Do you grab the money or take the brave decision now?

Recently, we saw the final demise of Blockbuster and then Barratts and now we have seen Tie Rack become the latest victim as another well known name to disappears from the High Street but as in the case of Tie Rack it is disappearing from train stations and airports.

#Service-Address #TSP #The-Social-Piggy #Open-Closed-Business #Business

The question that should now be considered, is whether you pull the plug now or leave until after Christmas? Christmas is normally a season of goodwill but with most retailers having to pay rent around Christmas for the next quarter, this is a not the “Season of Goodwill”. Yes they can trade and produce sales to satisfy your customers but the main thing that is missing is two KEY parties – the staff and the suppliers!

You have a bumper Christmas selling all your stock but then, even with all these excellent sales, it is not enough to cover the following quarter’s rent payment, so the only option is to close the business. A good choice it maybe said, but how can it be? This decision means you can’t pay the staff wages – so no goodwill here at all, especially just before Christmas or in between Christmas and New Year to inform staff they have lost there job and won’t get paid! The other party is your suppliers – they have provided you with your stock which you have sold but you can’t pay them! So they will not receive their monies they are due but may have paid their suppliers (or may not have) yet can they afford to cover your inability to make payment? In turn you could be doing the same to them, it could send their business under and in turn their suppliers and so on and so on……

So when do you draw the line? When is the right time to say enough is enough? There is never really a right time but you can make a decision now to try and cushion the blow which may be a bit calmer and less upsetting……

Take a look now and do the following:-

  • Have you enough stock for the whole of December and January?
  • If not what do you need?
  • Do you have the money now to pay all your suppliers for what stock you have now (and what you may need for December and January)?
  • Your staff – do you have enough money to pay their wages for this month, December and January?
  • Now if you don’t have the money to cover the suppliers and wages to the end of January – how much are you short?
  • The shortfall, will your sales from now until the end of January cover this shortfall?

If your money in the bank and your cash reserves together with the money generated from your sales, can meet the payment of your suppliers and staff – then you have kept your business trading until the end of January. Now for the main question…… HOW MUCH MONEY IS LEFT??

Will this money cover the rent that is due at Christmas plus your final Business Rates bill? If the money is not there – then, with just under five weeks until Christmas, can you really spend that time leading your staff and suppliers into the false sense of security that you are going to be around after New Year’s Eve?

With eight days left until the end of the month, the time has now come to make that decision – can you cover suppliers, staff, rent and business rates in that order? If not, make the decision now before the end of this month, as help maybe there for you…..

If you need help now, making the decision to ask for help before the end of November is the right thing and time to do it. If you leave it until just before Christmas, the banks and other options will not be able to be investigated until after the New Year and that leaves only one route – closing the business or calling the receivers or administrators in, is the worst thing you can do not only to your suppliers but your staff too….

Whether you are reading this today (Thursday 22nd of November 2013) or at a later date, this article is something that is valid at time around the six week period leading up to paying your rent; but it still so important in the run up to Christmas….

Please, have a look and do consider the next step as how would you feel if you where in your suppliers or staff’s position in the run up to Christmas…..

 

News articles above taken from:-

Your product or service – does it have a shelf life? Or is a re-brand required?

Following being asked “how long should you run a promotion for” recently, as the old adage says, “how long is a piece of string”?

#Service-Address #TSP #The-Social-Piggy #how-long-is-a-piece-of-string

 

With that in mind, it made us think about all the current news stories of how supermarkets are losing market share due to more and more people using the likes of Aldi and Lidl – the customer base is actually surprising as it covers all Social Economic Demographics. Is this down to cost or something else?

These two brands are slowly re-inventing how marketing works. They don’t tend to carry many well know brands as most of their branding is either their own brands or producers we have not heard of here in the United Kingdom but known across Germany and other parts of Europe. So how important is a name when it comes to marketing and branding? A recent example is how a £20,000 Harrods was being replicated by Aldi for £540.30 which is a saving of £19,459.70!

Well a simple comment could be said about that you are not comparing “Like for Like” but can you? Well here is an item about Aldi competing against high end wine traders and their decision to sell brandy for £29.99! Well this isn’t just any brandy, it is 1973 vintage Napoleon brandy! Yet is not just that brandy but other offers including:-

  • Speyside 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky for £54.99 whilst specialist retailers are charging around £131 which is a saving of around 58%
  • The brandy mentioned above is normally seem to retail around £107 but the 1973 Napoleon Vintage Brandy “Armagnac Baron De Lustrac” but at £29.99 is less than a third of the price!
  •  A Hungrarian Dessert Wine Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2008 is normally around £31 and won a Gold Medal at the International Wine and  Spirit Awards 2012 seems good value when compared to a lesser quality Tokaji Puttonyos 5 is being retailed by Selfridges for £35.99 and Fortnum and Mason for £23.50
  • Non Vintage Cru Champagne NV for sale at £22.99 which is around £20 cheaper when compared to comparable brands 
  • A Glen Orrin 30 Year Old Whisky for £54.99 which more respected retailers are selling for £80 more

And the list goes on and on with Edouard Delaunay Reserve Meursault at £18.99, a Magnum of Prosecco  at £15.99 plus what some repute to say is the “World’s Best Rum” El Dorado 15 Year Old Rum for £35.99!!

So, what does this say? This could be showing that they are buying same product but retailing it differently or are they bulk purchasing to obtain better pricing to and selling it a smaller margin to create faster turnover? Or they are selling at a much lower margin to appeal to every potential from any Social Economic Demographic?

All of which could be said – yet recent awards have shown a different perspective – it is the actual contents. The food and drink with the packaging has shown that the likes of Aldi and Lidl as well as small independent retailers are winning not just critics and experts but the main key factors – “Customers”! And it is all down to the product and how good it is to drink and eat.

This article from the Daily Mail is an example of how packaging similar to the established brands and products can create people to buy the products as it looks the same yet we ignore the brand name on the packaging.  This shows marketing done in a similar manner to existing brand can attract people just like using a name that is both brands. After all, “coffee is coffee” and “tea is tea” for exampl, as they are all using the same words because it describes the product or service.

So is there a shelf life to your product or service then? How do you define “Shelf Life“? Many companies will define the shelf life as being until they wish change direction or the product or service is not performing well or is this not always the case?

Tesco is a prime example of how you can still decide that a brand has reached the end of it’s shelf life despite generating over £1 Billion of annual sales – yet why change?

#ServiceAddress #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #Tesco #Lasagne          #ServiceAddress #TSP #TheSocialPiggy #Tesco #Everyday-Value #Spaghetti-Bolognese

It is not as if they needed to turn brand profits around as their sales turnover on that brand is more than most companies can only dream about. This article of why Tesco decided to re-brand Tesco Value was not because it had reached the end of it’s shelf life but more to do with customer perception of the packaging. The image was putting people off and couple this with the rise in sales from the likes of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose with their own brand plus the success of Aldi and Lidl – clearly shows that price and packaging sometimes does go hand in glove.

Aldi and Lidl have shown that price can win new clients because we aren’t always drawn to the main brand names we are used too. In essence, the product or the service doesn’t have a shelf life – what does have a shelf life is what is wrapped around the product or service.

Thus, take a look at what you do and how you do it, see the image you are portraying to your potential clients and clients and look at it. Is it a case of a re-brand? Just consider what Tesco did with changing their “Value” range to “Everyday Value” last year. The perspective of customers that people could sneer at what they had in their basket or trolley was the main factor in Tesco changing the name and packaging, yet the product or service stayed the same. It will be interesting to see how much this has increased the turnover but we are sure the brand turnover will rise from £1 Billion annual sales.

Now isn’t this worth replicating in your business? A simple re-brand or change of packaging every so often can do wonders to increase your bottom line and shows that your product or service is not the one with a shelf life after all……….

Articles mentioned above and their links are below:-

 

Are you in front of everyone?

You see me here but can you find me elsewhere?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #TheSocialPiggy #The-Social-Piggy #SocialMedia #Social-Media

Here you are reading this posting on our blog page which is on our website and you may have noticed is called www.service-address.co.uk and you know we are Service Address but are you looking elsewhere….

One of the things, that is something we discover quite often, is that many companies don’t have a consistence presence in place. whilst they say they have their brand but they don’t seem to embrace it. For example, we have the name Service Address not just here, but also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ amongst so many more – but is it important?

There is two avenues to explore here….

One avenue is that when people are looking for you and they have found your website, they are also wanting to discover more about your company as well as discovering more from your company, so they will be looking for you. If they go on to YouTube we have our channel there and it is the name of Service Address so people can find our channel quite easily. And the same can be said for TwitterFacebookGoogle+  etc etc – now can you say the same? Have you got the various media channels branded in your company name? The major benefit here, is that when people or companies are a specific platform, they can just search for your company name and discover you. It may be just the holding page, a few posts or full of lots of information – either way, they have discovered your presence and this is important. With more and more focus being placed on Content Marketing, by placing your content on the various channels, you will be enable more facilities, platforms and applications to discover you and your company….

The second avenue, is how you deliver the information you want to share with people. This information you have to decide on is how it will be seen not just now or in a few months times but in the future too. This is why it is so important that the placing of information is done correctly, in the right place and by the right name. This may seem straight forward, but what you have to think is the person posting it and how long it you want it to be seen for? Whilst they say that people buy from people, people also want credibility of a company and a brand. So, if you have staff (say for example Paul) promoting your company (in this example Joe’s bakery) on Twitter via @JoesBakeryPaul which happens to be his account, what happens when he leaves? You won’t a) have control over that account as it his and b) all the information he posted on your bakery will be lost. Therefore, you need to make sure that all the accounts that are posted from, are ones created by you (thus you have ownership and control) and branded in your name too, thus the information being posted is your content and related to your company too.

 

So remember, make sure what is being posted is via:-

  • Platforms in your name
  • Applications in your name
  • Sites in your name
  • Postings are in your company
  • The postings are delivered from facilities owned, maintained and controlled under your companies’ Social Media policy
  • The information posted and shared is only information and related to your company

Thus, with 2014 just starting, quickly identify where you want information posting from and on and even if you may not need other platforms now, you may in the future, so grab those applications,, platforms and sites now with your company or product names on.

 

For further information on how all this is relevant and how we can help you, call us or complete the form below:-

Funding and growth…..

#Service Address #TSP #The Social Piggy #Business Growth #Business Funding

In today’s climate, funding can be very important to your business either to grow it further or help with new developments via Research and Development. So, let’s take it in two parts:-

Growing your business:-

When it comes to growing your business, what are looking to achieve? Growth be taken in many ways:-

  • Increasing the brand awareness of your business
  • Increasing productivity
  • Increasing sales
  • The expansion via staff
  • The expansion via office/building size

So, which way do you prioritise the above? Things you really need to consider are:

  • is that if your are wanting to increase your sales, do you have the brand awareness to get recognised?
  • if the awareness is there, what is happening to your sales – are they flat or growing?
  • if the sales are there, do you have the necessary manpower to deliver those sales?

and finally

  • if the sales are being delivered, can you meet the output required?
  • if the output can’t be met, is it down to staffing or the space required?

As you can see, these are the simple steps you need to consider before embarking the growth of your business. The growth of your business is dependent on the points above, so sit back, grab a piece of paper go through the above to see where you are.

Research and Development:-

What is Research and Development (R&D)?

This can take two parts as it can cover the opportunity to find new markets to sell your products and services to or turning new ideas into products or services to sell but how do you consider the next stage:-

When you are looking into R&D for developing new products or services, make sure you have your ideas broken down in two sections – one a simple single page outlining the idea and second, a complete breakdown by expanding the single page into a least a three page overview covering the idea, the requirement to turn the idea into reality, the requirements of delivering the project and finally how you will deliver this to your prospective clients.

When you have a new product or service to deliver to your prospective clients or your existing client base, what do you? Firstly have you considered market testing? Could you do this by an incentive?

Once you have the basis of the idea:-

  • speaking to your existing client base is a good safe way to start with little expenditure
  • look at your clients and see what they do and find clients that either use or you think could use your service or product
  • choose a number of them, say 5 to 10 depending on what you feel is best sample to give you results you will be looking for
  • offer them an incentive linked to what they already purchase from you (this way, the cost is only the purchase cost of that incentive)

This market testing provides two opportunities for you on top of sharing the new idea with them, a way to create a possible up-sell of your products to them and also get feedback from them on how they see your company and the way it operates.

In summary, these two overviews will give you a few ideas to consider on how you need to focus on which way to more forward when considering “Funding and Growth”. Make sure that you fully understand how both are looked at differently before looking to seek increasing your borrowing to fund further growth. Many banks or finance companies will be offering “borrowing to fund growth” as a way to grab your attention but carefully consider this before taking their money. This funding may be an easy option but is in the end? You truly need to carefully consider this as banks and finance houses do not always the full solution. It may suit you to receive this money, but what else is there besides their cheque or cash deposit? Thus, start looking to other options of where funding comes with support from people with the background to help. This can be outside investors or crowd-funding but how will they help you? Now that is a completely difference story…..

I trust that this article has helped you and please do not hesitate to comment on these topics to discuss this further

All changes are coming to conclusion and ready for 2014…..

Well, we are sorry for lack of updates – well actually none at all – but we are now nearing conclusion of our re-alignments and re-positioning of various interests.

Service Address is a fully operational company which provides and undertakes the following:-

  • Mentoring of individuals and company staff
  • Speaking Engagements for both individuals and businesses
  • The provision of Consultancy Services
  • The provision of Cost Reduction and Purchasing Services
  • The provision of Management Services
  • The provision of Sales Management

Also, we will be providing weekly articles and blogs to both individuals and companies to share information, news updates and business information that we feel will be benefit and assistance to you.

The operation of providing specific product and service training services is now all being provide by The Social Piggy and the associate Piggy’s within whilst business promotion is being undertaken The Directory Piggy.

More and more information s going to be released over the next few weeks which explain more and we trust that everything you will see and discover is clear for you.

We hope you have had a good 2013 and looking forward to sharing many articles and blogs as well as working with you in 2014