THE WAY IT’S GOING

Smith Street, Warwick’s oldest shopping Street.

One Street in Warwick now has more than 20 traders that are using Twitter to promote their trading environment along with their individual business. Remarkably the Street in question, #Smithst, is Warwick’s oldest shopping street. So here it is, the old willing to meet the new. 
However it appears that this is not the case all over the town. Recently an entrepreneur walked the streets of Warwick to promote a #Twitter course for beginners. A tweet from this person revealed a certain amount of hostility & disregard for using this form of communication and promotion.

The link below may show just how foolish some are by disregarding new ways to use #socialmedia.

Twitter & advertising

The Smith Street Traders Association (SSTA) are also planning to use technology during their key event later in the year. Smith Street hosts a “Party” on the Street. The event consists of a Craft Market, made up primarily of local business’s and other independents. This is coupled with music and entertainment. On the same weekend of the Craft Market, it is also the Warwick Folk Festival. Warwick’s internationally renowned festival attracts crowds from all over the world as well as the UK.
So this year, to bring the event to even more people, the SSTA plan to stream, live from the Street party. So it appears that the traders of the town’s oldest shopping Street are truly grasping opportunities  that the world of technology & Social Media is presenting them.

RECESSION PROOF YOUR BUSINESS???

I’ve been asked this a few times over the last 2 or 3 years. Why ask you is probably the thing that you’re asking yourself right now. Well, I assume they ask me because they knew that I’ve been self employed for about 28 years now and have continued to trade through 2 big recessions. One back in the ’80’s and of course the current one.
So to answer the question above this answer is, I don’t know. If I did, then I’d probably be the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

What I can share with you is this; to survive a financial armageddon like the current one, you need to get things right when times are good. Playing catch up is not a good position to be in. Trust me, I’ve been there. Remember that the Banks will give you an umbrella when it’s sunny but they’ll take it away when it’s raining.
When trade is good it’s hard to imagine that the things will go bad. When we’re busy dealing with all the things related to our customers and the money is rolling in things get overlooked. Keep an eye on all things financial on a very regular basis. Make it a habit.
These pointers below won’t make your business recession proof but I believe they will help you manage the recession. Try to be proactive not reactive.

Put your effort where it counts most.

The Burden of Debt

If you have “bad” debt such as credit cards, extended credit etc; deal with it as fast as possible. Their is nothing worse than the burden of debt. It will suck the life out of you. Remember though their are good debts such as a mortgage. It’s up to you to learn what your bad debts are.

Know Your Numbers

If you don’t fully understand your accounts then learn how to read & analyse them.
Work out what your break even point is on a day to day basis. 
Protect your margins. 
Remember Cashflow & Profit are not the same.
Be very aware of your costs. Be diligent about checking them. Drill them down as much as you can, it’s one of the easiest ways to protect your margin. When you’ve done this, go back and do it again.

Know Your Customers

Getting to know and understand your customers. Gather information where ever possible. If you have it use technology to do this then make sure you use it to target and keep new customers. It’s expensive to get new customers so keeping existing ones is imperative.
I personally expect to lose 12% of my existing customers every year. This will be through no fault of mine. Customers leave the area, change jobs, indifference and even sometimes they die on you. Always be thinking about gaining new clients. 

Look, I know these things may seem obvious but believe me, the obvious is often over looked.
By Paul Evans | Categories Uncategorized