My son and I were dealing with booking learners licenses in Howick on Wednesday this week, now that we’re 17. The elderly man who ran a little business taking ID photos down the road from the licensing offices, told us his story while busy with us.
He used to have a small shop across the road, he said. Business went well for 10 of the 12 years he was open for, selling gifts, stationery and this and that. Then larger shopping centres and retailers came into Howick due to the growth of the town, particularly into the retirement village sector. He said where people used to shop with him, enjoying the personal touch, it became simpler for them to buy everything at the large retailer, like Spar and Pick n Pay. So he had to close. And now needs to continue working.
I chatted with my son about the fact that many, or indeed any business, needs to know what circumstances could cause change in a way that will negatively affect its ability to continue doing well or operate in that particular location or customer sector. That a business must accumulate cash for lean times and to always be able to close down if need be. That it was wise to not take too much income from your business too early and to remain prudent thereafter.