The Ever Changing World of Business…
Here we are at the beginning of 2018 – a new year, with new challenges for businesses and some familiar ones brought from 2017! The new year is traditionally a time for resolutions and when people resolve to make changes and ‘do better’ than the year before – we will return to this later.
There is a saying in business that if you fail to move forward then you fall behind – this translates to if you fail to continually adapt, evolve and change then others, who offer similar goods and/or services to you, will do so and thus start to ‘replace’ you in your shared market space. This applies to whole towns as well as to businesses of all sizes and in 2017 the Chamber pushed for those with influence in and around Bicester to be far more aware of, and responsive to, the fact that other towns nearby do things differently and are seeing an apparent slow recovery of their town centres – a cause that the Chamber has fought for many years. It must be remembered however that the conundrum of town centres is complex and difficult to unpick as well as being a nationwide challenge.
In addition to the need to do things differently in, or for, the Town Centre, as to carry on doing the same things, in the same way, must surely result in the same outcomes, during the old year the Chamber has pressed for the alterations of the Market Square to be brought forward. While it has become apparent that any works on the London Road level crossing are tied to the final phases of the completion of the East-West (Oxford to Cambridge) Rail link, potentially as far away as 2030, the Market Square shouldn’t be required to wait for a further 12-years before the consultation process commences.
As with recognising the need for change in and around Bicester so as to ensure as much sustainability as possible for the business that are based in the town and surrounding villages, the Chamber executive also recognise the need for it to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of the commercial enterprises within the OX25, OX26 and OX27 areas. If you have any thoughts on the role of the Chamber in 2018 we would be delighted to hear them before our next Executive meeting on the 3rd Monday in January – perhaps you feel; the name should change, the people on the Executive should be ‘shaken up’, the fees structure should be adapted or a different approach to representing the smaller businesses of the town and surrounding villages is needed – you can contact us and share your views – we really would like to hear from you.
In the meanwhile consider your own business and personal objectives for the coming year, make sure these match and remember that you can give yourself permission to make the changes you need to make for 2018 to be better than 2017. We wish all commercial, enterprising concerns in and around Bicester a happy and prosperous 2018.
Peter Cox – Chairman Bicester Chamber