Chris Wilson of LAGUNA FP LTD talks about – Vince Cable’s new forum for UK enterprise
I very much welcome the new enterprise forum setup by Vince Cable. His experience and enthusiasm for business is inspiring and infectious.
The line up of people recruited so far will certainly have a lot to say, but I dont think for one minute it will be just a talking shop and real positive things will be done.
Many of the people wanting to go into business for the first time will be dreamers and wannabe’s.
I think any budding entrepreneur should be encouraged to take things slowly, pull the reins in and take stock of themselves, identify what needs to be done and when.
Providing they have a good business idea (not just any idea), the skills and potential to succeed, a willingness to listen and learn, then courses of action through mentoring and guidance will lead them cautiously to a successful outcome. I hope this forum will provide just that.
However; throwing money at young or high risk enterprise is not the answer, it is a futile exercise as our past experience with bad investment banking will attest.
Providing grants and loans to business’s without experience or a proven track record, is like giving your teenage daughter extra spending money for shoes and makeup… it won’t last two minutes!
Encouragement is fostered through guidance and startup costs are definately not what the focus should be about.
Anybody with ambitions of starting their own business needs to realise that they already have the skills to "do something" for themselves that will eventually earn them the startup costs they need to get going properly.
This may be a case of starting one or more smaller "bob a job" business’s instead in order to earn money, and then reinvesting it into the "real business" at hand.
Handouts, grants and loans will not encourage startups to succeed – it will mearly encourage them to startup!
What’s also important for the young entrepreneur to realise is that the ‘ultimate dream’ of eventually running a successful business takes time and patience with lots of caution, dedication and hard work. It is not a get rich quick affair and certainly not a short fix solution to their life problems but one that in many cases could take them a lifetime to achieve.
Once that is realised and accepted, it then becomes more manageable and easier to break apart and you can begin to analyse it exactly for what it is.
The dream needs to be dissected, ridiculed if necessary and studied in great detail and organised into more manageable pieces (business planning) – only then are larger individual goals more achievable.
Middle aged and ‘Old Hats’ in the business game are seasoned and experienced enough it might be argued to go it alone and continue the fight towards success.
But are they really capable of ‘going it alone’ unsupported?
Quite often it strikes me that business’s young or old need frequent guidance and support all the time.
As an experienced business person its far too easy to be side-tracked and lose focus on any long term objectives just the same as it is for those new to the world of enterprise. Without future planning, logistics and continued support it will certainly take you longer to get there, possibly even a lifetime as I already suggested.
It is no secret that SMEs are the lifeblood to the future prosperity of our Nation and it should be encouraged and embraced wholeheartedly, but if we are ever to raise our heads high and proud as we once did, then these businesses will need our continued support and encouragement along the way.
What this forum needs is some straight talking people, and I sincerely hope thats exactly what we get!
Exec. Director: LAGUNA FP LTD. (UK)
Developing unique fishing (angling) products for a global sports & leisure market.