Thursday, 9 April 2009

7 Thursday Thoughts By Way Of A Catch All Catch Up Post

1. The recent trip to Chicago to exhibit at the International Home & Housewares Show 2009 was a good, worthwhile. We came away with a greater quantity of leads than three European shows provided collectively. A big thank you is due to everyone we met. We had a great trip.

2. While in Chicago we had dinner with a friendly competitor (we compete next to each other rather than head to head - same market different niches if you like although there are areas of cross over). It was a good evening. Worthwhile kicking around the same issues and seeing how two similar (although they are 5 times our size!) businesses tackle the same issues. E.g. They installed SAP last year, we "rolled our own" ERP software with open source tools!

3. Oddly I have a sense, despite all the warnings to the contrary from "export-experts" that it may well be more straightforward for us to build business in the USA than it is in some of our closer to home European neighbours. Our open, straight, keep-it-simple approach seemed quite at home.

4. Sarah Smith Kitchen Classics, a new product we launched this Spring is already selling as well as the Original Sarah Smith "Ultra Cloth". GOAL!

5. The parts of my business that are suffering from recessionary demand decline are the exact opposite to the ones that the economists tell me should be suffering. For the sake of clarity: the sexy pricey stuff is doing very well thank you, the low price value end is looking a little soft. Make of that what you will.

6. Innocent have sold a stake to Coca-Cola because Pepsico tore a chunk off their business last year with Tropicana Smoothies. Up until then their flim-flam heavy cuddly marketing2.0 with added antioxidant aren't we lovely healthyisms (but just don't ask us to substantiate our claims) has served them very well indeed BUT once the big guns come to town a big chum with big guns is worth having around. My opinion. Nothing added. Nothing taken away. :-)

7. Ian Tomlinson was a friend of my brother.