View Full Version : Business advice going- act now


TJC1
18-11-2010, 16:13
Just had a long chat with a reliable source. Services are dissapearing, such as Business link workshops due to cuts (thanks Geroge!). If you want to go on one, and some are really good, act now because they wont be here in 6 months.

Tony
18-11-2010, 19:15
Something else will be along and in the meantime you can pay for the 'really good' ones.

spooky3
18-11-2010, 19:30
Something else will be along and in the meantime you can pay for the 'really good' ones.

There already is, heard Dave mention it on PM Q's yesterday, forget what it's called though.

indizine
18-11-2010, 21:09
Local enterprise partnerships is the 'new' name for the same old, same old, coming from a renamed pot of money.

Paddy1967
23-11-2010, 13:59
teh new govt has a lot of rhetoric about supporting business - but they have actually cut some of the support - maybe it is just taking a while for them to get there act together about how to support business

TJC1
23-11-2010, 15:51
Rhetoric and fluff- the govts political agenda encourages entrepreneurs to be dependent on the private sector.

mjr2000
23-11-2010, 16:29
LEP's, as sandra says, same old, same old.

Nothing new, nothing fresh and more to the point, no money ACTUALLY going where its needed, which is small enterprise.

We could do with some investment, the banks are useless and there is no funding from anywhere. The private sector are the only people that will bail this country out, but we get nothing in the way of help in doing this.

TJC1
23-11-2010, 16:47
Exacta-mundo,
Caught between a rock and a hard place, i think is the expression.

indizine
23-11-2010, 17:02
Its a shame they cant find a way to incentivise growth in return for financial bonuses, that way only those actually contributing to the economy (ie paying taxes via income tax, NI, CT, etc) actually get rewarded - up to a certain point of course.

I also think you should have a licence to be in business, like a business passport, to stop the scammers, cowboys and what have you.

TJC1
23-11-2010, 17:13
Like the incentives.
Dont like the license idea though, that wasnt one of your better ones, should we not be getting rid of beaurocratic processes?

indizine
23-11-2010, 18:11
If you saw what I have seen you would perhaps consider it a good idea ;)

And no, why should we get rid of every process? Why does everyone think business should be so simple you just fill in a form and a cheque arrives within 28 days. This isn't a Kellogs witty caption competition yet so many folk think getting funding and gov support should be easy to get and don't see why they should jump through hoops to get it.

I don't agree something should be so difficult it ends up not being financially worth it, but Lord, I know plenty that didn't want to complete a business plan that would have been eligible for 3k for a ne website, logo, blah blah. They wanted those things but idn't want to fill in a form and a useful document (hardly a waste of time) for their own business. Therefore why should those people get my taxes?

My point about having a license is to ensure those competent and ethical enough run a business, get to apply for the funded support in whatever guise that may come. That way, you are proven to be worthy. Again, you need to have seen what I have seen to know what I mean. I can't divulge any examples but take my word for it.

So many wannabe's and have-a-go's who want to get rich quick for as cheap as they can and as funded as they can. The point here is that if they can't get it for free or cheap, they usually don't proceed whereas someone else with a different mindset will find a way, or start within their means and be realistic about it. You only have to read those threads "i've got this great idea, it's the next big thing, I just need your money to help me succeed" to see what I mean.

TJC1
23-11-2010, 18:35
I maybe came across a bit judgemental there, my apologies if I did ,most of your advice is spot-on.

My point is who decides whether an individual is good to trade?

who decides who is competent or not?

and dont we already have measures in place to decide the things which are cut and dried such as credit reports?

I think this is more an individual / ethical stance. Me personally, I have no problem with get rich quick schemes or those out to make a quick buck. I also have no problem, for example, with those in the 'adult' industries accessing mainstream help aslong as they are within a set of legal guidelines (not ethical).

I've had problems with this myself with another enterprise, and its really frustrating to know there is a market for your product yet some organisations dont wish to touch it on 'ethical' grounds or because a set of stuffy shareholders are non-sympathetic to certain Businesses. In this case my Business was denied access to certain support, by a well know institution, on the grounds that it incited violence to women and promoted soft porn. In reality it was non of those things yet a judgement was passed without any discourse or right to reply.

I dont expect everyone to agree with my ideology and it could be argued that if tax payers money goes towards such things they should have a say on the matter,

but if we live in a society that promotes true enterprise, the economy will grow and ultimately the tax payer will benefit.

Tony
23-11-2010, 18:52
It's one of the more bonkers ideas that you'll hear on these forums, I assume that a cheek was firmly planted in a cheek.

denise853b
23-11-2010, 20:22
We started our buisness from nothing ..buisness link etc are a total waist of time
if you really want to succeed you will.. I agree The private sector are the only people that will bail this country out if we were not over taxed we could use that money to employ people to help expand and run our buisness .... but instead that money is used in benefits etc and we are totally burnt out ..STUPID !

indizine
23-11-2010, 22:00
Well not forgetting, it's only my opinion - not advice - something we are always bound to have differences on. It's just that because of my working background and having experienced a good couple of thousand start ups and monitored their data and seen hundreds of business plans and businesses start ups personally myself, I have a good idea of those who will make it and those who won't. You'd need to have seen what I have to know what I fully mean and I appreciate you're not able to do that. I'm not going to be 100% correct every time, course i'm not, but on the whole I would be close.

By competency I mean people who have had to properly learn how to run a business rather than having a stab at it. For example, and I have even seen it on this forum, where someone has been adding VAT onto their prices because they had to pay it when they bought the products wholesale, then adding vat on and stating it as 'plus vat' when they are not even registered for vat themselves, thus technically illegal collecting vat and not sending it on to HMRC. This is actually not so uncommon, but it is done in ignorance which is down to not having bothered to educate themselves and just done it before asking and checking.

Likewise, employing people and not having liability insurance in place then panicking when their staff member slipped and broke their arm on a wet floor that had no 'wet floor' sign because the cleaner (who was paid cash in hand and not on the books and was on benefits and thought 3 hrs a week was 'ok') didn't realise they should have put one there but couldn't have anyway, as the employer failed to provide them with one. Ouch.

All these errors are a cost to someone. Mistakes are one thing, but mistakes that are down to a lack of knowledge when the answers exist and could be avoided, is another.

So if funding went on a proper course that educated the business owner they would sign to say they had learned X, Y and Z then if there was any recourse, 'whover' could refer to their licence and say 'you signed to say you were informed of the H&S or the insurance requirements, so you ignored it at your peril rather than claim ignorance or that 'you just didn't realise' or that you 'didnt think it applied to you'.

Surely that's got to be more useful to everyone and reduce the pain and heartache poeple suffer becaue of mistakes made? Better than yet another networking masterclass, that's all i'm saying.

You're right that gov funding won't touch certain things and they were anything that was of a sexual, religious, gambling or poliical nature, or anything that "sailed close to the wind" was always the statutory line in the contract. I also don't see a problem, this is 2010 after all, however I guess the gov has an image to protect and those sorts of things can cause a lot of problems with activity that may cross the border into an illegal nature, shall we say, more than for example, a hair salon might do. Or cause some sort of local, regional or country-wide discomfort in some way.

Anyway, I know it wont happen in our life time and maybe never. People make money out of other people's mistakes after all.

denise853b
23-11-2010, 22:22
People do make a lot of money out of other peoples mistakes I agree !
but then quite a few multi millionaire buisness people in the Uk have gone bust at some point ... dont be afraid to try...try ..try
we went from a little hair salon to a buisness turning over well over a million with our own brand of hair products this is us http://www.shehair.com/
I really believe if u really want it u can achieve it

denise853b
23-11-2010, 22:25
Made mistakes of course I did , started with a bad accountant and had bad advise ..then changed to a top accountant suttom mcgraph and a fantasic Vat adviser Rob Burton and never looked back

steveroberts
24-11-2010, 07:31
Sandra

going back to your license comment.

Have to completely disagree; in a free market and free country, you cannot license entrepreneurship...countries like the Soviet Union tried this and it ended up in economic disaster.

I agree that not all businesses are ethical, but ethics is a matter of opinion (as you quite rightly point out).

Ultimately it is 'buyer beware'...if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!

indizine
24-11-2010, 09:25
Thats ok, like I say, its impossible for us all to agree.

But as also said, there's a side that most people dont get to see of what goes on about starting up and your hard earned tax going on funding to those who simply waste it due to playing at being in business and that's why my opinion is why it is, it's not just an oinion I thought 'would be a good idea' it's an opinion that would solve a lot of money being wasted. Your money actually. And I mean a licence for new start ups, so that in this day and age and economy, they can start on the right foot and also prevent the bad ones popping back up. I wasn't quite thinking TV licence style lol!

Tony
24-11-2010, 09:36
If there were less 'business support' and freebies wouldn't that discourage the 'amateurs' that you dislike?

By your own reckoning isn't the solution to pay less to consultants like you?

indizine
24-11-2010, 09:52
Tony are you aiming that 'you' at me?

If so then i've no idea what you are referring to but please enlighten me! Is there something happening in my business I don't know about? Am I sleepwalking and being a consultant whilst I sleep? Love to know so that I can bill whoever I am being employed by to consult!

PS I wouldnt say I dislike them at all, I may not agree with it and I may think its a waste of money but the people have mostly been a joy to work with in fact I can barely think of 1 client who I 'disliked' in my enterprise-related jobs.

I do think consultants should be paid their worth but that's up to the buyer to choose what they are prepared to pay and if the gov wants to pay less, they should set their contracts at lower rates and see what they get in return. The market will either bow to it or refuse it. But no I havent said or inferred that the answer is to pay anyone less though of course lowering anyone's wage bill will always help. Depends if what you get as a result is actually a real saving, or whether you get less quality of committment in return thus is there really a saving. ie peanuts and monkeys.

I do agree less freebies, perhaps make people pay for it if they really need it but then, you'd just get all those who dont see why they should pay, doing it even less educated than they are now, and making more mistakes. Theres always gonna be an argument for and against, but which is the lesser evil I guess.

Tony
24-11-2010, 10:06
Not aimed at you specifically indizine but you do make a lot of your past work and you'll also note my signature. Maybe you were just an easy moving target since you suggested the licence to be in business. Out of interest what qualifies you to run a mail forwarding and telephone answering service? [insertsmileyofchoice]

Back to the discussion:

The freebies make it very difficult to justify anything of real value once you get outside London. When combined with the vast array of daft courses and support if undermines what is of real worth. Why should a new entrant to business know that they don't need to power up their twitter and Linkedin?

Here's a pertinent example. CO2Sense, part of Yorkshire Forward. Carbon reduction is the leading light of business investment and it shows - just look at the list of 43 people (http://www.co2sense.org.uk/meet-the-team) working for them thanks to the taxpayer - what on earth do they all do!?! I'm sure they will have an annual report and achieved KPI's to tell us.

In reality what they provide is marginal at best and at worst a complete waste of money. All of what they do could be better delivered through other means at a fraction of the cost. In the meantime they are building markets that don't need building and encouraging people to enter that frankly should stick to selling used cars and dodgy double glazing.

indizine
24-11-2010, 10:27
Well that's why I askled if it was me or not but it looked like it was. I've never sold consultancy services to anything enterprise related. Everything I do is voluntary. I have sold my services on a DWP contract (employment and support allowance software) but that's totally unrelated to this topic.

I make references to my work on this thread having been a business advisor and business start up manager at Doncaster Chamber and having been enterprise director at sheffield chamber running senta, and delivering Busines Link and other national gov funded contracts totalling anywhere between 1.2 and 1.7 million a year (as per bids I submitted and won whilst at Sheffield) so I think i'm well qualified to know what i'm talking about as it's relevant here to this thread topic, don't you think? It is about BL funded courses. And this forum is for open discussion on the thread topic.

But please, do refrain form making your comments personal and off topic. My businesses have nothing to do with this thread topic, and further more, Theo Phaphitis knows nothing about knickers but it didn't stop him from running a knicker shop :P:D - seriously, I do have experience and knowledge and staff to run it and also, I never even spotted your sig, let alone clicked whatever is behind that link so i've no idea who you are or what you do and it doesn't matter. This is discussion based on what we read. I make reference to what I've done so that what I am saying has substance to it apart from just reading like its some plucked out of the air opinion.

L00b
24-11-2010, 10:31
If there were less 'business support' and freebies wouldn't that discourage the 'amateurs' that you dislike?In my experience, in the absence of funded support/freebies, 'amateurs' just try haggling or leaving a tab with non-free/non-supporting-unless-you-pay-me professionals instead. Which, depending on one's credit control procedures, doesn't get them very far (or even started :D) at all.

And in direct connection with the above...
The freebies make it very difficult to justify anything of real value once you get outside London....this is very true.

Tony
24-11-2010, 10:48
I make references to my work on this thread having been a business advisor and business start up manager at Doncaster Chamber and having been enterprise director at sheffield chamber running senta, and delivering Busines Link and other national gov funded contracts totalling anywhere between 1.2 and 1.7 million a year (as per bids I submitted and won whilst at Sheffield) so I think i'm well qualified to know what i'm talking about as it's relevant here to this thread topic, don't you think?
That's a part of the problem and one of the reasons why the Chamber is viewed with huge scepticism by the majority of business that I come across. On the one hand it's just a self perpetuating commercial money making business and at the other it's like the masons. Their courses are usually of better quality but they should be - they charge more in addition to the subsidies that they get. That's not meant as an indictment, just an observation.

NB, this is natural thread drift relevant to the topic not off topic chat. ^^^

And yes, let's not make it personal or about you.

It's just that because of my working background and having experienced a good couple of thousand start ups and monitored their data and seen hundreds of business plans and businesses start ups personally myself, I have a good idea of those who will make it and those who won't. You'd need to have seen what I have to know what I fully mean and I appreciate you're not able to do that. I'm not going to be 100% correct every time, course i'm not, but on the whole I would be close.
[insertsecondsmileyofchoice]

indizine
24-11-2010, 11:47
The funding never went into chamber coffers - it cant do but then you wouldn't know that I suppose. Chamber courses are nothing to do with BL and the courses SENTA ran for BL. SCCI wholly owns senta but it cant spend its money on chamber activity.

And I was referring to you referring to my own businesses which are not related to this thread, not what I have done that is VERY relavant to this thread.

Tony
24-11-2010, 11:55
SCCI, SENTA, BL, BiG, YF, SCC, HCDT, BND... on and on and on it goes with public money for old rope. This is why it has all been brought to a close for reassessment.

But OK, going back to your earlier points, how does your previous 'other widespread' experience qualify you for a 'licence for business' for a business that you know nothing about? What has competence at filling in VAT forms got to do with answering phones for 3rd parties? One is a business service that can be bought, the other is the service that you offer to your customers. Moral issues aside, that's basically why your idea of pre-qual for business is a non-starter.

Maybe I'm making more than necessary of what might have been an the cuff remark - am I?

DavidRa
24-11-2010, 12:18
That's a part of the problem and one of the reasons why the Chamber is viewed with huge scepticism by the majority of business that I come across. On the one hand it's just a self perpetuating commercial money making business and at the other it's like the masons. Their courses are usually of better quality but they should be - they charge more in addition to the subsidies that they get. That's not meant as an indictment, just an observation.

NB, this is natural thread drift relevant to the topic not off topic chat. ^^^

And yes, let's not make it personal or about you.


[insertsecondsmileyofchoice]
I am not a member of any Chamber of commerce but many years ago went to the junior chamber Chamber in Barnsley.
The chamber would not have anyone renew their membership if it was not worthwhile and would not continue as an organisation.
I feel it is a sweeping comment to say that its a money making business and like the masons is that freemasons or stonemasons I do not see the connection.

Tony
24-11-2010, 12:30
Perhaps you could re-read the post that you quoted again DavidRa, in particular the bit where it says 'not an indictment'. It would be interesting to know how many renew their membership after the second and third years though and what reasons are given for non-renewal. That said, they provide a service, they make no secrets about the services they provide and how they provide them and it is quite right that they should operate to make money if not profit. There are also plenty of other organisations that provide an alternative.

They are different in many ways to Business Link but I personally feel that they have fallen into the same trap of chasing public money and public patronage for their own ends alone. Through this and by becoming so embedded in the new LEP's they have lost their real independence and I would suggest their usefulness to many members.

Business Link is easy to get rid of as are the RDA's. It would be a shame for the chambers and LEP's to see themselves as a replacement rather than an opportunity to do things differently. For now my own hopes are high, so let's see how it goes.

indizine
24-11-2010, 13:16
What business don't I have experience in that I run Tony?

One is a business service that can be bought, the other is the service that you offer to your customers - I Just didn't get that line at all.

The licence for business I do not mean about the skill involved! Surely you didn't mean for one minute that's what I meant? I am referring to a licence that is awarded when some basic training/education has been undertaken for all the legal basic requirements such as H&S, HR, Tax, VAT, NI, Insurances, Licences, Registrations and so on - which is why I made references to the msitake with VAT, not having H&S in place, etc - I never mentioned anything about skills related to the service or product being sold.

Tony
24-11-2010, 13:26
Surely aren't the skills to actually do the business more important than the ancillary skills that you can buy in?

What you are suggesting is that anyone can set up in any trade but only if they know one end of a VAT form (etc) from another and have a licence to prove it. Under your scheme I could set up tomorrow as a web designer and take loads of money from your customers and it's ok that I don't know how to turn on the computer so long as I have a PAYE scheme in place and a licence to flash under the nose of your previous clients.

Isn't that just a bit stark staring bonkers?

It hasn't really got legs has it?

mjr2000
24-11-2010, 14:26
The "Business License" would never or should work.

Dragons Den probably would never exist if that was the case.

If i had an idea, a great idea, but was clueless about how to do payroll, accounts etc and i needed a licence to allow it to happen, then the chances are it wouldn't happen.

If the licence was given, on say, the product and service, who would be the "examiner"? Who would decide whether I "passed" and how would they be qualified in say something completely new?

All we end up with, is a bunch of overpaid, yet again, government offshoots trying to dictate who is responsible to be in business.

I had my first business when i was 19, and under the licence idea, i would have never been able to, i didnt know enough. But i had that business for 2 years, and it gave me enormous amount of experience and confidence, im 36 now, so when i set up my new business over the last 18 months, i was in a far better position to be in. So does that mean i would now be right for a licence?

I do agree with regards to ability and trying to get around the "cowboy" element, but i think most people on here have had a bad experience once or twice in the past, but you learn from it and look more closely at someones work, the recommendations. Its called doing your homework.

indizine
24-11-2010, 14:31
I never suggested anything of the sort Tony. Why don't you just stick to reading what I write and not infer I am saying something else completely?

And yes skills are important, whoever said they weren't?

However, BL doesn't provide courses on the business owner being able to do the skill - they presume they already can do it. That's not the discussion in this thread so not sure why you are bringing that into the equasion of this topic. We aren't even discussing skills of a businesses actual services.

The topic in this thread is about funding for BL courses and advisory support and that's what I am discussing here and hence my opinion about a licence which is given as a result of undertaking the same sort of learning, but in a more official manner. I think you're reading inot this as if it's some sort of judge and jury with an exam to follow.

It doesn't have to have legs, it's a mere opinion. I dont think it should be something to put people off, but rather, to educate them beforehand. What's wrong with that? You only have to look on all the business forums at all the hundreds and thousands of questions on such topics to know there is a demand for the knowledge, albeit usually when the fingerds have been burnt or are suddenly in a predicament.

Tony
24-11-2010, 14:34
Then we're agreed that a licence is a complete non starter.

indizine
24-11-2010, 14:38
Tony, you have an opinion. It just differs with mine. I don't agree with you at all and you dont agree with me. Big deal, maybe you like cheese and I dont, so what? The world would be boring if we all saw it the same way and agreed on everything.

L00b
24-11-2010, 14:45
Dragons Den probably would never exist if that was the case.

If i had an idea, a great idea, but was clueless about how to do payroll, accounts etc and i needed a licence to allow it to happen, then the chances are it wouldn't happen.Do you know much about intellectual property?

Dragons won't invest in anything unless there is good IP in place, with revenue forecast and a solid not-on-the-back-of-a-fag-packet business plan. Just like any other VC, really.

So, if you had an idea, a great idea, and wanted the Dragons' money to make it a multi-million seller, you would already need a business and a turnover (or funding in place) to support IP registrations well before you make it to the applicants shortlist, then perhaps to the studios, then unlikely-but-you-just-never-know to an investment deal ;) (PS: it's the same deal in real life).

Now, in my experience, far (far far far) fewer businesses understand IP, what it is, how important it is to their activities or not, whether they need to register any of it, etc. than "payroll, accounts etc."

What does that tell you? ;)

That Sandra's idea -once understood and not arbitrarily trivialised- has actually got legs. I don't believe Sandra is advocating for a "right to enterprise"-type of license, but more of a certification that a would-be entrepreneur is at least aware of (not necessarily proficient in) the essential issues which his/her business must take into account to survive. Think of it as a badge certifying an amount of knowledge/business education acquired from BL, and you will start to understand the concept.

The killer issue is that it seems completely impossible to implement/roll out economically, without a serious shake-up of the education cursus (say, in secondary grade, where students would do a business module which covers such issues in at least basic form, so that future/would-be entrepreneurs at least know what to ask about/research more, rather than have-a-go-being-a-babe-in-the-woods).

mjr2000
24-11-2010, 14:48
So perhaps i shouldn't have been in business at 19 then?

I dont know anything about you, so if you have a licence to be in business, does that mean your necessarily any good at web design?

Similarly, if you have a licence for web design, does that mean your business is any good?

The argument is too flawed and couldn't work.

Been members of trade bodies and iso9001 etc would be more beneficial.

indizine
24-11-2010, 14:50
Did I say that? What's age got to do with it?

And again, whats skills got to do with anything I have said here today? Zilch!!

I'm not even here to convince you, its an opinion I have! Lord anyone would think I was introducing the new Business Licence bill in parliament tomorrow!

Whatever I have said is just being take out of all context because you disagree. Just disagree, dont invent things I haven't even talked about!

indizine
24-11-2010, 14:55
Do you know much about intellectual property?

Dragons won't invest in anything unless there is good IP in place, with revenue forecast and a solid not-on-the-back-of-a-fag-packet business plan. Just like any other VC, really.

So, if you had an idea, a great idea, and wanted the Dragons' money to make it a multi-million seller, you would already need a business and a turnover (or funding in place) to support IP registrations well before you make it to the applicants shortlist, then perhaps to the studios, then unlikely-but-you-just-never-know to an investment deal ;) (PS: it's the same deal in real life).

Now, in my experience, far (far far far) fewer businesses understand IP, what it is, how important it is to their activities or not, whether they need to register any of it, etc. than "payroll, accounts etc."

What does that tell you? ;)

That Sandra's idea -once understood and not arbitrarily trivialised- has actually got legs. I don't believe Sandra is advocating for a "right to enterprise"-type of license, but more of a certification that a would-be entrepreneur is at least aware of (not necessarily proficient in) the essential issues which his/her business must take into account to survive. Think of it as a badge certifying an amount of knowledge/business education acquired from BL, and you will start to understand the concept.

The killer issue is that it seems completely impossible to implement/roll out economically, without a serious shake-up of the education cursus (say, in secondary grade, where students would do a business module which covers such issues in at least basic form, so that future/would-be entrepreneurs at least know what to ask about/research more, rather than have-a-go-being-a-babe-in-the-woods).

Hallelujah! Someone here has finally fully read my posts and read only what I wrote and not read something I did not write. Age :loopy: skills :gag: :help:

TJC1
24-11-2010, 15:13
Well not forgetting, it's only my opinion - not advice - something we are always bound to have differences on. It's just that because of my working background and having experienced a good couple of thousand start ups and monitored their data and seen hundreds of business plans and businesses start ups personally myself, I have a good idea of those who will make it and those who won't. You'd need to have seen what I have to know what I fully mean and I appreciate you're not able to do that. I'm not going to be 100% correct every time, course i'm not, but on the whole I would be close.

By competency I mean people who have had to properly learn how to run a business rather than having a stab at it. For example, and I have even seen it on this forum, where someone has been adding VAT onto their prices because they had to pay it when they bought the products wholesale, then adding vat on and stating it as 'plus vat' when they are not even registered for vat themselves, thus technically illegal collecting vat and not sending it on to HMRC. This is actually not so uncommon, but it is done in ignorance which is down to not having bothered to educate themselves and just done it before asking and checking.

Likewise, employing people and not having liability insurance in place then panicking when their staff member slipped and broke their arm on a wet floor that had no 'wet floor' sign because the cleaner (who was paid cash in hand and not on the books and was on benefits and thought 3 hrs a week was 'ok') didn't realise they should have put one there but couldn't have anyway, as the employer failed to provide them with one. Ouch.

All these errors are a cost to someone. Mistakes are one thing, but mistakes that are down to a lack of knowledge when the answers exist and could be avoided, is another.

So if funding went on a proper course that educated the business owner they would sign to say they had learned X, Y and Z then if there was any recourse, 'whover' could refer to their licence and say 'you signed to say you were informed of the H&S or the insurance requirements, so you ignored it at your peril rather than claim ignorance or that 'you just didn't realise' or that you 'didnt think it applied to you'.

Surely that's got to be more useful to everyone and reduce the pain and heartache poeple suffer becaue of mistakes made? Better than yet another networking masterclass, that's all i'm saying.

You're right that gov funding won't touch certain things and they were anything that was of a sexual, religious, gambling or poliical nature, or anything that "sailed close to the wind" was always the statutory line in the contract. I also don't see a problem, this is 2010 after all, however I guess the gov has an image to protect and those sorts of things can cause a lot of problems with activity that may cross the border into an illegal nature, shall we say, more than for example, a hair salon might do. Or cause some sort of local, regional or country-wide discomfort in some way.

Anyway, I know it wont happen in our life time and maybe never. People make money out of other people's mistakes after all.

You speak truth and wisdom, but you also speak with the benefit and hindsight of a lot of experience.

For me you can have all the qualifications in the world, go on extensive courses and STILL make quite rudimentary mistakes because it is so easy to take your eye off the ball on a day to day basis when things get hectic.

However, I concede there should be more preparation and learning BEFORE taking the plunge into self-employment, minimising the risk somewhat.

The liability insurance example and VAT examples are basic things though (do people make these mistakes?). I started off in self employment as a one man band a year ago and still dont employ people on full time contracts because I wish to grow organically and learn more and dont believe you should be taking on the responsibility of peoples livelihoods and management of people before equipped to do so.

Ive seen too many people over expose themselves because they want all the trimmings of success, want to have people working for them, want the car, want the kudos, yet they fail because they had everything too soon before trully learning about the industry they are in.
(two examples are starting a bar / restaurant without ever having worked in the trade, and starting a magazine without much experience in the media).

Practical courses are needed and I do think there should be a testing ground for start-ups. I like the Peter Jones college scheme for example, albeit only for 16-18 year olds.

Business degrees are limited because Universities are always 6 months behind (at least) the commercial world in teaching. And having a Business degree doesnt qualify you for running a Business usually. But its a start.

The best option is getting private sector coaching and courses- but it costs.

So that leads us full circle back to Business Link (or its re-incarnation)??

mjr2000
24-11-2010, 15:49
Hallelujah! Someone here has finally fully read my posts and read only what I wrote and not read something I did not write. Age skills

The reason i put my age was to signify what i did then. It was an event in time.
My point was that back then, i didnt have the greatest understanding of business, even though i had been on enterprise courses, so technically speaking i may have got a "licence" but it wouldnt have meant anything. The actual running of the business gave me the experience and understanding and not the pre-information.

I do agree that having some guidance may help, but that information is freely available anyhow, just look on the internet.

One of my factual points with regards to what i do, is that 53% of businesess still havent done a fire risk assessment. This includes new startups as well as established businesses.

There is relevance to the "licence" of informing the new startups, but legislation changes constantly, so the "licence" may have been sufficient say two years ago, but how does the business know what is required now?

If something happens, does this mean that the business can say, "well i did get my licence two years ago, so i must be ok"

I still have businesses telling me its ok we have a fire certificate. The use of them was withdrawn in 2006.

How to run a business, taxation, legislation changes are fluid and change, a "licence" only says you were ok then, how about now?

DavidRa
24-11-2010, 15:59
You speak truth and wisdom, but you also speak with the benefit and hindsight of a lot of experience.

For me you can have all the qualifications in the world, go on extensive courses and STILL make quite rudimentary mistakes because it is so easy to take your eye off the ball on a day to day basis when things get hectic.

However, I concede there should be more preparation and learning BEFORE taking the plunge into self-employment, minimising the risk somewhat.

The liability insurance example and VAT examples are basic things though (do people make these mistakes?). I started off in self employment as a one man band a year ago and still dont employ people on full time contracts because I wish to grow organically and learn more and dont believe you should be taking on the responsibility of peoples livelihoods and management of people before equipped to do so.

Ive seen too many people over expose themselves because they want all the trimmings of success, want to have people working for them, want the car, want the kudos, yet they fail because they had everything too soon before trully learning about the industry they are in.
(two examples are starting a bar / restaurant without ever having worked in the trade, and starting a magazine without much experience in the media).

Practical courses are needed and I do think there should be a testing ground for start-ups. I like the Peter Jones college scheme for example, albeit only for 16-18 year olds.

Business degrees are limited because Universities are always 6 months behind (at least) the commercial world in teaching. And having a Business degree doesnt qualify you for running a Business usually. But its a start.

The best option is getting private sector coaching and courses- but it costs.

So that leads us full circle back to Business Link (or its re-incarnation)??

I agree with most of your post, the point is in all business there is a RISK element often the greater the risk the greater the reward and it is not always about education or intelligence, businesses will continue to start and fail you can go to the best courses available and still fail it may fail because of your own personality,attitude or lack of usp or whatever.
I have been on a couple of Business Link courses which were OK but their advice is generic usually, it will be interesting to see if any new ideas develop with their replacement.

TJC1
24-11-2010, 16:06
Whatever the Business started, the current climate is hard and unpredictable! so like you say its about taking a RISK (but minimising chance of failure).
Licenses, Business link or whatever isnt going to change the fundementals much.

indizine
24-11-2010, 16:18
I haven't said anything specific about what level of 'education' they would achieve the said licence, so I mean its about showing someone what they need to be aware of, things they will need to learn about; thus they may cover the vat but not necessarily be ready, but at least they are now pre-armed. For example, they would be told to check the current vat threshold and keep an eye on it. Once informed about it, there is really no excuse.

Same goes for insurances. Example again, they would be told to seek out what insurances might apply to their industry and cover this in their licence and it would cover those that apply across the board such as employer, public liability, etc, so again, they would know what to get when the time comes.

Likewise H&S example; theyd be taught what is legal immediately, and what applies once you get premises and staff - the legal minimums. Then they would be asked to research and document what applies perhaps to their industry.

Its quite akin to a business plan anyway, this sort of stuff. You'd cover all that was needed to start and run the business correctly.

Its certainly been taken out of context in trying to infer I was relating it to skill, age, competency, etc. I am saying many mistakes were made due to blissful or chosen ignorance and something, my name for it was a licence, better adapted to educate start ups would be better than mundane, rinse and repeat, courses.

Ref the point about having a licence, well landlords still allow drugs to be sold from pubs despite having a licence so no, it doesn't infer you are pefect or competent. Nothing does in this world so why would this? But the fact you have a licence means you have a formal undertaking to adhere to a certain standard to operate.

I am only talking tax, vat, insurances, H&S, HR, etc - things that have minimum legal compliances which, somewhere along the line, affect every business owner at some point or to some degree. Nothing at all to do with competency, attitude, skill, age, or anything else like that. Its about their business needing to comply if you like, but of course they are responsible as an individual.

TJC1
24-11-2010, 16:22
I haven't said anything specific about what level of 'education' they would achieve the said licence, so I mean its about showing someone what they need to be aware of, things they will need to learn about; thus they may cover the vat but not necessarily be ready, but at least they are now pre-armed. For example, they would be told to check the current vat threshold and keep an eye on it. Once informed about it, there is really no excuse.

Same goes for insurances. Example again, they would be told to seek out what insurances might apply to their industry and cover this in their licence and it would cover those that apply across the board such as employer, public liability, etc, so again, they would know what to get when the time comes.

Likewise H&S example; theyd be taught what is legal immediately, and what applies once you get premises and staff - the legal minimums. Then they would be asked to research and document what applies perhaps to their industry.

Its quite akin to a business plan anyway, this sort of stuff. You'd cover all that was needed to start and run the business correctly.

Its certainly been taken out of context in trying to infer I was relating it to skill, age, competency, etc. I am saying many mistakes were made due to blissful or chosen ignorance and something, my name for it was a licence, better adapted to educate start ups would be better than mundane, rinse and repeat, courses.

Ref the point about having a licence, well landlords still allow drugs to be sold from pubs despite having a licence so no, it doesn't infer you are pefect or competent. Nothing does in this world so why would this? But the fact you have a licence means you have a formal undertaking to adhere to a certain standard to operate.

I am only talking tax, vat, insurances, H&S, HR, etc - things that have minimum legal compliances which, somewhere along the line, affect every business owner at some point or to some degree. Nothing at all to do with competency, attitude, skill, age, or anything else like that. Its about their business needing to comply if you like, but of course they are responsible as an individual.

Tax, VAT, insurances- all the things you mentioned are out there. Maybe it is funnelling and channeling people to the right advice that is the problem.

Tony
24-11-2010, 16:23
It is precisely this sort of stifling of business and additional expense and time that we need to move away from, not rush towards.

Thank goodness that it will never happen in a million years.

indizine
24-11-2010, 16:24
And just to add, we have all, including me, made mistakes. I don't believe anyone who says they haven't even if they're just small hassle ones, it's something you can do without if only you had known better.

TJC1 - you have a very valid point there - it may just be that indeed that needs a review and shake-up. I just think something that ensures they all get it would be good, rather than it being optional. I know people who choose to ignore these things or cut corners and these people hope they get away with it and who are often the cause of many problems that exist today.

TJC1
24-11-2010, 16:24
What additional time and expense Tony? can you be more specifc?

indizine
24-11-2010, 16:32
That same time and expense that is currently wasted at the moment ;)

TJC1
24-11-2010, 16:34
And just to add, we have all, including me, made mistakes. I don't believe anyone who says they haven't even if they're just small hassle ones, it's something you can do without if only you had known better.

TJC1 - you have a very valid point there - it may just be that indeed that needs a review and shake-up. I just think something that ensures they all get it would be good, rather than it being optional. I know people who choose to ignore these things or cut corners and these people hope they get away with it and who are often the cause of many problems that exist today.

I know what your getting at, quality control is really important and some people are way too impatient.

Is this aimed at money coming out of public purse or do you have similar opinions on privately funded Businesses?

L00b
24-11-2010, 16:34
And just to add, we have all, including me, made mistakes. I don't believe anyone who says they haven't even if they're just small hassle ones, it's something you can do without if only you had known better.I was just about to post, in the context of the discussion: the words I hear most frequently from new clients are "If only I'd known that before!"

In most cases, at least in my game, a precise and direct cost can be attributed to that lack of knowledge.

In the last such case I dealt with, it was of the order of 10,000 (full re-branding required, with new domain name/literature/etc.) And that's without taking into account the concomittant loss of goodwill occasioned by the process.

An expensive mistake, which a bit of knowledge and online searching (or about 200's worth of my time) could have prevented in the first place.

Not the first occurence, and unlikely to ever be the last, as there are positively innumerable instances of the exact same problem happening time and again over the years, nay decades, with a respective cost ranging from hundreds to millions.

TJC1
24-11-2010, 16:36
I was just about to post, in the context of the discussion: the words I hear most frequently from new clients are "If only I'd known that before!"

In most cases, at least in my game, a precise and direct cost can be attributed to that lack of knowledge.

In the last such case I dealt with, it was of the order of 10,000 (full re-branding required, with new domain name/literature/etc.) And that's without taking into account the concomittant loss of goodwill occasioned by the process.

An expensive mistake, which a bit of knowledge and online searching (or about 200's worth of my time) could have prevented in the first place.

Its sometimes only avoidable when you can see the matrix- like Inidizine! because ive been following theese threads for months and know she has indepth knowledge on a wide range of subjects (you learn to spot the BS)- unlike a few down Business link I wont mention!

mjr2000
24-11-2010, 22:25
Steam Rollers do a good job aswell, but they flatten everything underneath.

Opinion is good, so is experience, doesn't mean that it is relevant or valid though.

LEP's, Business Link, Senta, Chamber etc, etc, etc are the same entity as they always have and will be. They are not particularly useful, certainly not cost effective, yet we still have these in place, because SME's need them, or thats what we are told.

We dont!

Total waste of money, people in there are far too overpaid, i would rather them divide all the money up and give me 1. At least i know that it would be spent more wisely and at least towards MY business.

indizine
25-11-2010, 10:30
Steam rollers flatten everything below to make the surface a much safer place ;)

DavidRa
25-11-2010, 10:45
I was just about to post, in the context of the discussion: the words I hear most frequently from new clients are "If only I'd known that before!"

In most cases, at least in my game, a precise and direct cost can be attributed to that lack of knowledge.

In the last such case I dealt with, it was of the order of 10,000 (full re-branding required, with new domain name/literature/etc.) And that's without taking into account the concomittant loss of goodwill occasioned by the process.

An expensive mistake, which a bit of knowledge and online searching (or about 200's worth of my time) could have prevented in the first place.

Not the first occurence, and unlikely to ever be the last, as there are positively innumerable instances of the exact same problem happening time and again over the years, nay decades, with a respective cost ranging from hundreds to millions.

Yes it reminds me of the saying "a little knowledge is dangerous" in this online age people think they are better doing things on their own.
I had a client who agreed to buy a property as a buy to let searched online came up with a lender who do few buy to lets and are clueless went for the
cheapest online conveyancer the property fell through due to the incompetence of the lender and conveyancer.
"Cheap" is often much dearer in the long run.

TJC1
25-11-2010, 13:05
Steam Rollers do a good job aswell, but they flatten everything underneath.

Opinion is good, so is experience, doesn't mean that it is relevant or valid though.

LEP's, Business Link, Senta, Chamber etc, etc, etc are the same entity as they always have and will be. They are not particularly useful, certainly not cost effective, yet we still have these in place, because SME's need them, or thats what we are told.

We dont!

Total waste of money, people in there are far too overpaid, i would rather them divide all the money up and give me 1. At least i know that it would be spent more wisely and at least towards MY business.

Opinion is OK (sometimes), experience is better (at least in my experience!).
When you start out EVERYONE has an opinion on how best to run a Business, everyones a flippin expert, its your job to source out the good people to listen to and filter out the never ending amount of crap you are told.

indizine
25-11-2010, 14:02
I dont see how experience and opinion cannot be valid if it is wholly related to that exact thing. Thats like going for a job interview as a cook in a hotel with 10 years hotel cook experience and the interview saying "but that's not relevant or valid".

mjr2000
26-11-2010, 13:23
I dont see how experience and opinion cannot be valid if it is wholly related to that exact thing. Thats like going for a job interview as a cook in a hotel with 10 years hotel cook experience and the interview saying "but that's not relevant or valid".

Only if it is relevent to the experience, not much good having 10 years experience as a hotel cook, but wanting a job as a mechanic.

indizine
26-11-2010, 13:57
Exactly. I agree. But in this thread your comment was related to our opinions and experience being relevant to the thread topic, thus definitely anything I am giving opinion on is based on my direct experience of the thread topic.

Tony
26-11-2010, 15:24
Do you tell your clients how much experience you have of running a mail forwarding and telephone answering service? Would that be of more interest than knowing your VAT might be up to date?

indizine
26-11-2010, 19:43
Tony, where are you coming form? You dont make any sense. You keep dragging up what I am doing when thi9s thread is about Business Link courses.