Thought provoking and entertaining insight into the effective use of the ever changing world of Social Media from Justin and always enlightening to hear the story of the online development of Rosetta Brands.
It cannot be easy to see your business devastated by flood water, and undoubtedly heartbreaking to see the business you have worked so hard to develop washed away through no fault of your own.
With an understandable desire to get the business back into operation as quickly as possible there is often limited time available to consider whether or not changes to the internal layout of the shop might deliver new business opportunities.
But if you are starting again with a relatively blank canvas do not rush to reinstate what was there before. An opportunity exists to address layout issues that might have previously impacted negatively on the way customers ‘shopped the shop’ . Careful placement of replacement shelving might help alter the way customers circulate; identifying and maximising the impact of new selling hot-spots can help generate additional sales and improving merchandising techniques is easier when you are having to stock the shelves from scratch.
It might even be practical to relocate the counter, just because things have always been in a certain position does not mean that they are in the best position for your business in the future.
Identifying new opportunities, on top of everything else required to get the business up and running again, might deliver some challenges, but it is time that could be well spent.
We would be only too happy to discuss with you how our extensive expertise could help ensure that opportunities are not missed and help identify the silver lining available for your business in the future
SLDC Business Rates – All premises are exempt for 3 months if empty. Industrial premises receive up to 6 months if they become empty. We would only be seeking to confirm whether the flooding had affected the whole premises and preventing any trade from the site. Consideration will be given, where appropriate, to extend these periods via means of a local scheme which is awaiting approval, specific to the flooding. Contact SLDC Taxation Team 01539 793245 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Time To Pay – This scheme allows affected businesses additional time to pay taxes to HMRC, including VAT, PAYE and corporation tax. For further details contact the HMRC hotline on 0800 904 7900, set up for those who have been affected by flooding and may have difficulties in meeting their tax liabilities. To apply to the Time To Pay Scheme call 0300 200 3835 and discuss with an adviser.
Federation of Small Businesses For Members: for insurance related issues, irrespective of being a policy-holder, contact FSB Insurance on 0345 762 6158. Contact the Legal Advice Line on 03450 727 727 for any legal aspects to the flood and clean-up. The legal documents section of the website also has useful support (log-in required) www.fsb.org.uk For Non- Members: call FSB Insurance Advice Line on 03450 727 727 and speak to Steve Dawson. For employment support: contact Brian Harrison on email@example.com or 01539 730382 For practical support: contact Paul Foster on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07917 628909. Cumbria Tourism – Working with FSB to ensure the impact of the tourism sector is fully captured, and assisted with Government financial support. Please complete it here: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144948183547
Helpful guidance and updates on the floods are here www.cumbriatourism.org/home/december-floods-guidance. A helpline is available for affected businesses, contact 01539 822222 or email@example.com
United Utilities – Water bills are being suspended for customers who have been forced from their premises, businesses should contact 0345 072 6072. Customers will need to supply a temporary address along with the flooded address. For any water or wastewater issues, call 0345 6723 723. www.unitedutilities.com/emergencies-incidents.aspx corporate.unitedutilities.com/news-media.aspx
Electricity North West – Emergency Contact 0800 195 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @ElectricityNW
Cumbria County Council – contact 01228 606060
The Rural Shops Alliance is becoming aware that current Rural Shop owners wishing to refurbish or expand their business and those looking to purchase a rural shop are finding it increasingly difficult to secure loans and mortgages from banks and other providers.
They would like to hear from anyone who has been refused a loan or mortgage or had any other similar problems, particularly if a specific reason for refusal of the loan or mortgage has been given.
Please contact Gary Hepburn at the RSA via: email@example.com
From October 5th businesses with over 250 full time equivalent employees in England will have to charge 5p for a disposable carrier bag unless it is used to carry a varied list of exempt products ( visit Gov.uk for full details)
Larger stores will have to ensure that the relatively complicated rules on when charging applies is passed down to individual checkout operators – and then make sure that the process is properly managed. Added complications include dealing with home deliveries, and how to control charging for bags at self-service checkouts.
Smaller businesses, who do not have to charge, may see some regular customers asking for bags on a more frequent basis so that they can stockpile them to use for free during their visits to the supermarket.
So what should small businesses do? If they carry on supplying free bags they might find that they will have to buy more bags to satisfy increased demand. If they charge will it put them at a disadvantage against the big boys?
The decision might be based on what actually happens in an individual business but, in reality, if customers accept paying for single-use bags at the supermarket will they quibble if they have to pay in smaller shops, particularity if the money raised is used to support recognised good causes.
Maybe it would be easier if a 5p charge just became the norm.
For some interesting comments and statistics on the use of plastic bags visit BBC news magazine
Preparations are well in hand for another series of one-to-one advisory sessions with independent retailers in Dumfries & Galloway when the Shop Doctor visits Moffat in the week commencing October 20th.
These sessions will take place on the days following a Retail Masterclass which is being presented to retailers on the Monday evening.
Our Shop Doctor comments “With the challenges facing our High Streets still impacting on trading vitality, it is essential to ensure that individual shops and their towns as a whole recognise the importance of setting themselves aside from others by becoming destinations that enhance the customer experience”.
The Masterclass and subsequent visits will help those involved in the support programme to recognise and implement routes to maximising such opportunities.
Following a recent request for advice our Shop Doctor was pleased to meet with the committee responsible for running this small community shop based in an outbuilding of the Derby Arms Pub in Witherslack , Cumbria.
The committee was last advised when the shop was near to opening its doors in 2008 and, since then, although the business has seen growth some seasonal ebbing and flowing in relation to meeting local need has not yet enabled the shop to achieve its potential.
The dedicated committee of volunteers now feels that a sales plateau has been reached and have been keen to seek ways to further develop the business, hence their call to Let’s Talk Shop.
After spending some time meeting with the committee and reviewing the shop a short recommendations report has been provided identifying a list of opportunities that should help the business to develop even further. In addition it is hoped that the all involved in running the shop have been motivated by the visit and will be able to assess potential opportunities from a different perspective.
The shop is operated as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community.
Let’s Talk Shop Retailer Support Programmes are to be delivered in up to 8 more Scottish towns over the next 12 months.
Recent contracts awarded by Dumfries & Galloway Council and East Lothian Council will see our Shop Doctor advising up to a further 98 independent retailers and building upon support programmes commenced in Scotland in 2013.
To date, Shop Doctor support has been delivered across 16 Scottish towns to 195 retailers. In addition to the valuable support provided directly to retailers, visiting the towns provides Let’s Talk Shop Ltd with a unique insight and understanding of issues that impact on the towns themselves.
Our Shop Doctor Bill Smith says “Being able to spend time in such a diverse range of towns, meeting with the independent businesses that help create their unique identity and with the customers that use them has helped develop a deep understanding of what helps create and sustain a vibrant town” he went on to comment “The onward challenge is to find a way of building on those opportunities to help enhance and build the economic vibrancy of the towns and the independent shops within them.”
Eight stallholders engaged in Dumfries Farmers’ Market will shortly be participating in a Let’s Talk Shop support programme aimed at identifying specific opportunities to further develop their individual business opportunities.
Let’s Talk Shop has been commissioned by the Dumfries & Galloway Food & Drink Initiative. It is intended that the recommendations made will be used to inform other stallholders involved with the initiative how they too can improve their individual business opportunities.
Visiting the Farm Shop and Deli Show on Tuesday March 25th provided an excellent opportunity for our Shop Doctor to meet with many of the excellent local food and craft producers exhibiting at the NEC.