Sunday, 25 January 2009

A time for David....

I read today that a small local company has just won its largest contract in 37 years. A Lancashire-based workwear minnow Simon Jersey has taken on the might of the Corporate Catwalk to land the Emirates airline contract to design and manufacturer all their new in-cabin clothing. On my local high street no sooner was the Monolithic Woolworths sign torn down but B&M Bargains, an established but comparatively diminutive retailer, moved in and opened within days. Yesterday it was packed. It seems recession is no time for Goliaths. So rise up all you Davids and rush headlong into fray,slingshot in hand, picking fights with the big boys. There's never been a better time ......

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Its inauguration day and the USA is in a state of euphoria, the glow of which is even permeating the recessional permafrost of Europe and the rest of the world. One observation, two questions (neither of which I know the answer to): Observation - how precarious and unpredictable can financial markets be when the dollar draws more strength at the sight of Obama being sworn in, than when the US Govt pumped a gazillion dollars into its toxic financial markets (or do the speculators know something we dont?). Question 1 - could someone like Obama every rise so quickly and spectacularly through the BRITISH political system without being someone notable's son, daughter, pal from Eton etc? Question 2 - how long will the US public give him when they realise he cant wave a magic wand, make a "Berliner" style speech and reverse the meteoric rise in home repossessions and job losses single-handedly?

Answers on a postcard.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Shop local?

I've never subscribed to the view that you should select suppliers on the basis that they're local and you therefore support the local economy and keep local citizens in work etc etc. Dont get me wrong, I love to see the town centre flourishing and my kinsfolk happy and prosperous - the problem is, I also want the best job done for my money and sometimes that cant be done by companies on my doorstep. Better we all strive to win business because we're the best at what we do than winning it because we're part of the local charity effort. Dont get me wrong, I'm happy to play the "and I'm just round the corner so you get the best possible service" card whenever I can, because in some instances proximity may be a powerful selection criteria and a big advantage to the client. Put "I should have your business out of loyalty to your town or region"? No thanks. If the central platform of your sales pitch is an attempt to appeal to some premeval tribal instinct rather than a passionate presentation of why your outstanding value, you deserve to lose out.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

To participate, or not?

A networking evening and the dreaded 30 seconds to talk about your business and why people should send business your way. "My name's Julie and I refuse to participate in a recession" announced a delegate, as if she had stumbled into a branch meeting of Credit Crunchers Anonymous. A laudable attitude I thought, a robust rejection of the negativity surrounding these dire economic times. But hang on, will she be saying that when she fights for the remaining scraps of Woolworths stock at 90% off, or when her mortgage company reluctantly reduces her monthly payments in line with the interest rate plunge? Surely we all participate - its a question of how. As Paul McGee said "within every adversity lurks a seed of equal or greater opportunity".

Happy New Year

New Year, New Start... New PR Agency?