Sunday 17 December 2017

Decision Time For Many Traders

When your business is struggling and the consequences are dire, when an industry that you have put your life into appears to be in a downward spiral, when all the trading tricks you have crafted over the years don’t seem to be working, when you are facing some very serious decisions about your future, it is not easy to be logical. But, clearly, logical thinking has never been more important for QVM market traders than right now.

And maybe one of our more experienced traders had a word of wisdom for every trader - “Forget the past - we are starting all over again.”

What do we know? Global retail trade has been given a massive shake-up and traditional forms are in decline. There are positive courses of action that we can take -
1.     Offer exciting retail experiences.
2.     Enhance customer convenience in the way we communicate, and deliver.
3.     Engage through different channels (websites and social media). 
4.     Raise the bar on all aspects of our business.

And there are protective things we can do –
1.     Control and eliminate costs, (pull in the belt).
2.     Measure what we do, and
3.     Be really smart about our profitability.

There are of course other more drastic options -
1.     Change product category.
2.     Expand business footprint by adding outlets to take advantage of economies of scale.
3.     Downsize stall.
4.     Upsize Stall.
5.     Reduce number of trading days.
6.     Increase the number of trading days.
7.     Add trading opportunities perhaps through the night market or other markets.
8.     Supplement income from other sources.
9.     Get out of the retail industry.

On the one hand, these are decisions only we traders can make. We are independent entrepreneurs and the buck stops with us. On the other hand there are many reassessment discussions happening at QVM right now involving management and traders wanting to evaluate their options.

At these important decision making times we rely on our business network, including our families for advice. Fellow traders can be helpful although we need to avoid those who just want to blame others for our dilemma. The sooner we as individuals start on a course of action the greater our chance of success.

Of course we cannot underestimate the complexity of this process. Traders want clear guidelines around things like repetition and quality of offer, and they are important, but the impact of change on individuals is not to be ignored. Management need to set clear guidelines and individual traders may need to compromise. Oh, and we need flexibility to accommodate individual cases. If you say it quickly it sounds easy, but the reality is more complex. A lot of understanding is needed here.

And finally, let’s talk about flexibility. Flexibility is a key advantage for Market Traders. The ability to twist, turn, react, and go in a different direction, is seen as a key ingredient for all modern businesses. As we recently quoted on Victraders “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

Be logical, be understanding, be flexible, and good luck.
Have Your Say - click here.

18/12/2017 12:26:18      Decision time           "Greg
All well to write smaller/bigger stalls ,5days 3 days
Stock higher / cheaper . Who do u talk to for as per your (. Oh, and we need flexibility to accommodate individual cases. If you say it quickly it sounds easy, but the reality is more complex. A lot of understanding is needed here.)stock and time does not come free and with management changes ang management changing their mind every week
HOW ???????"       JR      
Hi JR. I think you are saying that with all the changes (in processes and personnel) it is very difficult to progress. I agree. But we have to start somewhere. If you have an idea of what you want to do, and you talk to your Precinct Manager (Russell Wheelhouse) about the options open to you, then the complex process starts. Just don't expect everything to be in black and white. The waters are going to be muddy for some time. - Ed.