Andrew Carswell, The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday July 23rd 2013
Amelia Johnson doesn’t like to talk about struggles; about plummeting levels of business confidence, about job losses, muted comsumer spending and just how tough small business owners have it.
She’d prefer to put her head down and get the job done. Adapt or die, she prefers. Ride the bumps and keep your focus straight.
This emphatic interior designer, and co-partner in boutique and tailored event company Bespoke Social, is not living with her head in the sand, as small businesses around her struggle to grow, see their profits grind to a halt, or collapse.
She just used the economic downturn to learn the great art of flexibility – took a few big gulps and reinvested money into her business so it will prosper in years to come.
“Being able to change the direction of the business based on what the client’s needs are, was very important for us. For example, our corporates, rather than wanting to spend up big on Christmas parties, suddenly preferred to spend on staff development and motivation conferences at the beginning of the year,” she said.
“So rather than be frustrated I’d have less business in December, I’ve now got more business earlier in the year.”
Despite seeing an increase in competition in Sydney in the last 12 months, Ms Johnson also refused to go down another common route to drive business. She didn’t cut prices at Bespoke Social, the ‘architects of atmosphere”.
‘You have to be flexible to stay competitive and you don’t want to do that by merely price cutting. We focus on being competitive by addressing problems for our clients, rather than price cutting. People are willing to pay more for assurance that things are going to work, that the job will be done properly.’ She said.
‘We are now expecting profitability to increase dramatically next year.’