We were invited to write an article for a construction trade body and, being supporters of independent businesses, local businesses and small businesses we didn’t want to write about ourselves. Instead we opted to be ourselves and do what we always do which is to share our experiences.
We wrote about how ‘Times are Changing’ and the overwhelming statistics – ballistics can be counterproductive for the small business. We confronted ‘how do you manage your business when materials or products are increasing in price, there is a falling workload, late payments are creating cash flow challenges and profit margins are being squeezed?’ and that ‘Putting aside another uncertainty, bad weather, most of the above are normal challenges to any business in all sectors’. And we noted the ‘juggling act’ that small business confronts, the bottom line of ROI, the changing of business models to survive different market conditions and to clearly identify:
- What is being offered?
- Who it is being offered to?
Before you can reach….
- How is it being offered?
…..Because, `any business needs to identify what they offer, before they can reach out to customers, before they can be in a position to monetise assets.’ We wrote that the `source of business is the customer’ and customers are found through the `value of the service’ that a business offers, that it has to`adapt to market conditions’ and `strike out for opportunities’.
We wrote a small article for a sector of small business that might, paradoxically, have restricted access to business inspiration as a way to look beyond the headlines and we titled it `Times are Changing’ which is a quote from Fiddler on the Roof. The entitled Fiddler is a metaphor for survival in a life of uncertainty and unbalance and his place of choice happened to be the place where this sector of construction works.
Because we speak with construction industry businesses, we know they, as much as the butcher, baker or candlestick maker, can be enthusiastic about business and business practice. However, this industry body decided that it wasn’t `their sort of thing’. Fair comment, however, we decided we’d let those small businesses, up on the roof, be the judge of that.
No, the article wouldn’t be for everyone’s taste but small and independent businesses have enough everyday challenges to cope with, that they need support, not censorship.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF)