Archive for February, 2011

Doing Business in the 21st Century

Friday, February 18th, 2011

So it’s 2011 – a decade of the 21st century has officially passed, and where has it got us? To understand where we are today, it’s helpful to look back into time, as a reference point. We’ve come through various ‘ages’ from Fred Flintstone’s stone age, to the current day information age. In a nutshell – the agrarian age was where we worked the land, and the best position to have was to be a land owner. Then along came the factories and we moved into the industrial age. The best type of business to be in was to be manufacturing / making something and to own plant / equipment / the factory. Then since around the 1950s…we’ve been making a move (slowly at first, then more rapidly), into the Information age – and we have a lot of ‘knowledge’ at our fingertips. But what is the best type of people to be in? Something technological?


The 21st century brings with it plenty of opportunity and excitement for business, but also its challenges and difficulties too. The impact which computers, mobile phones and technology has had on our life cannot be ignored – but what impact does it have on your decision to start a business? Or the type of business which you want to get into?


The book ‘The 21st Century Business Model’ looks at the ideal type of qualities which your business ought to have, to be a success in this century. We may well be in the knowledge / information age, but how do you make a business in this? With sites such as ‘wiki leaks’ and phones being tapped for information – there’s a lot ‘out there’ in the public sphere about us, (true and false), which we may or may not be very happy about. Creating and managing reputation has been a very 21st Century activity. One massive social change about life in this century, is that we’re living a lot longer – and this socio-economic shift in the demographics of society is going to have a huge effect and will shape the future of many businesses to come. Producing a product (be it in leisure, health, travel, IT, media, house & home), aimed at the over 60s – is likely to do very well over the coming years…. Just because they’ll be so much of them – and as a group ‘pensioners’ will have a much more positive association than it does now.


Naturally, you’ll probably need a bookkeeper to manage the books of this 21st century business – and we’ll be here, but it’s an interesting concept of where we’re heading, the ideal type of business to be in, and what changes are ‘bound’ to happen. If you think back to the year 2000 and the turn of this century – it was only 10 years ago, but the landscape was very different. We had the dot com bubble, yet (even then) there was no google, no facebook and no twitter. These businesses have come out of no where and are household names today despite probably never having ‘advertised’ in the traditional way in which we know it – millions of users, daily, globally. Can you think of a business that you can do, which can perform like that?

Find out more here:


Monday, February 7th, 2011

Is it any wonder that the country is in a state? Here’s my theory – there’s a lot of insolvent companies out there, who are continuing to trade (which is illegal), but they do it anyway. Figures compiled by RBS / Natwest found that one in five SMEs (Small & Medium Sized enterprises) are being owed an average of £50,000 – £100,000 a month in LATE PAYMENTS !!! This is astronomical.

But worryingly,  it’s not the worst part. The worst part, is that R3 (an insolvency practioners trade body), showed that 27% of corporate insolvencies were triggered by another company’s collapse.

Let this sink in for a moment and ask yourself – Do you really know who you’re doing business with? Look at your debtors ledger – look at your aged debtors list… and look at who owes you money. And then look at how long that money has been outstanding. And then think about what else you could be doing with that money.

If you are owed £100,000 by one company and that company went under – what would that mean for your business? And this is what it’s about in 2011.  Credit control and cashflow management.


The reason why a lot of small businesses suffer, is because they don’t have a bookkeeper / a credit controller who’ll ensure that things are chased or not ‘allowed’ to get out of hand. When a company is going down – there are signs. There might be a large order out of the blue, bounced cheques, or lies and deceit. They swear blind they’ve not received your invoice – or there was something wrong with the invoice. Get it sorted out.


If you’re busy running your business, and getting IN the business and delivering the business – we understand… but you could get in a Boogle (a bookkeeper), for just half a day e.g. £100 and collect in e.g. ’£50,000’ – a better use of your resources, then stressing yourself out to collect in a few quid from the hand which is still feeding you (supposedly). Trust me – you’ll feel better when you outsource this job because it’ll leave you free to focus on your business and fee-paying customers … which is always more fun and better for your mental health!


If you are closely tied up in your business, what you may find (annoyingly), is that when you go to speak to a client (which you don’t really want to speak to), they quickly change the subject and jump in about some other job they need you to do, or how some aspect of whatever isn’t quite right… and you’re left in a difficult situation – one being, you don’t really want to be having anything to do with them – until they’ve settled the bill.


We know. We understand.



1 in 5 Can’t Get a Job – Here’s Why

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Oh dear. I’ll tell you what the problem is – students today are qualified to the hilt, but yet lack any real-world application of all that knowledge that they’ve spent years acquiring. Often, they know the theory – but lack the practise… and it’s difficult all round. Some, however, have learned the theory, but actually seem unable to apply it.

One student came to us wanting work. I gave them a scenario – the client wants to know how much cash they have – where would they find that information? And the student was unable to apply the situation to the report. They’d find the information on the Balance Sheet. That’s where your bank amounts sit. For someone whose spent 3 years doing a ‘degree in Accounting’ – it’s all rather worrying. Employers want someone who will contribute to their organisation, lots of people want a job… and yet the 2 don’t quite seem to meet! Everyone is left frustrated. Employers aren’t there to babysit people.

Small businesses especially don’t have the luxury of telling people how to think – that’s what the staff should come with. Technology has replaced a lot of the jobs that did exist – but even so, there don’t seem to be enough jobs to go round! What the jobless will be forced to do – is to employ themselves! And I’m not sure why they don’t. Either the thought hasn’t occurred to them (yet), or they haven’t got the right skills to do that either.

 Think about taking up a franchise as an option, or some sort of networking marketing business – e.g.  Jobs are scarce and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better anytime soon. This whole ‘recession’ is said to have not kicked in fully yet. We can see this, with the government  having to cut back – so you can’t look to them for job creation. They’re looking to us, the small & medium business sector to create new jobs. Problem is (and this is the cycle), those out of work don’t have the skills-set which the employers are looking for.

And / or there’s too many people with the same skills set for the numbers of jobs needed. Britain needs more manufacturing jobs. We need to produce more and do less paper-pushing, and yet no-one is opening up a factory anywhere close. Factories are expensive to run here. In the far east and Asia – the workers are cheaper, the quality is good – so they go there.

Even call centres (which isn’t physical manual labour) has gone elsewhere. Our call centre however IS based in the UK. We’re making and creating jobs here – and if you want to support the cause, or if you want your phone calls answered, just check out:

If you are looking for a job – a great book to read – The 21st Century Business Model will give you an idea of the new world order – how things are changing and the kind of skills you need to have to be in work today. The 21st Century Business Model - Book cover