I've pretty much avoided wanging on about Coronavirus on my website and Social Media Pages but as I have a spare half hour I thought I would bring it up to brighten everyone's day! So anyway there's this thing called Coronavirus that's been kicking around for a while now, have you heard of it? I'm being irreverent of course because a/ that's just the type of guy I am and b/ if you didn't laugh you'd cry as it has without doubt impacted everyone's life over the past 6 months or so. Personally I'm now way past panicking about it and I will continue to adhere to the rules and just try and get on with things as best I can.
When we first locked down my thoughts were basically to roll with lockdown and deal with the potential financial mess later on. I still stand by that as you can't put a price on everyone's health and that has to be the priority. However I do think I under estimated just how long lockdown would go on for and just how long the ripple effect of lockdown would continue to affect business.
Like a lot of businesses we essentially put the shutters down and mothballed everything for about 8 weeks or so from the end of March until whenever Boris began to ease the restrictions. I think we've been back to work for about 12 weeks now but we are by no means back to being as busy as we were going into 2020. 12 weeks on and I'm essentially back to being a one man band, I have struggled to find any work for my trusted helpers Lynne, Graeme and Keith - they have had bits and pieces of work but business is 60% to 70% down every single week over the past 3 months and the work just isn't there to keep them going at this time. They all know I’m gutted about that and I am still hopeful that I can get back to somewhere near full capacity and find work for all of them soon. However I have revised my hopes and very much lowered my expectations for the business for the rest of this year.
Initially I optimistically thought things would magically return to pre-Covid levels once the restictions eased, now I need to accept that there will be a lot of rebuilding to do. I'm actually one of the lucky ones as lots of businesses will have gone under never to return and I feel that as of now things have probably bottomed out and come September I'll get my teachers dogs back and come November the Furlough scheme will end and hopefully that means the rest of my paused customers will return. What we obviously haven't had in the past few months is much in the way of enquiries, again I am hopeful that will change as we head nearer to the end of Furlough - I have and will try to remain positive and I stand by my initial thought back in March that everyone's health has to take priority and we'd pick up the financial pieces later on.
I've put a lot of energy into Coastal Dog Walkers since I started the business in 2015 and have made lots of friends, both canine and human! I am very proud of how we do things - we didn't just follow the How To Start a Dog Walking Business formula and have took a different path from most other dog walking companies; All of our dogs are walked on the lead at all times, our pack sizes remain small, we don't pile all of the dogs into a van and release them onto the nearest stretch of beach. All of our dogs benefit hugely from this and all of our customers will tell you that they love what we do and they have happier, healthier, more confident dogs that have great social skills and are generally better on the lead than they used to be.
Stay safe y'all.
coastal Dog Walkers
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.