The pandemic brought many changes to businesses in society; it has affected everyone’s daily activities and lifestyle. Since the outbreak of the virus, one of the most affected groups has been small business owners. The pandemic leads the government to impose a total lockdown globally. The enforcement of the lockdown forces people to stay at home with limited movement outdoors. No one is allowed to go outside, which has affected many businesses, including small businesses.
As a small business owner, I was seriously affected by the lockdown due to the pandemic. Since everywhere was on lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, people could not buy things as they are used too. Small business owners faced so many challenges: reducing their employees and customers while adjusting to the social distancing rules and public health routine.
Some business owners showed resilience and took the pandemic as an avenue to find new ways to improve their business and continue to provide for their communities. It was true on my part; during the pandemic, I had to run my business right from home. The pandemic provided me with the opportunity to take a pause on client-facing activities and look for ways to grow my business. When the government ordered everyone to stay indoors, I was completely disorganised; I did not know what to do next.
The Lockdown and My Business
The lockdown started affecting my business because my fashion store was closed. I had little money with me since I was not going to my store, this made me unhappy. But later, I started searching for ways to move my small business forward while staying at home. I started knitting clothes, scarf, cap, bags, pillow cover, toddlers slippers and more inside the house. Knitting inside the house was not too comfortable for me; it was not spacious to accommodate my crafts.
With a gazebo in my backyard, I decided to improvise the gazebo as my new workshop to start making handcrafted materials. Since my home is not large enough to fit all my crafts, I moved them all to the gazebo. I had to place a chair and table in the gazebo for seating; then I added a lights bulb to the gazebo to see at night while working. I spend my time outside in my gazebo making knitted clothes. The gazebo became my new workshop; I find it comfortable working from home in the gazebo. The cool breeze outside made the gazebo cosier; I kept myself busy all day long in the pavilion.
I stayed in my gazebo all day long, making different clothing items after making some clothes and hats and hanging them on the gazebo. My neighbours were surprised when they saw me working in the pavilion. They were amazed at the way I transformed the pavilion into my new workshop. When they saw the clothes, I hung on the gazebo, and they started having an increased interest in my handcrafted goods. I now search for a new type of customer looking to commemorate special occasions with unique designs on crafted materials.
The gazebo in my backyard serves as a new workshop to create more handcrafted products. Since people ca not go out to celebrate graduations, anniversaries, birthdays and the likes because of the lockdown imposed. There was a high demand for gifts to send to their loved ones. My handcrafted goods allow my customers to create meaningful memories, even while stuck at home. I expanded my engraving capabilities so that customers can order personalised gifts for their loved ones. I use the gazebo to display all my handicraft products, take pictures and post them online for people to see.
Furthermore, working from the gazebo during the pandemic has been very comfortable; it is so spacious and allows me to display my crafted materials. I am more focused on staying active in my customers’ changing needs and staying appreciative of their support during these difficult times. After five months, the changes I have implemented while working from home in my gazebo have helped me tremendously. My business has been productive, and I have been able to accommodate a larger amount of projects.