If you’re aged between 18 and 30 and you’re thinking of going into business you should take a look at Start-Up Loans , a government backed scheme to fund and mentor young entrepreneurs.
Chaired by James Caan, the former star of the BBC TV show Dragon’s Den the scheme offers loans (the average loan is about £2,500) and mentoring to would-be entrepreneurs. Strangely, the scheme is only available to start up businesses where the owner(s) live in England.
I came across the scheme last week when I was reading the Gateway , a business and careers newspaper for students.
The article mentioned
60% of all private sector jobs and 50% of public sector output is provided by SMEs. The creation of new small businesses is vital to Britain’s financial health and job creation……
What a shame that last week’s Budget didn’t reflect this
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
Epictetus, Greek philosopher AD 55-135
I am currently reading ADAPT by Tim Harford.
The author isn’t an accountant so when he lists double entry bookkeeping as a perennial solution in economic evolution, comparing it to photosynthesis, pairs of eyes and mothers’ milk in biological evolution I think it’s worthy of comment!
His argument centres on the fact that there are billions of solutions to business problems some of which are only short lived, some survive longer but very few last in the long term.
Double entry bookkeeping has survived because it’s the only way of recording business transactions accurately. Don’t worry, accounts programs use double entry bookkeeping (you just don’t always see the other entry!). More importantly, the reports produced from double entry records are correct.
Using spreadsheets to record your business transactions may be easy but there is no guarantee that they are correct. Drawing up your own reports is even riskier.
Learning how to use the (appropriate) accounts program may be more difficult but it will give you accurate information as a base for your business decisions.
And don’t forget that double entry bookkeeping has been around for more than 500 years. The first spreadsheets appeared in the late 1970s!
Having survived yet another January rushing to complete tax returns at the last minute, I have realised how few people ever bother to consider the financial performance of their business when working with their accountants. They concentrate totally on their tax obligations, often rejoicing in the fact their tax bill is small or non-existent.
This is totally illogical and there is no “nice” way to say what I think
If your tax bill is small so is your profit.
For this reason I intend to challenge clients to think about their sales, their profit margins, their profits, their overheads, expanding their businesses and so on – and to let me keep the tax bills low (on the bigger profits they will make).
My blog posts have started to reflect this idea. Look under the business development category in the side column for my thoughts.
The language may be a little dated but the advice is as valuable as it was fifty years ago.
If I have any advice to pass on, it is this: if one wants to be successful, one must think until it hurts. One must worry a problem in one’s mind until it seems there cannot be any other aspect of it that hasn’t been considered. Believe me that is hard work and, from my close observation, I can say that there are few people indeed who are prepared to perform this arduous and tiring work.
But let me go further and assure you of this: while, in the early stages, it is hard work and one must accept it as such, later one will find that it is not so difficult, the thinking apparatus has become trained; it is trained even to do some of the thinking subconsciously. The pressure that one had to use on one’s poor brain in the early stages no longer is necessary; the hard grind is rarely needed; one’s mental computer arrives at decisions instantly or during a period when the brain seems to be resting. It is only the rare and most complex problems that require the hard toil of protracted mental effort
Lord Thomson of Fleet 1894 – 1976
This tweet from the ACCA caught my eye
UK small businesses - here's why you need a properly resourced finance function: http://t.co/QYafmbjS
In simple terms, what it was based on, as shown by the graphs set out below, was
- Only 50% of businesses survive for five years.
- The failure rate is accelerating – more businesses failed in their first year in 2010 than in earlier years.
- The faster growing businesses have formal business plans, management accounts and financially aware staff.
- A high proportion (>30%) of very small companies (those with an annual turnover of <£25K) produce regular management accounts.
If you’re one of the 800+ businesses in Kendal which may be affected by the Kendal BID you should attend this meeting
@ Kendal Business Improvement District open meeting. Hav ur say Shakespeare Centre 6pm-7pm Thurs 29 Nov http://t.co/J1hvz9tN
I have checked that businesses will be allowed to ask questions and put their views forward!
@ Very much a discussion about BIDs. This is 2nd of 3 such events. Nxt is 5 Dec at 6pm Riverside Hotel.
Following my own advice I emailed The Sun to ask Dave Fishwick a question and they published it. Dave’s answer is well worth reading if you’re in business.
And to all of you who thought I may have been on Page 3 I did ‘feature’ next to this photo. Which I think is pretty good for a Chartered Accountant, bearing in mind the Institute’s accountancy magazine featured a Playboy Bunny on its cover in the early seventies and some members threatened to resign as it lowered the tone of the (accountancy) profession!
Dave Fishwick,the self-made millionaire founder of the Bank of Dave, has joined the Sun’s business page.
Once a month Dave will dish out his no-nonsense advice to help Sun readers get their firms working. At the end of the year, the best question wins an interest-free loan from Dave’s Burnley Savings and Loans.
All you have to do is email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.