The recent weather conditions gave us a quite a dramatic start to 2010. With my shops situated on the top of a hill above Hastings, we were left isolated for a few days, but then again so were our customers.
It turned out to be a brilliant PR opportunity for us and it really highlighted our importance to the local community. We received so much positive feedback as a result.
Getting customers through the door is the most basic business strategy and it couldn't have been easier. We also delivered to those who are elderly or housebound and again this was positively acknowledged.
Trading could only be described as manic, smashing all previous records. It was hard work just keeping the shelves filled, and my staff were brilliant. The extra turnover is always welcome and it was a great opportunity to clear through a lot of our slower moving lines, as almost all grocery lines were selling.
Fortunately, the weather forecasters had got it right this time and so with the early warning, I was able to park up my van on the nearest main road. This allowed me to get out to my local Booker each day, although on return it meant we had to drag the stock back to the shop through the snow on newspaper delivery trolleys.
My staff were fantastic, with some walking miles rather than give in to the elements and have a lazy day at home by the fire. Many of my suppliers were also really supportive, in particular my milk supplier who actually made it up the hill right to the shop, with more than double our usual supply to meet the increased demand.
For the first time in nearly 20 years trading I had no newspapers for two days, and I have to admit it was nice to start those days without all the usual morning workload.