Thursday, 9 February 2017

Small Business Stuff

As I couldn't find an appropriate picture for the rant in this post, I figured on using a jump for joy shot from my daughter's portfolio.

There have been several media stories about certain UK banks letting down small business customers and, in some cases, pulling the plug on them and then stripping the assets to add millions to the bank's profits. Guess this has been going on for years with several entrepreneurs being forced into bankruptcy.

Most banks offer  the services of a small business adviser and yet the few of this ilk that I have encountered are either so fresh out of university that they have no REAL business experience or, are so institutionalized that they are climbing their way up the hierarchical structure ... fueled by demands to attain sales targets ... that they probably cannot even spell entrepreneur, let alone be one or have any idea of the creative small business mind set.

My wife and I have been there and speak from experience. Our first business was a holiday chalet. It made money. Next was an hotel and it lost money. Then we bought a shop  and it made some money but not enough profit so I became a private hire minicab driver. Then a writer, then a magazine editor ... then a life coach ... well you get the point. We have been around the small business block a few times and have a few scars.

I had been self employed since the 1960's,providing interim management and trouble shooting services to clients in the public and private sectors. The other ventures were to provide income during 'between assignment' periods and to allow use to spend time with our children whilst still earning some loot.

Which is probably why we can now look at some local retail start-ups and almost always predict those which will fail within the first year. This has nothing to do with bank rip-offs, domestic strife or a culture of blame and everything to do with their ignorance of the most basic of business fundamentals,

Next time I am in this 'bah-humbug-old-man mindset' I shall list my top ten indicators of business failure that are so obvious that we wonder why they are not common knowledge. No MBA is required to understand them.

Unlike our recent acquisition of our first 'smartphone'. A week into ownership and even after locating an on-line manual that is about as useful as a chocolate Stanley knife ... I have only one word to describe our experience so far ......
AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!