Chapter 1 - Introduction

Times are tough. Nobody needs to be told that we're in the middle of one of the worst recessions to hit the UK and Ireland in many decades. A lot of small businesses have already gone to the wall, and a lot more will follow before the tide turns and things pick back up.

Businesses that coasted by during the good years tend to be the worst hit when a downturn strikes, as they have little experience of watching the pennies, tightening their belts, and changing direction at short notice. Businesses most able to whether a downturn tend to be those where the owner is not afraid to take drastic steps, and to think outside the box.

Though this eBook is written with jewellery and accessory retailers in mind, in many instances, the advice given is as relevant to retailers in other sectors. The reality is that when consumers have less money to spend, they tend to focus more on essential products and less on what are perceived as luxury items. New shoes for their kids take priority over a new necklace for Mom.

What this means for you, is that if you want to survive the next couple of years, you will have to take actions that you're not used to taking; you will have to think up new ways of going about your business that help to increase sales and lower costs. If you don't do this, if all you do is what you've always done, then the chances of your business being around in 2015 is remote.