There is a lot of work that goes into a season at the nursery. Upon first glance, it appears that we are a seasonal business, which we are..however the work is year round. Mostly for my own benefit and to organize my to-do list a bit, I made a list of what we've been working on this time of year:
1. We are ironing out inventory. We did a bulk of the ordering for spring 2015 last fall, but we still have a few things to get ordered, like the bigger trees and windbreaks.
2. Educating ourselves. We are going to the Green Expo up in the twin cities today, to learn about new plants and products that are out there and to work a little more on getting our inventory put together.
3. End of year taxes. Its that time of year again... tax time. I have been busy wrapping up 2014 stuff, paying end of year taxes, preparing our W-2s and getting ready to file our taxes (both personal and for the business).
4. Clean up. Whenever the weather allows, Dave is outside or down in the shed, cleaning up, fixing garage doors, putting equipment away, etc. Its a big job, but he is making some good progress.
5. Dreaming about the future. This is the time of year we are thinking a lot about the next season and the seasons after that. What do we want for Natural Plus? Or what do we see it becoming? We are still dreaming of a new retail building (hopefully in a few years), where we could diversify our merchandise and expand what we offer.
6. Working. I work as an occupational therapist and was lucky enough to score a 2-3 times/week OT job throughout the winter. It was perfect timing, but it definitely pulls me away from my nursery bookkeeping and responsibilities, which often get done on Sundays.
7. Marketing. Soon we will be in the thick of the nursery season, and one thing we do to gear up is touch base with our advertising: tv, newspaper, radio, and phone books in particular. It takes a lot of back and forth and time to put together ads for the spring.
8. Updating our website. Dave's brother-in-law Corey has been working hard to update our website. It has gone "live" now, but is definitely still a work in progress. So grateful to have Corey's brains and skills to help us with this very daunting task!
9. Researching inventory tracking system and point of sale systems. We are hoping that someday we can update our point of sale system to make check out much easier. Currently we use hand written tickets, which is a lot of work and leaves a lot of room for human error. And when we're busy I feel bad that people have to wait to be checked out. I have been researching the square, and may try to implement this or something similar this next season...it will likely be a slow transition, but we need to start somewhere...
Wow, I knew we were busy, but listing our off season responsibilities makes me see why sometimes I feel like I have so much to do!
No worries though, we are definitely finding time to sleep in and relax.