Regulation is a big threat to business success and because treats are a major part of most local shops’ sales regulation politicians want a say in how your business works. In response, you need to influence as many politicians as possible and that means you need to take part in trade associations to get your message across.

Last week, PepsiCo announced it would cut salt and sugar in its products by a quarter over the next 10 years. It wants to sell more of its “good for you” products. This appears to meet the needs of regulators.

However, you have to question what is likely to happen. Surely, over time, big food companies have perfected recipes that shoppers enjoy. As the cost of food has fallen in real terms, shoppers then enjoy too much.

In the European Union, a debate has been raging about what size a portion is. Agreement on the size is needed so that regulators can say how much sugar and salt is in the food that the consumer is about to eat or drink.

But on the flip side of this, surely there is a risk that as the sugar and salt content falls, consumers will simply eat more product. On the plus side, that means that you will be selling more. On the minus side, that means the regulators will be thinking up even more ways to make it difficult for shoppers to find treats in your shop.

Independent businesses do not have much leverage over politicians. They often think that your standards are lower than those of the multiples. You need to tell them what the world will look like five years from now and why having shops like yours trading will make that world a better place. To do this, you need to work with like minded traders to get a consistent message across. It may seem like hard work but it is work that might protect your investment from the impact of well intentioned but harmful regulation.