I often see press coverage that the local high street is dying, but on my travels up and down Fleet Road I see new businesses opening and thriving.

In particular, my local Café Amici, run by Anna Vallone. It never ceases to amaze me just how busy they always are; but then again, it’s a family run business managed by people who care and are passionate about what they do. They are incredibly hard working and genuinely nice people.

For me, it’s not about retail or non retail, it’s about making yourself relevant and accessible. People buy from people and that’s why I walk past a number of other cafés on my way to Café Amici for a coffee/lunch most days of the week. There is a running joke in our company where my colleague Steve, who works out of our Hartley Wintney office for many years, always takes ages to get his sandwich in the high street due to his constant meetings with various clients he had or was representing, stopping to chat and delaying his sandwich mission!

So forget the high street debate and engage with your customers – show them you care, you are relevant and you’re good at what you do. Just like Café Amici.