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Nothing changes… T

1993 extract EDITORIAL:The hidden time-bomb

he end of the recession is nigh! But our real problems might only just have begun. No matter whether you believe the doom- mongers or the Chancellor, it is now more crucial than ever to tighten control over your credit. I, for one, don’t really believe we are in

a depression, as many insist on calling the recession. Rather, we are back to a slightly worse position than we were in before the manic and over-hyped expansion of the eighties. This boom-period has put subsequent events completely out of proportion. Perhaps we’ll now revert to a stable state of low growth, albeit with some fundamental changes in working patterns. The slippery slope of rapid expansion Trading your way out of difficulty calls for increased turnover, followed closely by more capital to fund, firstly, the additional staff and stocks you need to

2002 extract NEWS:Entrepreneurs just want to make money


he UK entrepreneurs start their own businesses to make money –

and that’s official! The traditional dream of wanting

to break free and be your own boss is a secondary motivation, according to new research from Coutts. ‘We commissioned research among

the UK’s top entrepreneurs to find out what motivated them to start their own business and see what advice they could offer business owners,’ says Rob Taylor, Head of UK Private Banking at Coutts. Wealth creation was the prime motiva-

tor, with 40% saying this was the main reason they started their own business. Just under a third (30%) cited the traditional dream of wanting to be their own boss. Risk taking and challenge inspired 13%, while 11% cited the thrill of building a business from scratch. However, once businesses are up and running, motivations change. Providing

Better Business No 189

security in retirement (25%) takes over as the main driver for those running their own businesses, though continuing wealth creation is still important at 19%. Wanting to leave an inheritance (18%) and continuing to build the business to sell at a good price (15%) also feature as incentives.

So what advice can the successful

entrepreneurs offer budding business owners? Key factors cited include:

● Timing – the most important factor of all (30%);

● Idea and strategy – make sure your initial idea is backed by a good strategy (26%);

● Planning – a detailed and realistic business plan is vital (13%);

● Finance – seeking proper finance arrangements is important (12%);

● Calculated risk – you must be willing to take risks (12%). 5

do this, and secondly, your debtors, who still demand to be allowed to pay in 30-days but stretch this to 90 days, if you let them. ‘Cashflow, Oh, Cashflow,’ is the refrain. Remember: your suppliers will still need paying. They don’t give a damn if you’ve over- stretched yourself. Probably they have too, which is why they will come down on late payers (ie, you) like a ton of bricks. To survive the end of the recession, therefore, expand gently and keep a firm grip on your cashflow by ensuring your invoices are paid bang on time.

So if the many false dawns turn into real

daylight at the end of the tunnel, to mix my metaphors, things could end up worse than they have ever been for small businesses. This is where the advice ‘trading out of the reces- sion’ must be acted on with extreme caution. Sophie Chalmers, Editor

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