Notes from Andrew Jennings at the Bristol Distinguished Address Series

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Title: The Changing Retail Landscape and how to succeed 

To succeed you must be inspiring, innovating and trying new things all the time. Examples of three business doing this well are Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Primark. Two words for success: “Be relevant”. 
Ask yourself and your business to write four bullet points to show why you are relevant e.g:

  1. Do you know your customer – their wants, needs and desires?
  2. Are you innovating – what are you doing in all areas to make customer needs and improve the business?
  3. Do you hire talented people – give them training and then space to grow as people make or break the business. You need leaders to inspire, management to ruthlessly implement (failure happens) and exceed expectations 
  4. Do you keep change at the centre of your business – always move forward and get the whole team to move together to avoid silos

Homework

  1. am I doing everything I can be doing to thrill my customer?
  2. what am I doing to make my staff go from good to great?
  3. is the business making positive changes to succeed?

His book is Almost is Not Good Enough ISBN 9781911195641

Sell what people are asking you to sell

At work we sell approx 50 types of goods or service. We sell goods in our shops for example and our services include permitting, steam train rides, educational workshops and much more. Transactions none the less. I regularly get asked how to start a new revenue stream. For me the answer is simple for a good proportion of the time: Start by selling goods or services that people are already asking us for. Simple.


Case in point are the studios at M Shed. The original purpose was for the delivery of education activity. When not in use, staff would use the space for internal activity, meetings and the like. There was wriggle room for different uses. Any use that wasn’t the original intention or primary purpose I call a “by-product”. Sometime during 2015 we started to get enquiries for hiring a space that was smaller than our event suite. The event suite on the top floor was originally the only space for hire. We soon agreed with the learning team that they and us would both have access to the booking diary and use the space for education or private hire aka a new by-product. Every year since 2015 we have seen growth in the booking of this space which generates something like 5% additional revenue at this point. We didn’t transform or innovate, we simply responded to a user need and make a healthy stream of revenue. 

What are people asking you for that perhaps could be the start of tens of thousands of pounds?