always possible x independent retail: helping entrepreneurs to build on their bravery
Independent retail is the backbone of any thriving high street, capturing the spirit of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and the joy of discovery. Yet, amidst evolving consumer expectations, market saturation, and the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, the landscape for independent retailers is increasingly challenging.
always possible specialises in helping ambitious businesses grasp their role in the economy, society, and culture – boosting income and visibility by thinking strategically about impact and influence.
We only work with brands that want to be famous for more than just what they sell. People who aspire to be investible, credible and visible for the experiences they create, the social change they embody and the people-centred values by which they live.
Our team takes a tailored approach to co-designing long-term solutions that tackle lack of confidence or clarity. We build on your bravery for sticking your neck out in the first place, with actionable steps that drive results.
Since 2020, we have helped over 60 independent retailers and manufacturers take new products to market, creating over 75 new jobs.
Here are some examples of how we help retail entrepreneurs with strategy, planning, and impact to overcome key pain points.
1. Market positioning
In a saturated market, why and how should people find you?
How we help
We have good instincts for trends and opportunities, using data and cross-sector market intelligence to understand changing economic behaviours. With stakeholder mapping and tools for prioritising finite resources and energy, we can help you get in front of the right people.
Our aim? To help you feel confident about your USP and how to pitch it – not just in your sector, but in geographic eco-systems. So that you are seen as regional leaders with big ambitions and something to say.
Spotlight: In The Loop Drinks
In The Loop had a very local focus in the early days, spending huge amounts of time negotiating with small stockists. With our help, they had the confidence to go a bit bigger, reaching out to (inter)national spirit retailers and being clearer in an approach to PR and storytelling.
2. Strategic Planning
Running customer-facing sites, managing staff, and keeping the books can leave little time for long-term planning.
How we help:
Our 1:1 critical friendship sessions and strategic support equip you with the tools to future-proof your business, from diversification strategies to complex decision-making. You’ll walk away with a roadmap that aligns with your vision and market realities.
Spotlight: Beach Green Hotel
Strategic planning with always possible led to a clear white paper, setting out the case for capital investment. Beach Green has a vision to be a carbon negative, state-of-the-art training restaurant and hotel for 100s of apprentices. The focus was not just growth but smart, ethical growth that benefits the wider community – and we helped them articulate their strategic plans and value in front of local decision-makers and funders.
3. Confidence to Reach Further
Branding isn’t just a logo; it’s the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers.
How we help:
We delve deep into your business ethos, helping you crystallise your brand narrative. Through our communication strategies, we bring clarity to your value proposition and connect you with your target market effectively.
Spotlight: Eco Skincare
Through our innovative mentoring programme for female founders, always possible helped Emma build leadership confidence and look in depth at getting into new markets. We were pleased to be able to offer start-up support to a business building an impact-driven model.
4. Sustainability and Social Impact
Increasingly, consumers seek to make purchases that align with their values.
How we help:
We guide you in adopting sustainable practices that are more than just a selling point but a core part of your business model. From wellbeing to netzero, working with schools to charity partnerships – we help you create actionable plans.
Spotlight: Aldershaw Handmade Tiles Ltd
Working with always possible helped Aldershaw secure funding for low-waste, energy-efficient kiln equipment – thereby driving their sustainability goals.
5. Growth and Productivity
Scaling a retail business is like mountaineering in pyjamas. At first, it feels overwhelming and you feel ill-equipped. However, strategic thinking, creative problem-solving and practical bravery can take you to new heights.
How we help:
We can be a strategic partner giving external perspective, asking challenging questions and mining the opportunities you might miss. From workshops with your team, to support with building a thriving culture and expanding operations.
The multi award-winning SuperLooper came to us facing the classic dilemmas many growing retailers confront: how to scale efficiently, how to maintain a unique market position, and how to increase productivity without diluting quality or ethos. A business with a strong commitment to sustainability, we helped them lean-in to the complexity of how to grow without compromising their environmental principles.