In This Issue:

Interesting Fact!

The Times is going to be the first paid-for online paper TimesOnline.co.uk is to become the first major newspaper in the UK to charge for content. No figures have been confirmed, but it’s expected to cost around £1 per day.

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Meet FirstFound's recession-busting businesses

Chocolate, cosmetics and sexy lingerie!

Having examined the buying habits of Britain’s women during the credit crunch we have found that they turned to chocolate, cosmetics, and sexy lingerie.  It seems that thrifty ladies shunned expensive designer clothes and shoes in favour of ‘cheap treats’ to give them the feelgood factor.

Whilst monitoring the markets by studying business traffic to clients’ websites FirstFound discovered three of the strongest sectors were confectionery, cosmetics and lingerie. All are tied to a nationwide trend of indulging in smaller treats during turbulent times.

The word we got back from our clients from all walks of business life is that in a recession, consumers cut back on big luxuries such as holidays, cars and eating out, and instead they opt for cheap treats to perk themselves up during bleak times.

Optimise talked to some of FirstFound's clients, who reveal how their sales have soared in the downturn.

Victoria Sullivan, set up her online lingerie business 12 months ago. Since having her website revamped six months ago she has gone from having no online sales – to ringing up thousands of pounds a week.

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When beauty business owner Sue Tracey heard there was a recession on the way, she was understandably concerned.  The retail fashion side of her business had already taken a bashing from the ‘big boys’ like Matalan and Tesco – as they churned out cheap, ‘disposable’ clothes.

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Creative Director, Genevieve Holdsworth, of Holdsworth Chocolates, based in the heart of the Peak District says: “Our sales have been fantastic; in fact the last year is the best year we’ve had in the history of the business. 

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The changing face of your business

Here at Optimise we want to know all about you and your business as it stands today in 2010.  We are continuing to look at how online trading, and the recent recession, has changed the way you do business. 

Trading in the 21st century is completely different to the way it was a couple of decades ago. At that time computers were not a big part of small business.  Whilst it is costly to set up a bricks and mortar business, it can be extremely cost effective to start a business online.  Customers and clients, now potentially from all over the world, can surf sites for the cheapest deals out there making the markets more competitive.

Business owners have to keep prices down as much as possible, which in some cases leads to a downturn in the availability of jobs, unless you have a skill in demand.

We would love to hear your own personal stories.  Please contact us at: newsletter@optimise-firstfound.co.uk