Business duplication queried as more shops close
WITH more shops closing their doors, Byron United president Sevegne Newton is perplexed that there are still people starting businesses in Byron Bay without doing their homework.
In her weekly report to members, Ms Newton said the closures in town had often not been older existing businesses, but newer ones.
“Anyone who has been in town and business for five years knows the peaks and troughs that business here experiences,” she said.
“Yet there are still people buying into businesses without doing any due diligence and believing the streets are paved with gold.”
Ms Newton said as she watched the kebab shop in the town centre being dismantled on Saturday, she thought “it really is a jungle out there”.
She said the laws of the jungle certainly applied to business and it appeared only the fittest would survive.
“I’m sure, like you, when Olivo closed and the kebab shop went in, it crossed my mind, how are three kebab shops going to make a living,” she said.
“Well, quite clearly three aren’t. In fact, if you look at some of the closures of late, hairdressers, real estate agents, supermarkets, it becomes clearer that our town cannot sustain the duplication of these businesses.”
Ms Newton said coffee carts were springing up around town, and she questioned just how many cups of coffee could be sold.
“The answer would be that we are selling less and these new pop-up businesses are taking trade away from existing cafes and coffee places,” she said.
“Where are the innovators in our town? We do not need another surf shop, take-away or clothing store. We have them in droves.
“No one benefits from going out and copying what is already on the main street, you just further divide up the dwindling amount of market share.”
Ms Newton said the first lesson she learned in business was to tap into a niche market, that wasn’t represented, to stay original and one step ahead at all times.
She said she was “amazed” that many new business owners didn’t contact Byron United to ask about business conditions in the town in which they planned to operate.
“While tourist numbers continue to dwindle, I am afraid that the reality is we will see more businesses close down, owners walking away from substantial amounts of key money, flogging off their shop fittings, letting go of staff and chalking it up to a bad season,” she said.
“What I know is that the strongest businesses in town might take a bit of a battering but they will survive.”