The mole had benefitted from 45 years of good health and well-being until just a few months ago, when disaster struck. After eight weeks of illness, generally feeling terrible and losing nearly half a stone in weight doctors diagnosed that I have a gluten intolerance. At the time I was totally ignorant to what this meant, not being sure what gluten actually was! Now I am an expert on the subject which, in a nutshell, means I can’t eat anything that contains wheat, barley or rye.
No more bread (well tasty bread anyway, as there are gluten free versions all of which taste like cardboard), no going to Pizza Express with the kids. No beer! I can’t swing into the services on the M40 and treat myself to a KFC or Big Mac. Industry Mole is now easy to spot as he can be found loitering in supermarkets looking intensely at food labels, checking ingredients for the slightest trace of gluten. On the plus side, I haven’t felt this good in yonks. Full of energy, no more stomach cramps and a great sense of wellbeing. So, the new gluten free mole is here to stay.
You’re probably all thinking what this has to do with the sign and display business? Well, it has great parallels with my own business and how probably most of us have had to change and adapt to prosper during the past five years since the bankers kicked the good times into touch (no animosity there then!)
We have all had to cut out excesses, become more prudent and keep a close eye on all of the details of running a business. No more credit to slow payers, cash is king! Do we really need to purchase that new fancy printer? Profit margins have come back into focus as nobody can afford to be busy fools. The devil is in the detail.
Speaking to friends in the business I see a trend towards making sure our businesses are fighting fit and at a manageable size, with investment in efficiency being the number one priority for many. Like my own health, this philosophy needs to remain when eventually the economy does get back on its feet. Let us all remember the hard times and make sure we continue to be strict in how we control our businesses. Entrepreneurial spirit is important but don’t forget the business plan to support it!
And the next time you have a beer and a sandwich, think of the Mole.