As we enter a new month, we transition from a month of reflection to February, the month of new beginnings and purification.
Working through Lockdown 3: February 2021 update.
2 February 2021
I do hope that this letter finds you well, and that you are finding your way through this 3rd national lockdown. As we start February, I wanted to update you on how we are progressing and managing to continue our services. During January we have seen our fair share of cold and wet weather and not surprisingly some seasonal ailments have affected some of the team. We have to date had no positive cases of Covid.
As a gardening business we are in a privileged position to be able to continue our work. In order to safely continue with our services, we need to adhere to our Covid secure protocols, and follow Government advice, regularly reviewing and updating our procedures as is necessary. We continue to encourage our team to take responsibility both in and outside of work.
We are busy seeing new enquiries coming in and this year we are forecasting some further business growth. We have been busy advertising and interviewing to find new team members to help us reach our current and new customers’ expectations.
To help protect our staff and our customers please can we ask you to help us.
Normally we all appreciate it when drinks or food are offered to us by our kind customers, especially when the weather is extreme- whether it be cold, hot, blowing a gale or tipping it down! However, during this period please know that we cannot accept any hospitality, unless of course in an emergency. Please do not offer us any drinks, but please remember we do so appreciate the kindness and look forward to being able to enjoy this again when safe to do so.
Please do not think us rude if we do not interact with you as we would normally do. If you could please see to a two-metre social distancing to help protect our staff and yourselves. Please wear a face covering if you are not exempt, and don’t be offended if we should need to remind you of our policy. There will be times when we will need to meet and discuss our work, look over plans and designs with you. At these times, please join us in being extra diligent with distancing and face coverings. We ask that all meetings are held outside if feasible, and online or on the phone. We will not come into your property unless it is essential. If we do, we will don face coverings and sanitise our hands. We will aim to keep to a 2-metre social distance. We may ask to use your toilet facilities, but only with your and our safety in mind.
To reassure you here is a reminder of some of the protocols that we have in place.
If any member of the team is showing symptoms of coronavirus, they will cease work, directly return home and follow government procedure for isolating, testing and tracing. If any member of the team is told to self-isolate and or take a test this is a legal requirement and we will support this.
Whilst working we have social distancing in mind. A two-metre social distance is being adhered to when feasible. If it is not, then a face covering is too be worn. We are regularly washing/sanitising our hands. We have allocated additional time each day and each week for daily and deep cleansing of our tools, vehicles, and workstations. Hand sanitisers, cleaning products and masks are readily available to us all. Currently we are working as teams of two when we can. We of course need to travel around with our work, and so whilst in confined spaces such as vehicles we will wear a face covering and ventilate the space.
To reduce the risk of transmission we will not be using postcards as we did prior to lockdown 1. It maybe that in the future we reinstate this service for those who want it. If you should need to contact us about the works achieved, please feel free to contact the office via email or a call.
We are grateful that we can continue trading, but unfortunately the new ways of operating our business is inevitably having a negative financial impact on us. No doubt this will continue to be difficult for us for some time, but we continue to retain all jobs and as mentioned are looking for extra staff. We aim to create more jobs and lead this with renewed vigour when so many people are suffering work hardship.
Whilst we continue to tackle cash flow, please could you continue to be conscious of invoice payments as we need to continue with the 7 days repayment terms. We are working on implementing a new invoicing software package, and additional training which we anticipate will help get invoices out to you sooner.
The office remains closed for customers to meet with us, but we hope to be able to return to an appointment only arrangement in the future. In the office environment we are staying Covid secure with lone working, good hygiene and face coverings when not. We are facilitating as best we can the times when we need to be at home to help our children and support our loved ones.
If you have concerns/queries/suggestions, please feel free to contact us. We believe this situation is best managed with everyone behind and supporting the protocols. We would all like to thank you for your custom, for your understanding, encouragement, and support, it is appreciated.
Finally, I would like to turn our attention to the changing seasons we enjoy in the U.K. We can now look forward to and rely on the promise of new growth; spring is winking at us from our gardens, hedgerows and countryside. Whilst we have a rare opportunity to slow, look and listen to nature, we can find some solace.
Best wishes from Craig Ratcliff and all the team at C.A.R. Gardens.