The speed of things • 31 December 2008 • The SnowBlog
The speed of things
There is one feature of the too-numerous-to-remember businesses falling into administration which I keep noticing. All the businesses were doing more or less OK until recently, but a combination of poor Xmas sales and a retraction of credit lines means that their demise is astonishingly rapid. It only takes one bad season - one poor Xmas quarter's trading, one really bad batch of returns, one pulled overdraft - and that's it. Bullet to the head. You can't stockpile enough cash to see you all the way through a bad year, so really there's no security. This is the feeling I've always had with Snowbooks: we've done fine but every time we have a good season / title I think 'yes, but that's in the past' - it's next week's sales which matter, not last week's. Maybe there's something to be said for being paranoid like this - we're always in survival mode, not just in times of recession, so there's no complacency. I suspect more and more businesses are starting to think like me, now.