(for those readers who don’t know much about the Black Country, they’re comedians who are just normal local blokes, dialect included).
Aynuk popped around Ayli’s house. ‘Aye up owr kid, ow’m ya doin?’. ‘Ar’m sound, sittin ere waytin for a delivery’. There’s a knock on the door. The lorry driver walks in. ‘Aye up Ayli, I’ve got sum gud and sum bad news’. ‘Ow ar, giz us the good news fust’. ”Ar got yer donkey’. ‘Grate, and wot’s the bad news?’ ‘ The donkey’s jed’ (for those of you struggling so far, jed is ‘dead’.
Aynuk – ‘That bay no gud, what use is a jed donkey? Go and tek im to Findus’. Ayli – ‘Nah, I’ll ave im, just tek im raand the back, but I bay payin two ondred quid, I’ll giz ya fifty.’ ‘Lorry driver thinking of his options, an hour and twenty miles to the knackers yard, where he’ll get £20. ‘Goo on, I’ll tek fifty quid.’
Two weeks later Aynuk goes around Ayli’s house again. ‘Ow’d yow get on with that jed donkey?’ ‘Ar, bostin. Sold fowr hundred roffle tickets at two quid each!’. ‘But dey nowun complain?’ ‘Ar, one did bitterly, the winner’. ‘An wot did yow do?’ ‘I giz im iz money back!’
There are several points to this story:
- Just because you can’t see an opportunity that others can’t doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. In fact it may well be a massive opportunity;
- To take advantage of such opportunities, some nimble thinking and swift action is essential;
- Just because almost everyone can’t see what’s not right in a situation that few know exists, doesn’t mean that it’s not a huge problem.
So why do I raise this right now?
Well, I think the professions are going through the biggest period of change in history right now – it will bring both significant pain and gain. Couple this with the fact that most business people out there prefer to stick with pretty much what worked in the past (even if it doesn’t really work any more, and small tweaks give only false optimism) will mean that many traditional businesses, and with it their cash flows, will slowly deteriorate. They will pay less for old style professional support that’s little more than the processing of paperwork.
That’s to say right now we have quite a toxic mix, for businesses and the professions alike. But for the professions, they will suffer more than those who create real wealth – in nature predators suffer badly when there are even small changes in their prey.
So if you’re in a profession, what are you going to do you do about it?
This takes me on to another, related subject…
And I’m seeing more of this nowadays than ever…
Just because you’re, or your client is, a business owner doesn’t make you or them an entrepreneur.
And there’s a huge difference between the two.
One definition of an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
They identify a need, then fill it. It matters not what product, industry or market. Accountancy, law, insolvency, whatever sector, it’s irrelevant. The point is people’s needs are changing. They want to buy different products and services how and when they want in a way that’s convenient for them, and that’s not often what or how people have provided them in the past. Sure, many providers haven’t really noticed just how much the world is changing because ‘like attracts like’, there’s comfort to be gained by mixing with similar people. That’s why insolvency practitioners huddle together. And why they don’t see the need to change. Others in other sectors are seeing the changes but are opting out because ‘it costs too much’ (put another way, they prefer to ignore the cost of not doing what they really need to simply because they think they can) or they’re simply not willing or able to change themselves. Somehow for them to ignore what’s happening is deemed to be less risky. Yet there’s risk in both doing and not doing.,.
Often I find that these people carry on drawing remuneration at or near the same level they always have done because ‘it’s what they expect/deserve/need*’ – delete as appropriate. They do this regardless of whether the business can afford it or not. They choose to pay themselves, to fund their present lifestyle, rather than invest in the future. They hope for a miraculous return to ‘how things were’.
And I see this happening time and time again but not just in older style businesses, I also see it in senior grade managers, even directors who have come out of larger organisations to set up their own smaller business. Given that more businesses fail in the first few years than any other time, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to laden up a new operation with unnecessary costs which frankly don’t drive it forward. A car park full of BMWs is normally a good indication.
The problem is there are so very many people out there like this – that’s why Google tells me that the most searched for term driving traffic to my website is ‘illegal dividends’. People who have leveraged their future for today.
And the fact there are so many people out there like that will hold back the UK’s emergence from this recession. It will prevent the UK emerging as a strong entrepreneurial nation.
Who do you know who is borrowing to maintain his / her lifestyle, who should really be doing a hell of a lot more to future-proof their business? Because if it’s not too late, I may just be able to help…
Finally, don’t forget that I’m here to fulfil your normal insolvency needs too – say acting as liquidator, receiver or administrator of an ailing or dead business.
And I always appreciate your feedback, good or bad, on my newsletter.
Midlands Business Recovery
‘Doing more for Black Country Businesses’