If you're about to set up a business there are a number of things you need to know if you don't want to end up standing around a burning oil drum under the flyover and teling everyone about the great business you had.
You will be the main thing that fucks up your business, because until you get partners, then you are totally responsible for the decisions that will ultimately determine success or failure. No pressure. Harry S Truman had a sign on his desk that said “ The buck stops here”. I have that sign on my desk and I suggest you get one as well. The quicker you realise that the business is down to you and you alone the better. Take complete responsibility, work hard, focus and crack on. There are very few shoulders to cry on and remember – no one else really gives a fuck about you or your business.
Cash is king. End of. Cashflow kills more SME (Small/Medium enterprises) businesses than anything else. It does not matter if you have orders coming out of your arse and your invoices are flying out of the door. Unless you can collect the money in a timely fashion and meet your costs every month then lack of cash will kill your business. Before long you will be sitting round a burning oil drum under the flyover, passing round the crack pipe and telling everyone about the great business you had.
Because you own them now and to make up for completely causing the recession, the bank has been instructed to lend more money to small businesses like yours. In response to this they are lending absolutely fuck-all to small businesses like yours. They are not lending to small businesses and anyone who says that they are lending to small businesses is a stupid, deluded, lying cunt. The only time the bank will lend you any money is when you have loads of money and don’t need it. They are trying to recoup their costs so they can pay each other enormous bonuses again. Why on earth would they want to risk giving you any money, you fucking idiot?
It took me three weeks to set up a company business account recently due to the bank fucking up and losing information that they were sending by post (presumably using a pony)around the UK. In that time I lost three weeks of cashflow (see point 2) The bank will pull your business overdraft anytime they feel like it and they will ask for personal guarantees against money owed – typically your house. This is an assurance that they will never fail, and end up round the oil drum, under the flyover, unlike you. The bank will really try to fuck up your small business.
The bank has been instructed to lend more money to small businesses like yours. In response to this they are lending absolutely fuck-all to small businesses like yours.
The Government, or more specifically, HMRC and Customs & Excise will conspire to fuck up your small business. They are the single most inflexible and sinister organisations you will ever come across. If you are Vodaphone for example you can quite happily pay fuck all tax and get away with it all day long. If you are a plumber, hairdresser or any other small business that accidentally flouts their rules they will come down on you like a ton of bricks and will not stop until you have either paid them back, killed yourself or are fucking bankrupt. That is because you don’t count. BIG Business counts because BIG business lends yachts and villas to politicians and makes donations to political parties. Don’t believe me? Try putting your VAT return in late and see what happens. Still don’t believe me? Ask any small business for their HMRC horror story.
The competition will steal your ideas, your clients and your staff. They will do anything to fuck your business up. In extreme cases they will buy your business, asset strip it, kick everyone out and shut it down to gain market share. They will bitch about you and slander you. To be honest, they are probably the least of your problems though. That is because you are a Tiger. ROARHHHHH.
Don’t worry if you can’t fuck your business up on your own, you’ll get loads of help. Consultants, Accountants, Partners, Hangers On, Web Developers etc Will all give 100% to try and fuck your business up. If you are a kind, considerate, charitable person with strong values (as I believe I am) they will see you coming and drain you dry. My first business partner was a ruthless sociopath, my second set of partners made her look like Mother Theresa. You have no friends in business. Everyone is trying to make money out of you or by using you. Just occasionally, you may find someone who does not conform to this stereotype. All they are doing is trying to lull you into a false sense of security, you gullible dickhead.
Consultants, Accountants, Partners, Hangers On, Web Developers etc Will all give 100% to try and fuck your business up. If you are a kind, considerate, charitable person with strong values (as I believe I am) they will see you coming and drain you dry.
The Global Recession
Watching the news on the BBC the other day, the newsreader was saying that the UK was “in danger of falling back into recession”. What fucking planet are they on? Do they seriously think that we have come out of recession since 2008? I don’t know about you, but it does not appear to me that the recession has got any better for anyone except for the likes of Hedge Fund
Managers and Insolvency Practioners
A global recession is a sure way of fucking up your business. You cannot predict a global recession (if you could we would be all OK) but you can prepare yourself properly for one….which brings me onto costs.
It is tempting when you are doing well to “go for it” and growth is very important – businesses either go backward or forwards, they never stay the same so, repeat, measured growth is very important. The problem with the last boom is that we all went for it bigtime. Case Study: Gordon Ramsay Holdings. He used to own one restaurant (Aubergine) that should have been perfectly adequate. Instead he went for it. He fucking went for it alright – he wanted Total Global Posh Restaurant Domination and set about opening restaurants left, right and centre. All of this growth meant more and more costs – buildings, people, stock, designers, raw materials, marketing and it was all funded on potential future revenues. When the music stopped in 2008 he found himself in the wrong place and nearly went bankrupt. Ditto me, and countless others. Keep costs down. You don’t need big offices, cars in the car pool, extra staff etc unless you can pay for them. I don’t think Ramsay helped things by shagging around and having his father in law as his business partner. Just saying.
Complacency & Laziness
Instead of working today I am typing this and in a minute I am going to watch the re-run of Fresh Meat on 4 on Demand. That is why I will never be Lord Sugar and why my business may or may not work. If you are lazy (like me) and have a sleeping bag at work then you need to be very talented and very good at what you do (not like me). Otherwise you are going to need to be working very long hours and putting in the effort. This is not going to be a 9-5 job. If you ever get complacent you will be brought crashing to earth very quickly when the cash starts running out and wondering if the 7 hour lunches and trips to titty bars were worth it. Allegedly.
Whatever style of management you choose, it will be shit and wrong. If you treat people like adults they will take the piss. If you are a raging cunt, they will take the piss. Whatever you do, you are always the boss and there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t do what I did and try to be everyone’s mate, you just look like a worse, unfunny version of David Brent. Unless you own the company or are Chief Breast Oiler at Razzle, work is shit and will always be shit. Don’t expect them to love it, they rarely will. You will never be able to afford to pay them enough to enjoy coming to work on a Monday and even if you are a benevolent employer, they will still think nothing of going for the big tribunal Payout, nicking Bics and throwing sickies. Staff you have nutured since they left school will leave your business, take your clients and flick the V’s on the way out. By all means stick a pool table in the canteen and do” It’s A Knockout” on your work day out because they’ll really love you then, you stupid twat.
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