What can the yougsters teach us?
The big headlines for our industry at the moment are the imminent Rate Increases, due in April. Whilst MPs such as Sajid Javid are saying all the right things to encourage "more must be done to level the playing field", in reality, what can you do? With costs in nearly all other areas increasing and pockets of market saturation too, it all comes down to making money and enough profit to survive - and thrive!
I read an interesting article recently that said that younger businesses, particularly independent ones, are less concerned about the increased costs of running catering businesses. Apparently, a quarter of all business under 5 years old are looking forward to a healthy 2017!
But, why is this?
Naivety perhaps. But maybe it's mindset. In my many years of mentoring pub and restaurant owners, there's a couple of things that stand out for me about youngsters - and by that I mean people that are new to the industry:
They are more responsive to change - instead of dreading it, they embrace the challenge
They use far more technology to streamline and create efficiencies in their business
They have fresh, innovative ideas - sometime bringing knowledge and expertise from other industries that seem to make amazing differences to the bottom line
And lastly, they don't seem to be 'frightened'of the government, of suppliers, of the competition etc. They simply get on with it.
Of course many 'youngsters' don't make it in our industry. For some, the naivety costs them dearly. But, for others that set out with a clear vision, fierce determination and great market research - well, they are the proof that perhaps we all need a dash of fresh perspective to deal with the challenges we face.