Ten years ago, from around a little kitchen table, came a big idea — to bring together the most unique, stylish and never-before-seen products that are hard to find anywhere else. ‘Not On The High Street’ was born and is a hugely successful online niche retailer. We have witnessed traditional shops on our high streets close having fallen prey to cheaper prices from supermarkets and often replaced by yet another coffee shop chain outlet. But some small retailers are fighting back with a vengeance. Such success stories do not happen by bemoaning the competition or looking nostalgically back to a bygone age. As much as I love the railways, I will never see steam trains regularly running on mainline routes nor even the return of the restaurant carriage on the London to Norwich line!

What we can do in an age of change is hold out for the things that are timeless and remain in demand such as a quality product, knowledgeable staff, a smile and helpful attitude, attention to detail, integrity, courtesy, adaptability.

An example of this is ‘The Ginger Pig’ (https://www.thegingerpig.co.uk/) a farming and butchers business which began over twenty years ago, with a near-derelict farmhouse and three Tamworth pigs. It now farms over 3,000 acres of its own pasture and North Yorkshire moorland, and works with a small network of like-minded farmers to supply London butchers’ shops. They have taken over former butchers’ shops that have closed and breathed new life into them. At the heart of everything they do is good animal husbandry and welfare; livestock that is looked after well in the field will simply taste better on the plate. It seeks to deliver exactly what the customer wants in a good butcher. Such a company cannot compete with the supermarket on price but the quality is so much better. Such small retailers will not give you the bewildering array of the warehouse supermarket but instead offer more than sufficient choice of highest quality produce.

At SME Strategies we work with a variety of industries and sectors, but the commonality that drives us is the joy of working with the best people who want to deliver unparalleled products and services for their customers/clients. Using our experience we are currently supporting several businesses in the construction, healthcare, IT and retail sectors with their strategy and delivery options. We see skills harnessed, innovative ideas nurtured and profitable opportunities brought to life both on and off the high street and perhaps even the railways too!



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