The Final Nail in the Coffin
Small businesses up and down the country have been struggling this year. With the rising cost of energy, materials and fuel, many have been forced to put their business on hold, or worse, close their doors all together.
With the nation struggling to keep the lights on, many gift shops were counting on the Christmas trade this year to stay afloat, but it was not to be.
Selling online is a truly fantastic opportunity, to get your business in front of a huge audience. Postage is all part and parcel (pardon the pun) of taking your business online, whether you decide to sell on a marketplace, or a website of your own.
For a creative business, making one of a kind products, this can be a truly terrifying experience, as the entire process is out of your hands. This has been the experience for many small businesses, on the run up to Christmas this year, as the Royal Mail strikes have caused huge delays and misery for all.
A Difficult Year
The current cost of living crisis has been devastating for small, UK Business owners. With the price of literally everything rising, and the nation having to choose between heating and eating, the gift industry has been hit hard.
Artists and creatives are emotionally invested in their work, and the lack of sales and interest has had a huge effect on mental health.
Many small, Handmade businesses have closed their doors in 2022, which has been heart breaking to watch.
Hopes for Christmas
We were all pinning our hopes on the festive season, with both online shopping and face to face Christmas Craft Fairs.
Sadly the Royal Mail strikes this Christmas put an end to our hopes, with shoppers turning away from online stores, fearing huge delays on the all important Christmas gifts. We’ve seen online purchases delayed for weeks, and unhappy customers are venting their frustrations with scathing reviews.
Reviews are vital to any small business, and desperate pleas are going unheard, as customers seem unable to separate the service provided by the seller from the service provided by the postal worker.
It’s an unhappy situation on all fronts, and one that has caused several of my friends to close their orderbooks and doors this Christmas, rather than risk the damage a bad review can cause for their business.
Face to Face Events Hit Hard
The damage caused by the postal strikes has not been limited to online sales however. Makers have been left waiting for supply’s and materials, unable to create the stock they need for the Christmas Fairs they have booked.
All Christmas Fairs expect you to book in advance, and often require a non-refundable deposit to secure your space. Many makers have been forced to cancel, and accept the loss, as they’ve been left unable to fill the stall space booked, sometimes 6 months in advance.
Events have been cancelled across the UK, after being unable to fill the spaces needed to run the event, leaving organisers in a similar position as the makers when it comes to event costs.
Want to join the Guild?
We are always looking for ambitious, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial people to join our Guild, and start selling with a shop of their own. Why not come and find us on Facebook, and shake your makes in our public group.Shake your makes