Going from meeting to meeting in London, I tend to spend quite a bit of time working in coffee shops and cafés. Last Monday, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours at a new business in Holborn, called the Fleet River Bakery.
Baking their own bread, making sandwiches with fresh ingredients and serving quality coffee would probably be enough to make a healthy profit at the best of times. But passing by again on Friday, I saw that the bakery was doing a brisk trade with a buffet on the pavement for university students, who were finishing their exams just down the block.
Not every shop has access to a steady stream of students to help keep them in business, but I think there is a lesson to be learned from the Fleet River Bakery; businesses that innovate will find ways to keep the cash flowing and the order book full.
Of course there are risks associated with diversifying, but there are also some great opportunities waiting out there for businesses that are willing to find new ways of working. Is there room for your business to develop a new range of products, or maybe there are new markets for your products in different areas and retailers that you haven’t considered before?
With summer finally here and the market starting to turn, now’s the time to start looking for room to grow. Whether that takes the form of a bowl of fruit and a box of sandwiches for a hungry economics student is up to you.