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On the ground around the country .... how is business?? .. local business, SME

robut

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ON PAGE 20 I RESURRECTED THIS POST TO TALK ABOUT SAME AT THE END OF 2017

This is directed towards people here who are involved in local business, SME's and the like. Either own the biz or are working for same or are customers of these local business'es.

I am a small biz, just me :D based in south end of the country ..

Recently, in general chit / chat with clients in different kinds of business'es and others I have been getting feedback that this year so far has not been great, especially last month or two, particularly since and around St Patricks day.

Since the bust, business still has not settled to an even keel, those I talk to still find it up and down from one week to the next. Quiet a few say they are still just surviving, not making a huge amount. Some have said - peculiarly - that 2013 was relatively good, but a slight downward curve since rather than up.

I did notice - this year more than last few years - conversely, quiet alot more people off to Lanzarote during easter break with the kids as it was a long break. Are people selectively saving / spending money for certain things?

A small few business'es particularly in industrial supplies / services, construction & Legal / Solicitors said business has been good of late.

Who I am asking is people on the ground in small local business all over the country, those who work for them and/or are customers.

- Are things on the up for your business or not?
- Are things getting alot better or just a little better or same or worse?
- Have you noticed an upturn in business this year / recently? Have you noticed a dip this year / recently?
- Does any of the things I mention above said by some small businesses ring true or not?
- Footfall up/down but spending vs Footfall up/down but not spending

- Is this private debt ( both biz & Household ) at 258% of GDP in the third quarter of last year holding back local commerce or not? http://www.nerinstitute.net/blog/2016/04/23/the-tragedy-of-hamlet/

- Is this a factor? No loans to help the cashflow or to expand? - http://www.independent.ie/business/small-business/latest-news/irish-small-firms-too-gloomy-to-seek-loans-34659148.html

"Fear of rejection" is a factor in discouraging borrowing by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the European Union, according to a study of 6,287 businesses.

Non-application for fear of rejection was: Ireland 44pc; Germany 24pc; Greece 19pc; Belgium 18pc; Austria 17pc; and Spain 17pc, the study found.

I just want to get a genuine feel for how local business / SME is like on the ground in 2016.

Please, none of this doomster type comment, this post is genuine real Qs to small business / SMEs, not about talking down the economy ... its about realism in the small business community whether things going great or not
 
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Clanrickard

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Business is poor not two ways about it. Footfall is down and business trends are erratic. To be honest I can't see mtself surviving beyond Christmas.
 

robut

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Business is poor not two ways about it. Footfall is down and business trends are erratic. To be honest I can't see mtself surviving beyond Christmas.
Can you put your finger on why this is so? Why the footfall is down? That Debt?

I have heard others say - in fact a few retail business'es in Cork City - that footfall is up but that footfall is useless because it is not spending.
 
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Clanrickard

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There is no spend. People gravitate towards big towns and big shopping centres. I am talking about retail. Certain pubs and cafes are doing well but many are not. To me it's a population thing. There is a large cohort of between 23-38 missing and they would be spenders.
 

publicrealm

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My understanding is that the nature of retail has changed.

Footfall is no longer such a useful measure. Many stores are now just display areas for browsers who will then order online - this is bad for the small guys who don't have an online presence.

Rural town centres - even traditionally 'strong' towns such as Nenagh - have lots of closed/to-let shops in the main street - leading to lower footfall as people move to the out of centre retail parks, reinforcing the decline at the town centre.

It all in flux but not in a good way.
 

SeanieFitz

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There is no spend. People gravitate towards big towns and big shopping centres. I am talking about retail. Certain pubs and cafes are doing well but many are not. To me it's a population thing. There is a large cohort of between 23-38 missing and they would be spenders.
I am really sorry to hear about your difficulties. You have hit the nail on the head with your assessment, outside of the major cities there are very few "good" job opportunities available to young people. The only time I see groups of young people socialising in my area is during Christmas holidays or for a wedding. Young people drive economies, they spend above average on clothes, socialising, white goods, etc without young working people rural areas will continue to decline
 

Henry94.

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The recession made a lot of people re-think their lives and become a lot more circumspect about spending. Minimalism, mindfulness and other kinds of non-material views are very common now.

They are not good for business.
 

Sister Mercedes

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Yet when I'm out in the morning it's one 161 people carrier after another dropping the kids to school. It's a selective recovery. I suppose if you're a medical malpractice lawyer, you've never had it so good.
 

Clanrickard

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I am really sorry to hear about your difficulties. You have hit the nail on the head with your assessment, outside of the major cities there are very few "good" job opportunities available to young people. The only time I see groups of young people socialising in my area is during Christmas holidays or for a wedding. Young people drive economies, they spend above average on clothes, socialising, white goods, etc without young working people rural areas will continue to decline
Thanks for your concern. I do believe there is a need for a retail bricks and mortar presence in towns otherwise they will little better than giant dormitories outside the main cities. The job opportunities is a big thing. Broadband is very poor and there is a lack of services due to population being too dispersed and an over reliance on the car. Until that changes and proper planning is brought to the fore I don't see it changing.
 

SeanieFitz

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Yet when I'm out in the morning it's one 161 people carrier after another dropping the kids to school. It's a selective recovery. I suppose if you're a medical malpractice lawyer, you've never had it so good.
There was an interesting discussion on Radio on the number of new cars sold in the recent past. Seemingly most of the car companies have finance deals that are proving hugely popular however they do leave a final sting in the tail at the end of the payment schedule which could prove problematic for some new purchasers.
 

SeanieFitz

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Thanks for your concern. I do believe there is a need for a retail bricks and mortar presence in towns otherwise they will little better than giant dormitories outside the main cities. The job opportunities is a big thing. Broadband is very poor and there is a lack of services due to population being too dispersed and an over reliance on the car. Until that changes and proper planning is brought to the fore I don't see it changing.
I guess the horse has bolted in terms of large retail outlets on the edge of towns and I do believe internet shopping is only going to increase in popularity. I feel that Local Authorities/government policy should focus on encouraging people to live in towns and not just estates on the outskirts. Most rural towns seem to empty out at 6ish!
 

Burnout

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I have a life.
Down in the rural county areas there are a fair amount of 151 & 161 cars on the road and I would say it is because they have to have a decent car to drive the long trip to the city to work. You could be doing 80 miles a day return trip. It's a necessity but you have to pay it back to the credit union...hence less local spend.

Nigh on impossible to start or run a business on the street in a small town. You have money going out as soon as you open the door and without local spending (plenty footfall) your in trouble.

Sorry to hear Clanrickard is looking at the doom scenario...hopefully it will not come to that.
 

robut

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Yet when I'm out in the morning it's one 161 people carrier after another dropping the kids to school. It's a selective recovery. I suppose if you're a medical malpractice lawyer, you've never had it so good.
To follow up SeanieFitz on this - Just because you might see lots of 161's on the road is a bit misleading. Their is one big reason you are seeing this and its called PCP ( PERSONAL CONTRACT PLAN ).

YES - The Irish people are off again .. All they are worried about is how much the car will cost them monthly and only for the next few months. Worry about the other complcations of the PCP "deal" later on. Unfortunately this is building up to be a big car finance bubble already

More new cars but warning issued amid fear of car finance bubble | Irish Examiner

While the increase in sales has been broadly welcomed, car history experts Motorcheck.ie yesterday warned that, with one third of all cars sold on hire purchase style finance deals such as the popular personal contract plan (PCP), there is a fear that we could be creating a “car finance bubble” that cannot be sustained.
Here is how PCP works:

Car finance: to PCP or not to PCP

A friend of mine is in a garage in midleton - car sales. He said 85% of people buying off him are going PCP ... be worried, another bubble. And this also applies to commercial vehicles ..
 

Roll_On

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Down in the rural county areas there are a fair amount of 151 & 161 cars on the road and I would say it is because they have to have a decent car to drive the long trip to the city to work. You could be doing 80 miles a day return trip. It's a necessity but you have to pay it back to the credit union...hence less local spend.
:roll:
You are not hard up if you are driving a 161 car. A new car hemorrhages its resale value from the second you turn the key. If you 'needed' a brand new car for a long drive to the City, and you had that kind of money to blow on a car, you would simply by an apartment in said City and save yourself 80 miles a day.
 

robut

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:roll:
You are not hard up if you are driving a 161 car. A new car hemorrhages its resale value from the second you turn the key. If you 'needed' a brand new car for a long drive to the City, and you had that kind of money to blow on a car, you would simply by an apartment in said City and save yourself 80 miles a day.
Its got nothing to do with affording the new car. In my opinion it is about BEING SEEN in a new car. The affordability aspect is kicked down the road for 3 years via these precarious PCP deals ( see my post explaining this above yours Roll_On ) that the garages offer now and make up most of the sales.

So yes - another business that seems to be doing well is the Garage Car Sale business but only via this precarious PCP / PERSONAL CONTRACT PLAN thing ..

Note I bolded the PERSONAL CONTRACT part .. Do people ever learn here .. NO
 

SeanieFitz

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:roll:
You are not hard up if you are driving a 161 car. A new car hemorrhages its resale value from the second you turn the key. If you 'needed' a brand new car for a long drive to the City, and you had that kind of money to blow on a car, you would simply by an apartment in said City and save yourself 80 miles a day.
See post by Robut which explains it very well, this is another clusterf$ ck waiting to happen
 

robut

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See post by Robut which explains it very well, this is another clusterf$ ck waiting to happen
And SEANIEFITZ - When starting this PCP deal in most cases you need to pay a deposit - typically around €5000 to €7000 - I wonder where that money is coming from? A credit union loan perhaps? If so then you get a loan to pay for the deposit on another loan. Remind you of anything in our recent past??
 

Watcher2

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My understanding is that the nature of retail has changed.

Footfall is no longer such a useful measure. Many stores are now just display areas for browsers who will then order online - this is bad for the small guys who don't have an online presence.

Rural town centres - even traditionally 'strong' towns such as Nenagh - have lots of closed/to-let shops in the main street - leading to lower footfall as people move to the out of centre retail parks, reinforcing the decline at the town centre.

It all in flux but not in a good way.
Irish businesses have a terrible online presence. Apart from the large chains, browsing their websites is a complete waste of time. Why can' they have a real presence in a real building AND a proper presence on the net? Try getting prices and ordering stuff from Irish shops online is just not an option.
 

Watcher2

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There was an interesting discussion on Radio on the number of new cars sold in the recent past. Seemingly most of the car companies have finance deals that are proving hugely popular however they do leave a final sting in the tail at the end of the payment schedule which could prove problematic for some new purchasers.
The car sales people push the financing very hard because they get even more profit from the financing. They don't want cash anymore.
 

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