Posts belonging to Category 'entrepreneur'

When success goes to your head, you tend to hit ‘bottom’.

Following on from an insightful travel business blog site called Travelblather by Jeremy Head  about the reason why Simonseekers failed, I must confess here that, as much as it is a tragedy and a waste, Simon Nixon is not alone. I have made the same mistake myself,  though I believe the mistake is not easy to make.  To fritter away such masses amount of precious investment capital takes some doing. It borders on reckless behaviour and insanity. I was guilty of both at the time, though several decades ago I am pleased to report.

How are monumental mistakes made, such as Simonseekers (a venture by Simon Nixon of travelsupermarket.com fame)? How could it have been avoided?

These larger mistakes happen by not fully understanding the success that one is, or was, ‘in’. When one attempts to replicate it, or transfer it, for the most part it doesn’t work. The root problem stems from a lack of knowledge and and a failure to fully grasp the fundamentals and drivers of success in the (first) business. It also strongly supports a suggestion that the original success had much to do with luck, plus being in the right place at the right time (which also has something to do with luck).

Avoiding making these kinds of mistakes, starts with self improvement and working to be the kind of person who would never make a mistake like this (and in my case, never again).  However even well-educated, sober and logical people also need to operate a healthy support network when they are in business. The secret in business is about ‘getting the right people in your corner’. Wise members of one’s family can fit the bill, wise people in your area, business associates, industry gurus, but almost everyone needs a little assistance to ‘beef’ the network up to get the results they really desire both professionally and in terms of bottom line business performance and sustainable profit growth.

So we are agreed. Get external help and advice on your plans, business model, and on a never ending and constant improvement programme for your company. It doesn’t even cost much in financial outlay terms, since the right kind of business support professionals are normally well-versed in performance improvement, being paid in part on anticipation of results and partly as a result of success.

So the moral of the story is seek help, seek it early, and seek the right kind of help; but where does one go to find the right kind of business support that will make tangible increases in productivity and contribute directly to improving financial results within the same financial year? The internet is the answer. It is a rich source of information if used correctly. Online business service finders help find a business consultant that is best suited to your business needs and budget.

UK Non Domicile Tax Status – The Debate

Duncan Bannatyne, a leading UK Entrepreneur, has rightly riased the profile of the UK Non Doms debate, at a time when many people are questioning government, UK tax revenues and Government spending in election year (2010).

Duncan has posted his views on his Duncan Bannatyne’s personal blog where he brings to light fellow Dragon den business expert and investor James Caan and reveals that Caan is a non dom i.e.

Non-UK Doms do NOT pay tax on overseas income unless they bring it into the UK . The tax burden is much more beneficial than the tax rules for UK domiciles whose worldwide income is taxed whether they bring it into the UK, or not. The HMRC guidelines for tax due under the remittance basis are complex and sometimes unclear.

What is very clear to me is that if the entrepreneur has made fortunes in the UK then he ought to be treated as a UK Domicile whatever tax avoidance scheme they may be pursuing, and in this regard Duncan B makes a highly crucial point.

I only hope that whichever UK Policitical Party is successful in the UK General Election in May 2010, that it chooses to conserve and invest wisely the vast fortunes it receives each year in UK Tax Revenues. Investment in the future is paramount. Short-termism must be consigned to the past.

8th Habit – Stephen Covey – Effectiveness to Greatness

One of Stephen Covey’s latest business guru offerings ‘The 8th Habit’ is a good read, and can be bought low cost on Amazon. Dr Covey is trying to inspire us to find our voice – the voice of influence, voice of trustworthiness, voice of trust, and all as ‘One Voice’ of shared vision, values, and strategy.

He suggests the challenge for leadership is to help others find their voice. What works very well is the accompaniment of some videos with the DVD provided. Don’t worry if you purchase a second hand copy which comes without the DVD, because you can see all the videos from Dr Stephen Covey’s website. You will need to register as a member of Stephen Covey’s community.

Among these videos is an excellent video entitled, “Max & Max” which highlights the ‘drone grooming’ of many organisations, stifling creativity and making sure everyone loses their voice. This is well worth a view for this message alone.

The real question is how can one change an organisation (skill: organisational change). Best way is to enlist outside help is in the form of employing  an independent business adviser . The challenge is where can one locate a professional business consultant who has the appropriate experience, honesty, transparency, and produces quality work and results? To maintain in-house would be too expensive for any but the largest organisations, and organisational change is ‘out of the box’ work which at best the in-house manager can contribute to the overview.

Business Support Finder launch in the UK in 2009 is precisely to meet this demand and need of UK SME business owners. The challenge is to build up relational trust between the service and the consumer (business owners/senior managers).  Managament consultants and business advisers can greatly benefit UK SMEs in a number of ways, from improvements in managing performance to assisting with taking the organisation to market in a public floatation.

“Dont’ take no for an answer” – Branson’s message to entrepreneurs

Get key people around you. Be a good motivator of people. Lots of guts and determination. Look for a gap in the market.

Where do you find good people? One idea is to try them out first, and another is don’t pay them 12 months of the year, but say 2 days a month, or 1 day a week. What kind of person can do this? The answer is a business support professional, who has a specialism in one of your business’ weak areas, e.g. ecommerce – a ecommerce business consultant.
Richard Branson recommends his book: “Let’s do it“.
Branson adds that training at universities, like at Derby, is excellent, and people skills are the most important quality in business success.
Most businesses don’t succeed.If it doesn’t succeed, learn to pick yourself up. Success gives you freedom, but also greater responsibility. Use the wealth constructively.

Confidence is the best response to market uncertainty and the economic downturn

By Julian Rowe, UK SME Correspondent, Business Service Finder

Sir David Tang, Entrepreneur, interviewed by BBC Business news believes that pessimism is the most serious cause for the global economic tsunami. He is right. Pessimism can be self-fulfilling, but the opposite is also true.

What we to get back to basics, and be calm and get a strong focus of economic recovery, dispelling any sense of gloom and pessimism.

This is not a joke. Business confidence is actually measured by BERREnterprise & Business Support, and many leading financial institutions. Financial markets monitor is and the results are reflects in global equity markets and share prices.

There is clearly going to be massive unemployment. The US in December 2008 reached over 7%, and in some states it is 10%. I believe the UK will rise to 10%, as it will the US.

However this can be a great opportunity for innovation, training, new product development, business growth and new ventures.

Falsely creating work, using British taxpayer’s money to funding unsustainable infrastructure projects in the construction sector is not an effective way to stimulate the UK economy. Nor is it a way to win votes in an election coming up in the next 18 months.

Furthermore the UK Government cannot afford to fund this because the money would be better used to support financial network and existing SME business infrastructure (99% of all UK business are SMEs).

To SME owners and senior managers I would say “Get the right people in your corner”. Access all the business expertise you need – business support professionals are all too willing to help you. The launch of Business Service Finder is just such an initiative to help you effectively, efficiently economically and ethically source the knowledge and skills you do not possess in-house – exactly where and when you need it – from a good business adviser.