As I wrote this month’s editor’s letter, I’d just come off a plane travelling to Belfast for next month’s cityscape feature (sorry for the small spoiler!).
This was the first of many planes I would be travelling on during the next five weeks, and if I’m honest with you, I hate flying. Something about it fills me with anxiety but I chose from an early age never to let fear stop me from doing what I need to do or what I want to do.
Fear is a powerful word. You don’t often hear people using it in business meetings. But we all have fears, or to use a softer word ‘worries’, and no doubt many of you have concerns about your business. But do you let these concerns stop you from doing what you need or want to do to?
‘Brexit’ is a word that fills many people with dread. I hear a lot of people talking about how they, or other people in the industry, are sitting quiet while they wait for the storm to settle and the full effects to come into place. You can by all means do that, but you can also not let your worries for tomorrow affect the opportunities in front of you today.
At the recent Houlden members event, which was held in London, Sophie Michael from BDO spoke a lot about Brexit. She shared videos where influential individuals from the retail industry expressed their concerns, but rather than dwelling on these and stirring fear inside the buying group’s retail members she focused on the positives, which include opportunities to thrive in the luxury market and to attract local tourists who are opting for ‘staycations’ over vacations.
Other people in the industry share their fears of the internet with me. “The high street has already been affected, but what will it look like ten years from now?” “Social media is taking over, but I want to communicate with my customers in person.” “I can’t compete with the prices available to consumers on Amazon.”
All the above is of course worth thinking about but do you let your fear of online stop you from embracing it? Do you let your longing to keep communication with customers in store, stop you from reaching the many thousands online? Do you let the price war going on around you, stop you from staying true to the prices you believe are right for you and your target market?
The world of retail is rapidly evolving. Don’t be afraid of knowing your business’ identity in the mist of change, but also don’t be afraid to take some chances.