Tuesday 8 September 2015


The summer holidays are over and its back to school and work for most of us. This year we opted for a staycation and, because August turned out to be one of the wettest on record, I spent a good deal of my time sorting my studio workspace and de-cluttering years of accumulated stuff!

Today I write this blog post from my newly decorated, clean and stylish grey and white work space. Files have been scaled down, shelving units have space to breathe and my shiny white and glass desk looks smart and efficient.

Sorting through past business proposals, workshops, talks, retail campaigns and design work wasn’t just a cathartic experience it was a reminder of how things have changed over the past few years. It was also a memory jog that we all need to keep learning, discovering what’s new and finding better ways to fine tune what we do so we can deliver the absolute best for our customers and clients.

The recent advances in mobile technology have made knowledge accessible and learning easy. The way we now share this information has gone beyond expectations. This has had a significant impact on the retail sector. The skills required for delivering a successful retail offer are immense and, although the basics remain the same, what we do and how we do it are changing faster than we would like to acknowledge. Retail is dynamic, it doesn’t stand still and if you’re in this business neither can you. You have to keep learning, fine tuning your skill set and working out what’s best for you and your business, keeping the best bits and chucking out the rest.

I just want to add a cautionary note here. Easy access to information is a great thing but there can be a downside if you spend too much time checking on your competition. For many smaller businesses it’s all too easy to find someone else who seems to be doing better than you.  Trying to keep up can be quite a challenge, staying ahead is a whole different ballgame!  It’s all too easy to get caught up in doing all those things you think you should be doing instead of focussing on the things you know you’re good at. Stick to your niche, your core business. Get this right and everything else will eventually follow.

For the majority of people the thought of going to back to school to learn new skills is quite daunting, even overwhelming, but this doesn’t need to be the case anymore. Everyone learns in different ways, what will excite and motivate one person will be a complete turn off for another. The good thing today is that there is something for everyone so there’s no excuse not to develop your expertise and deliver an exceptional retail offer to your customers.

As we start the run up to the ever important Christmas season focus on what you’re good at, what your customers love you for and, task yourself to learn and develop more skills to build on your business strengths.

If you want to build a successful retail business and would like to know how to develop your skills further please get in touch. 

All the best

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tel      07907 691711

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