Sunday 3 June 2018

Editorial: Times Are Tough

The pain in our market at the moment is immense, and business decline continues to surprise and frustrate traders.There are no prizes for making the statement “Times are tough” and the real difficulty comes when  a trader asks “Well what are you going to do about it?”

There are two things to say about the “doing” bit. Firstly, we are our own masters. The big attraction of being a market trader is the independence - the ability to forge our own path, do our own thing, and to some extent control our destiny. The buck stops with us. Secondly, the path ahead is difficult and confused. This is one of those times when some of us need help. We need a plan.

Finding a path at the moment is a nightmare. We do the right things, make good product choices, offer friendly service, work our backsides off, but still customers don’t buy. We are in the middle of a consumer recession, and worst of all, the slope appears to be getting slipperier.

Times are tough. A common trader cry is that nobody seems to care - “Nobody comes to talk to us about our problems”. That is not really true. There is a mentor program, and yes you have to make the first step, but experienced business people are ready and waiting to assist. In fact more than just listening (although mentors will do a lot of that) you get an experts view on how to manage your business in a retail recession.

There are two reasons why mentors are a great idea. Firstly they remove the emotions, particularly those created by financial frustration. Secondly, they aren’t held back by past practice. No matter how forward thinking we are, we can often be influenced by how we have done things in the past. An independent, rational, and objective examination of our business practices is a really smart idea.

This editorial didn’t start off to be an endorsement of the mentor program but it does seem to be the right course for many. We all need to get some structure into our business analysis, remove the emotion, and create a plan that can be measured and monitored. The final outcome may be a path to survival and hopefully success, or it may just indicate the best time to get out. Either way, we are taking action rather than just waiting, and hoping, or relying on someone else to fix our problems.

What is your plan? If you don’t have one, why not book a mentoring session? It might be the best business decision you have made in years.

Mentoring connections:
      Katya Ellis - Trader Connect Co-ordinator - Tel.1300 631 171
     Email Katya -
      SBMS Website -