The major concern of most people when studying the UK Government’s budget was probably how it effects them both personally and professionally. This is not necessarily an indicator of selfishness and ‘What’s in it for me?’ is, in all probability, too harsh and indictment.
One change must have made us all sit up and take notice: the increase in VAT. Initially it might well be difficult to see any positives in this. But do not just give up as where there are changes there are opportunities.
The rise does not come in until 4 January 2011. This gives precious little time to plan. For those in the retail trade, those whose sales normally peak just before Christmas and those selling winter sports equipment, it must give lots of concerns.
If these, or others affected by the change, are your customers then the fact that they will be trying to work out the short, medium and long term effects of the budget gives you something to work on. How about telling them how you, as their supplier, would see the next few months?
You could let them know that the anticipated extra demand of the Christmas rush might well push up prices and that, perhaps, they should consider ordering early. Mention that that the current prices are unlikely to remain at this level as order books fill.
If your product is not seasonal you could point out that few companies in your line of business are likely to pass on the full VAT increase instantly and that, as there will be a number of companies chasing fewer customers, prices are unlikely to increase until well into the New Year and even then not by the full amount.
Your customers might well not be fully aware of what the increase will mean to them. The raising of VAT from 17.5% to 20% is not an increase in ticket price of 2.5%. Be specific and publish a comparative and competitive price list.
Keep positive, keep sending our your email marketing newsletters and by keeping your customers informed of how you see the situation you could well keep them loyal. And maybe keep them buying.