Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. So goes the old proverb.
It’s a maxim that Amjed Ali swears by. He concentrates on saving a bit here and a bit there. It’s kept him going for 34 years at his business, Your Store, in Falkirk in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. He doesn’t sell National Lottery tickets, doesn’t sell news. “I’ve got rid of all the services worth less than five per cent commission. What’s the point in doing £10K a week if it’s all in telephone top-ups?” So out went Cashzone.
He was making only one per cent on utilities and two per cent on top-ups. And as I reported previously, he is paying off his mortgage with the money he is saving from Menzies’ carriage charges on newspapers.
The cash and carry charges £10 or £11 for an outer of a dozen Pot Noodles whereas he can buy them individually in pound shops at two for £1.
So he buys from local stores in his area and sells just groceries and booze.
He rang me to say that he had had a misunderstanding with another local store who he thought had barred him for selling on some products he purchased from them (they hadn’t; I checked with head office) but he double checked it with trading standards which made two points very clear to him. One is that, once you’ve bought something, it is yours and you can do whatever you like with it. And on banning customers – you can bar whomever you like (or, more to the point, whomever you don’t like). You don’t need a reason.