Put your mouth where your money is

As a market trader, I always found that the market was never a quiet place, in fact, I often found it hard to get a word in, even with a gob as big as mine! That was until it came to speaking to the management; everyone had amazing ideas, criticisms and compliments although no one ever liked sharing them outside of their own little comfort zone group of traders. 

We see this a lot in life; people have plenty of ammunition but no one wants to fire the bullets. The fear of speaking out results in people who really count, not being heard.

I personally don’t think that there has been a more important time in the markets industry than right now. The giant, super pound-style stores popping up all over the place, the rise of the budget supermarkets and the explosion of technology and online shopping. Never before has there been more people wondering if a traditional market has a future in their town in 2017 and how best to make sure it evolves with the next generation, to make sure that it doesn’t become extinct?

People fear change. They hate it, although deep down we all know that markets are changing as we know it, not just in the UK, but worldwide. People who have control of budgets commonly think that they have the best ideas, although of course, most of us realise that this isn’t always the case.

I am sure, like me, you have all witnessed or maybe even been involved in, a market “revamp” that hasn’t gone to plan? In fact, it may have been a complete disaster, in which case it doesn’t hit the planners at all, it hits the people who matter most to markets, the customers and the traders. Worse still, you only get one shot at doing this kind of thing right. If you get it wrong, even in the short term, the customers will leave and seldom return once they have left.

This is why it is so important to make your voice heard. Every single planning board for any kind of market planning should be made up of at least 30% customers and 30% traders. Trips should be made to markets where revamps have worked and especially ones that have been a complete disaster. The consultation stage is everything; focus groups, speakers, outside consultants are great, but what matters most is the real people, like you, putting your ideas forward to ensure the future of markets in the long term, not just some scheme being rushed through to massage egos at a high level and spend a pot of money before a deadline. People often give the most praise to whoever secures the money for developments, but in reality, it is all about what you do with the money and how it is spent, which really makes a difference and could secure the future of your market and the next generation of customers and traders alike.

So… what are you waiting for?
If you haven’t already, get yourself a market committee going and make the first step to having a say in the future
of your local market and your life. Why not speak to whoever manages your market too, about having a sit down
chat about where they see the future of your market going?

Markets are the heart of many towns and communities, let’s work together and share our ideas to secure their future.

As always keep in touch and let me know what is going on in your local market and if there is anything I can help you with. Speak soon, Adam.

Twitter @theadamCorbally
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