How to keep ahead of the competition – A New Year Resolution

The arrival of 2017 was heralded with a fanfare, an array of fireworks and, yes that faintly jaundiced feeling of making resolutions. Having held firm on not making any personal ones, I decided to apply this notion to business. When you look at the Antiques market in general, it is fairly safe to say there are more over 50s than under 30s in the trade. This may well be because we deal in old things, but it is also indicative of our engagement with technology. Conducting a straw poll at a local fair the other week, only one in seven traders had a basic website, and I was the only trader there to actively promote my business on social media. Few if any there considered blogging a way of reaching further buyers. Equally their only use of Facebook was for friends and family. All considered themselves to be adequate businesses, happy with trade and really enjoyed the cut and thrust of the antiques marketplace.

To me, running a business is much more than the point-of-sale. The engagement with customers, who after all do make your business work, is the icing on the cake we all enjoy, but in 2017, it is far more specialised than just attending fairs with high quality antiques in your personal specialism. I would suggest the work behind the scenes runs at 80% of my business. Traveling / sourcing stock / administration /banking / blogging / social media / VAT Returns. The list seems endless, but you have to look at the holistic effect. Dropping anything from this list leaves a hole in your organisation, but as a very small business, you just have to bite the bit, grab the time, insist to yourself that it is the way forward and then DO IT ALL. The capitals are for my benefit as I have let some parts slide.

So here’s to my New Year Resolutions.

Number 1. BLOG MORE FREQUENTLY. 2. ENGAGE WITH ALL THE TRADE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. 3. WRITE PROPER THANK YOUS TO CLIENTS – NOT JUST PRINTED CARDS. 4. BLOG MORE FREQUENTLY 5. DEVELOP A FULL DATA BASE OF WHO HAS BOUGHT WHAT. 6. BLOG MORE FREQUENTLY. 7. KEEP CUSTOMERS WANTING MORE. 8. DID I MENTION – BLOG MORE FREQUENTLY?