Take Your Business Online
Can you and your business benefit from migrating to the online shopping arena?The next 10 days are crucial for most retailers, and with the recent bad weather set to return it is likely that shoppers will turn to the internet more and more. After one of the worst retail sales years on record really bad weather at this time of the retail calendar could signal the end for some retail businesses. You can see from the discounts currently available how hard they are finding bringing customers into their stores is becoming, and when you see savvy retailers such as John Lewis showing a year on year 50% increase in web sales it is hard to see where serious growth in the high street retail sector is to be found.
Then there is the fact that almost as soon as Christmas is over and retailers are counting the profits or losses which ever the case may be, they have the VAT rise to factor in and the ongoing austerity measures that seem never ending, and then let's not forget a major contributor to what families in the UK have to spend; inflation.
Newly announced figures this week show inflation currently running at 3.5%, which will further to hinder the pound in our pockets. Very recent reports suggest from January 2011 families will be in the region of £5 per week worse off than they were in January 2010.
The early part of the year may see the VAT rise impact consumers more slowly than the Treasury is imposing as retailers hold off on introducing the rise to help fuel January sales, clearly this cannot happen for a prolonged period but it may mean some bargains are still to be had throughout January. Eventually this rise in taxation will have to be passed on to the consumer and so we should see the true impact on the first quarter's results by the end of April, and only then will we know what the shape of the retail sector is likely to be for the remainder of 2011.
Clearly many retailers have seen this coming and are battening down the hatches on as many costs as is possible, whilst at the same time those with vision are heavily investing into their web divisions in order not to lose ground and overall market share. This type of adaptability to serious changes within business sectors is a lesson for us all irrespective of the type of business you are in. Most businesses are being forced to take a long hard look at the direction they are taking, and are adapting to a set of circumstances that are less than favourable and certainly different to those ones they have enjoyed for many a year.
Know Your Business
About two years ago I realised that my business had little future continuing in its then direction and so I set about changing how we go about marketing and where we could gain new customers. Like many businesses I chose the internet and so the web arm of my business Betterprint was launched. Changing direction from a traditional way of obtaining business to the internet way has been challenging and at times frustrating. Now two years on, we are finding the knowledge we have gained is paying dividends and business has steadily improved to a decent sustainable position.
To decide how and what we should do in a declining market place we first of all paid particular attention to the main issues we had:
• Large customers dictating terms to us which were very difficult to negotiate around.
• Cash flow issues due to customers taking longer and longer to pay.
We decided that instead of the old 80 - 20 rule, you know the one; 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers - which typically described our position. We would find a vehicle that through which we could drive thousands of customers all at relatively small order value and to eradicate the second issue as stated above we chose the internet as payment could be taken at the point of order totally changing our cash flow prospects.
Business Cards: Rebrand Your Business
So what I am advocating is you take a long hard look at your business whether retail or manufacturing. Even if you are in the service sector it is never too late to make a change of direction work for you, don't hold on to a past that will not allow your business to prosper in the future. Never wait until there is no real market left, be proactive not reactive where at all possible.
Branding has played a major role in bringing to market the internet side of our business and we expect this to continue well into the future, so it is as good a starting point as any. Once you decide how to reshape your business branding considerations should always be one of the first points to look at. Visit our site www.betterprint.co.uk for some great ideas on branding with relevant contemporary designs ready and waiting for you to customise. This creates a truly unique look and feel, without the significant expense of hiring professional designers. Betterprint offer everything you need to present yourself in manner that will leave your potential customers with a feeling that they are dealing with a quality organisation when they choose your business.
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