In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
K: Kayla, Operations Manager
TW: Tamika Wells, owner of Honey Bee Grocery Delivery
K: What do you do? For how long?
TW: I started delivering for Instacart in 2017 and loved it. When they started reducing our pay, I found Dumpling, which allows shoppers to own their own business. That allowed me to start Honeybee Grocery Delivery, a personal shopping service that goes to the store virtually. Due to COVID, we had to limit the stores we go to based on the CDC guidelines. We even had to limit the times of day we went to shop. To use Honeybee, the customer will download the Dumpling app, pick their stores and create their list. They pay there and then the list comes to me or another shopper and based on the time that the customer set, we try to fit into that window as best we can. If we can’t, we will let them know and possibly reschedule. Then we go out to the store and we shop—we communicate regularly what is or isn’t available. Then we deliver the order to the customer’s home or office!
K: Who is your best customer?
TW: I’d say busy business owners who do not want to go store-to-store looking for Lysol wipes and spray and the things that keep them and their family safe. Those who don’t have time to go to Sam’s Club or Costco looking for specific items. I’m able to shop at multiple stores and that saves them hours of time.
K: Biggest impact of Covid 19?
TW: On one hand, the shut-down as well as the riots earlier this year caused us a drop in business—we lost an entire neighborhood of business. We also saw a handful of people who wanted to support black-owned businesses and became regular customers, but those were not enough to offset the loss of a whole neighborhood.
K: 1 or 2 actions you've taken because of Pandemic? How are they working?
TW: When we had to limit midday hours when the stores are most crowded, I began to use that time to take part in webinars and training—specifically on supply chain disruption. Another action I’ve taken is to network and work with other small businesses in the community to help each other and trade services where needed.
K: Biggest learning since you've been a business owner?
TW: Every adversity I’ve faced in my life was building me up for 2020. As a person of faith, I believe in uplifting every human soul and giving encouragement to everyone from every walk of life. I believe we should continue to smile, continue to be a light and continue to encourage people, regardless of what’s going on. Just like honeybees spread pollen, we spread productivity.
K: Any offers to include in the newsletter?
TW: I’ll take $20 off any order of $150 or more if you mention ActionCOACH!
K: What is most inspiring to you today?
TW: My faith. The word of God and my experience with it, not just from a textbook. I love seeing how it doesn't have to be on the forefront of everything I do and say for people get to know how much I care—how much our business cares about what we do for our community.
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