SCOTTY here, as usual pondering my vision and sharing my thinking.
Over the years I have run several practical skills based businesses and I am pleased to say that I managed to give some young people an Apprenticeship. Today I can stand back and watch them running their own businesses and raising their young families.
However they were amongst the toughest challenges I have ever undertaken and the truth being ….. at times it was almost a clear cut decision between paying myself or #DoingTheRightThing.
It didn’t always go to plan mainly due to funding but for sure I can point to men and women around the world who still use the skills that were passed on.
So how will a tiny Artisan skill based business afford it now ?
I think it’s time to talk the harsh truth, yet these are only my experiences so let’s call them thoughts.
There are many funded organisations that purport to offer services that aid Apprenticeship opportunites. Yet in my mind many consume public money offering advice and words but no tangible opportunity.
“We help young people prepare a CV and then help pay for the cost of sending it out to companies” being a typical approach.
Great but what good is that if the opportunities are not there in the first place ? How can we help the tiny Artisan business afford an opportunity for a young person ? Is the conundrum that requires a solution.
I was going to continue with dozens of thoughts to justify my thinking but do I need to ?… every car enthusiast I meet engages with positive like minded thinking …. so lets take a look at the challenge.
What if we don’t act ?
Please find below my thinking, which is why this website exists.
- Niche sector product suppliers will see a fast decline in customers for their products without some long term planning and collaborative cross company task force thinking. How can so many small medium sized enterprises work up a coordinated strategy to create the required skills our hobby Niche needs or maintain the interest of future generations.
- The product ‘cost of sale’ continues to grow and may end up dictated by the platforms through which Suppliers sell and to some degree are now dependent on. Are they at risk of loosing control because there is no alternative ?
- Could their ‘profits’ become dictated by the platforms that stand between them and their customers ?
- Will Classic Car Enthusiasts be forced to pay more for their products and / or receive less of a product in return ? To me its simple economics.
- With such pressures on the supply chain, niche sector practical skills investment will be forced into further decline, simply because there is no money around to address it or there is no means of clustering small affordable contributions.
What do I believe our Niche needs to do ?
- Suppliers need to decide whether they see any logic to the above or if they even care ? If not STOP READING THIS.
- Enthusiasts need to decide if they see any logic to the above or if they even care ? If not STOP READING THIS.
- For those still reading this, it is now up to us to work out a successful strategy and make it happen together.
- Collectively Suppliers and Enthusiasts need to work together to build and support a new platform void of repetitive % driven cost of sale charges. Ensuring our hobby niche remains resilient to generic mass scale e-commerce control and command.
- This would help drive Supplier profits up without cost increase to Enthusiasts ?
- A new supplier Directory that operates on a Not4Profit basis passing ‘revenue above cost’ to a third party, recognised and most importantly ‘trusted’ by our Niche for finding and delivering true practical skills opportunities.
- With enough support could it be that this would raise enough funds to enable ZERO COST APPRENTICESHIPS ?
- Would a bi-product be the removal / better utilisation of %’s applied by mass e-commerce machines ?
SCOTTYS Supplier Library is my attempt to make this happen.
Creating a unique Directory where advertising actually supports a good cause and introduces a step change in the product ‘cost of sale’.
By day I have a senior position in one of the UK’s most demanding engineering environments. I am not doing this to make a profit. Yes … such people do still exist.
I am open to ideas but most importantly I need Suppliers to explore and support this very low cost methodology. I need Enthusiasts who feel like minded to keep helping drive the message out there and to utilise the site.
At this moment in time I have no choice but to drive traffic to the same old spaces and include Google ads as it is the only way I can continue to fund the long term objective alone but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Many Suppliers have been included in the hope they engage and to demonstrate how effective and well supported this is but as many come forward wanting to support and willing to make a small affordable contribution many will have to be deleted as that’s only fair.