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With a little help from your friends

I would like to point out that there is no reference to doom and gloom in my column.

Please don’t tell the rest of the media, as I think it has come to the conclusion that there has been a mass cull of consumers. Wrong – they’re still out there, and now is the time to be positive and decide that your business will be successful from today onwards.

Having lived through two recessions and prospered after each one, believe me, in times of turmoil the strong will grow and the weak will fail. So which do you want to be?

To achieve success we all need the support of our friends. At this particular time, the members of The International Fashion Federation (IFF) are your friends.

If you have built a relationship with a member of the IFF you will reap your harvest by working together. But bear in mind that friendship is a two-way street. Start to think about how you can be a friend to your suppliers, your agents and everyone you source merchandise from. Don’t start by asking for better payment terms because life is tough – it’s tough for suppliers too. Try to offer something before asking for something in return – it will make your partnership stronger.

Everyone at the IFF wishes you the best of luck at this tough time. We all get bad luck – my latest piece was my bank manager of 12 years having a heart attack on the golf course, and his replacement is definitely not being our friend. But my bad luck pales into insignificance compared to what my bank manager went through. So, enjoy your good luck and, when it comes, view your bad luck as what it really is – not as bad as it could be.

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