one has least impact but still matters. For the same reason it tells the algorythm that a post is interesting.
- Leave a comment- Engage with a small business. Ask a question, leave a compliment or suggestion. Interaction is key! Once again for telling the algorythm that a post/page is interesting and engaging.
- Leave a review- If you have used a business/service before then leave a review. If you have used their website (even if you haven't completed a purchase) then you can still leave a review (suggestions for review content- how easy was the site to navigate? Was the site aestetically pleasing? etc) The best reviews are of course product reviews as it tells others an opinion from an actual consumer. Leave a review here.
- Word of mouth- This is by far the most effective. 65% of new business comes from word of mouth referrals. That's HUGE! And 92% of consumers trust other consumers recommendations. Tell anyone who will listen that you know of this fabulous little business that you think they would love too.
- Post your own purchases- This is similar to word of mouth. But with the added bonus of photos/videos. Post to your social media pages or share within your personal friend and family chat groups. Spread the word!
- Follow Leaf & Lake Co on your social media pages- Facebook and Instagram. Use the hashtag #leafandlakeco when you post too.
One thing that the UK is known for, especially throughout the working class is the ability to stick together and help one another through hard times. You see it in small communities each and every day. And you see it as a Nation too.
I know my offering not to raise prices isn't a big gesture but I hope you can see that it is a gesture none the less. And I hope that with your help, as I really can't get through this without your help, that Leaf & Lake Co will make it to the other side.
I am not just a small business. I care about you. Genuinelly. I always have my inbox open to listening to anyone with worries or concerns. You are never alone. I am here for you and I would like to think that you are here for me too.
And to anyone who has read this blog post this far then during checkout if you use code 'GIFTME' then I will pop a gift in your order.