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Business is fun

Edge

For my US readers, first of all, don't panic: it's weeks away yet and the really great turkeys won't yet be in Walmart. In the UK and the rest of the world, you probably don't even celebrate thanksgiving.

Yet we all have things to be thankful about - even if we think our lives couldn't get any worse - and some say that if we simply thought about and were thankful about at least one aspect of our life each day, not only would the world be a better place but we would be better people individually and collectively.

I am thankful for my business: my customers and clients; my team and my suppliers all of whom go to make up the recipe that is uniquely NGM Accountants.

Turkeys have less to be thankful about especially as we (and they) approach the end of November and of December!

Cartoon #5838 - You'll experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and finally, stuffing.

But being a small business owner sometimes feels like being a turkey - except it's all year round.

Being a small business turkey, is a routine process of managing many conflicting priorities, becoming fed up as sales perhaps dry up for a while, as your suppliers casually and care-lessly increase their prices while you feel squeezed in the middle between your customers who resist price changes. "I don't have any choice" is a phrase I hear often from my clients who do genuinely feel that they must give in at BOTH ends of the supply chain. (They do however have a choice and in that respect are quite different from turkeys at this time of year). Simply denying that Thanksgiving is coming along isn't going to get you anywhere but doing something practical and relevant might just make a difference .

If YOU are a small business in the squeezed middle, take a good look at your monthly accounts and sales figures. Can you afford to let your margins slip (any more) and make less profit when costs are increasing all around you - both at home and in business? Is it just that you don't feel confident or do you perhaps feel fearful that your customers will desert you if you tweak your prices up a little? Secretly I suspect that your customers know they are on to a winner and are just waiting to see how long it's going to take you to wake up and smell the coffee and in the meantime are rubbing their hands with glee at the amount they are saving. Try putting your prices up by just a little (5 or 10%) and see what the effect is. I'll be surprised if you lose many customers: there will always be one or two who will walk - but they would either have walked anyway or they don't make you any money as it is.

So live life at the edge; live a little dangerously. As Gustav Graves said in Die Another Day, “It is only by being on the edge that we know who we really are"

Nothing is certain except death and taxes.

Unless you're a turkey since they don't pay tax - yet!

 

JohnF

 

 

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M Asim Afzal on October 14, 2011

John, Great Article and spun in a fun way. What I would also say, that if you are in a service sector where time is money e.g. Joiners, Graphic/Web Designers or even Cleaners, then before looking to increase price to increase margin, given the economic climate, looking to improve efficiency and ensure the right people are doing the right tasks, thus maximising productivity, may in fact be a better first step than raising price, especially in price sensitive markets.