Despite all the doom and gloom over the economy, the Eurozone and the global markets, there are some real pockets of hope out there that give me confidence for the future.
For example, I have watched a retail business being created from scratch in my home town of Market Harborough, from the securing of the lease, to the complete renovation of the building, and finally the grand opening of the store itself, last weekend.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of this business, but the planning was meticulous and executed to perfection. I have learned so much just from observing from a distance.
During the setup process, some questioned whether starting a new business in these difficult times, in an area already populated with independent shops, was a wise idea. But everything was planned down to the finest detail.
Despite the abominable weather for the opening weekend (who would have predicted such heavy snow at the end of March?) people turned up in their droves and did their best to clear the shelves. It can only get busier from here as the weather picks up and the word spreads.
You often hear the saying 'know your market' and the owner of this shop certainly knows hers.
She has meticulously chosen each and every item on sale in that shop, knowing the appeal it will have to her target audience, and ensuring everything on sale cannot be bought anywhere else in the immediate vicinity.
The decor of the store itself is amazing, everyone walking through the door is made to feel at home and very welcome. And they are very keen to spend money, despite these austere times. There is something in that shop for people on any budget to buy.
I predict a very prosperous future for this business, particularly as the plan is to expand to other locations.
It showed me that starting up a business in this horrendous climate can actually be done, and that the skills brought to the fore in this instance can be transferred to any industry.
If you know your market, do your research, pick the right products to sell and ensure you offer only the best quality service without cutting any corners, the customers will come. And they will keep coming back time and time again.
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