So much has been written about the demise of small businesses; take the traditional pub for example, with the number of pubs closing at the rate of 18 every week. Like many issues the analysis is quite complex. One of the main reasons given is that supermarkets can offer much lower prices on alcohol than the local pub, but I do not think that this is the key issue because a supermarket can never offer the atmosphere and opportunity to meet people and have a chat.
A little further analysis shows that the ownership of pubs has changed drastically. Pubs are now being run by large companies who focus on “managing their estates” of thousands of pubs, rather than focussing on the local community. These are big multi-million pound businesses, managed by competent business people whose main aim is to increase the profitability for their shareholders. These pubs are run and operated by managers who are working in a big corporate culture (probably with lots of reporting and rules and regulations).
What’s clearly missing is the old fashioned landlord, or landlady, who regards “their pub” as “their world”. Their clients were regarded as their friends and the atmosphere was intimate and a real pleasure. Many of them were driven out of business because of soaring property prices which meant that rents increased to a level which became unsustainable.
Despite all of this, one aspect which should not be overlooked is that there are still a great a number of individual pubs and they are doing a great job and making a great contribution to the UK leisure industry. They have to compete like any other business, but if they are managed and owned by a dedicated team they can compete with the big boys – and they do compete successfully!
We at ASC are committed to support all small businesses, from the local pub to the start-up entrepreneur, and if you look at our website you will see many examples of how we have helped small businesses become even more successful. Contact us, with no obligation, to see what we can do for you and your clients.