Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

Posts Tagged ‘Britain’s got Talent

We Can All Learn Something from Young Enterprise

leave a comment »

We Can All Learn Something from Young Enterprise

I had the absolute honour and joy to be asked to part of the judging panel for the 2011 West Midlands Regional Finals held at the Great Hall of Birmingham University on the last Friday in June. The first thing to say is that there are a lot of people out there who have never heard of Young Enterprise or who do not fully comprehend, or appreciate, what they do, so go and have a look at their website to find out more at
www.young-enterprise.org.uk/.

My involvement stems from my firm carrying out an audit for the West Midlands region, prior to them merging nationally to be part of the single Young Enterprise national charitable company. After a brief working relationship, I wanted to find out more, so I volunteered to be a business adviser helping a school, part way through their business year, as they had been without an adviser prior to then.

Young Enterprise use a tag line of “Start Something … and igniting the spirit of enterprise..”, with the Finals being tagged with “Start Something….Inspirational.” and that is certainly what it is and what the organisation does.

Spending the afternoon and evening with the six teams of 16/17 year old budding entrepreneurs helped me not only understand what Young Enterprise stands for, it also helped to remind me, why I am in business and why being an entrepreneur and being an adviser to other entrepreneurs is one of the most fulfilling careers that someone can undertake.

I do recognise that there is an attempt to build business as the new rock and roll, with Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice television favourites. All I can say is that all of young entrepreneurs in the final would make the Apprentice finalists look like amateurs and Lord Sugar would look to help to invest in all of them.

The finals were the culmination of nearly a year of a business life from the initial ideas to sales fares, websites, county finals, deals with local shops and even Amazon and Waterstone’s, through to presentations and pitches and the production of an annual report charting their success and continuing to pitch and promote their businesses.

The judges received six business reports to read prior to the finals day, had the opportunity to speak to every business and see their products at their trade stalls, watched their presentations and 15 second adverts in order to discuss and choose the winning businesses. In fact all the six were already winning businesses.

We were asked to judge the competition for awards in marketing, finance, product development, individual leadership and the overall winning business that then goes on to the UK finals in London. It was a difficult task as the standard of all was incredibly high and a reminder to everyone that you can start a business with next to no money (starting capital raised was around £140 each).

The winners of the marketing award, business name One, and based in Stratford Upon Avon, had created, produced and published their own cookbook, with each three course meal based around the short synopsis of a Shakespeare play. The book is called “Much Ado About Cooking” and is being sold at Waterstone’s, has been accredited by the RSC and has a forward from Dame Judy Dench. Their presentation at the finals was excellent and confident, starting with the words “To cook or not to cook …..” and ending on “All’s well that ends well.” These young entrepreneurs really did understand the power of their brand and were already looking at the American and world market, utilising the power of the Shakespeare brand.

The winners of the product development award also hit upon a number of key themes and USPs to create and drive their business. The business is known as Novelty and utilised the strap-line “Wooden it be nice,” for their hand-made wooden garden bird houses. Creating a number of designs, sourcing wood and local carpenters to create the basic boxes, the company had created its own production line for finishing and customising the boxes for individual customers if need be (and charging accordingly). Planting trees themselves and ensuring that the business was carbon neutral added to their strong business ethos and with new development of introducing remote battery powered web-cams to watch the birds on your own pc, the ingenuity and product development was superb. The business also won a media award for their 15 second animated advert that showed a bird flying into a bird box, sitting down in front of a TV set and finishing with the strap line, turn your bird house into a home.

The winners of both the finance and overall company award, and now going to the national finals in London, were Versaleaf. These bright young entrepreneurs had created a range of double sided material to create Knotthebag, created from Furoshiki, the Japanese art of folding a tying material to create a wide variety of different bags. The company had created pattern and instruction cards, an instruction DVD and a range of patterns and styles. Creating a sewing production line, various supplies and cloth designs, an online retail facility and in discussions with Amazon, the business has covered everything. Their presentation was a slick as most of the “professional” pitches that I have seen, with their obvious finger on the button and knowledge of the multi-billion pound women’s handbag market. Having recently bought new bedroom units, I was fully aware of this particular market potential.

The runners up, whilst not walking away with a trophy were equally as impressive and entrepreneurial. Sweet Sensations combining the favourite gifts of chocolates and flowers and creating impressive ranges of bouquets of chocolates. J’Adore created and published The Essential Guide to Boarding School, and impressively sold this across schools around the UK culminating in an offer from the British Boarding School Association to purchase the copyright. The final company, Dynamic, faced the common business trials of their original product design not reaching safety standards and having to start again, but their entrepreneurial spirit kept them going to create their range of personalised gift canvases.

All in all the sheer drive and enthusiasm for their business was inspiring and all of the businesses and young entrepreneurs deserved not only to be their but should ensure future success in these businesses and others that they create. There were some obvious clues to more opportunity and contacts being available to the private school students, but this was more than made up by the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation from the businesses from the state schools. So much, I am sure that Lord Sugar would be impressed.

The business skills and drive shown was also an inspiration to me and all of the judges. All of the young entrepreneurs reminded me of why being in business is so important and why it is also so important to help promote this in young people. They certainly reminded me that the positive attitude, the drive and pride to see your product being launched and your business succeeding is the real thrill. In a business world that can be sometimes cynical and sometimes stagnant in a recession, Young Enterprise helps the older entrepreneurs rekindle their real entrepreneurial spirit.

I am certainly looking forward to helping another Young Enterprise company in the new academic year, in the autumn. I know that I will get as much out of it as well as helping the young entrepreneurs themselves. I would ask everyone in business to consider helping, forget about an MBA, become a Young Enterprise Business Adviser and help a real young business and by doing that you will help to ignite the spirit of enterprise. We certainly can all learn something from Young Enterprise.

www.young-enterprise.org.uk/

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,

McGregors Corporate, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
…….Really good for your business

McGregors Corporate are a Member of Probiz Tax, providing Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659
T: 0121 236 3317

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

June 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Midlands Investor Network Spring Event

leave a comment »

Investors and Businesses seeking Investment and Funding are being recruited for the Spring Midlands Investor Network Event

The second Midlands Investor Network evening is to be held on Wednesday 18th May 2011 at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, 4th Floor, 2 St Philips Place, Birmingham, B3 2RB at 6.30pm.

We have been delighted by the responses received from those attending the January event and following the support that we have received from Nat West and other, we have also been able to make a donation of £280 to the Birmingham based, Acorn’s Children’s Hospice, www.acorns.org.uk. Those attending that event will testify to the quality of the presenting businesses and the unique entertainment provided by one of the pitches and we are intending to continue with that theme in the second event.

The Midlands Investor Network has been created to bring together groups of small and medium/owner managed businesses, based in the Midlands in the UK, seeking investment with groups of potential business angel and private equity investors as well as other providers of finance.

Businesses presenting range from new start-up businesses through to established businesses looking for project finance to expand. If your business is searching for the relevant funding and you wish to have the opportunity to present to a group of potential investors you should contact us now for an initial review and discussion.

Businesses seeking funding and interested in presenting at the Spring event need to contact us with their plans before 9th April with a practise presentation being scheduled for 11th May.

The Midlands Investor Network is organised by McGregors Corporate, (www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk), Else Solicitors LLP, (www.elselaw.co.uk) , Citizen Corporate Finance Limited (www.mycitizen.co.uk) and RBS/Nat West (www.rbs.co.uk), in conjunction with BA Capital, (www.bacapital.co.uk) and Midven Private Equity (www.midven.co.uk).

To arrange a meeting to attend as a business or to be included as a potential investor contact;

Christine Gilligan c.gilligan@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Telephone: 0121 236 3317

Midlands Investor Network Launch with a Song and Dance
http://wp.me/pQyUg-2S

Events are being organised in the West and East Midlands

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

Written by Steven Mugglestone

March 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Are Accountants Really Boring or Really, Really Boring

leave a comment »

Are Accountants Really Boring or Really, Really Boring

I started to write a technical piece, but I was distracted by the eternal debate that appears to have started again.  Are Accountants really boring or really, really boring.

Yes, I am an Accountant and yes I am part of a firm of accountants, in fact I am a Chartered Accountant and part of a firm of Chartered Accountants.  I have lived with this all of my working life.  I trained as an Accountant and qualified as an Accountant (although, I do not have an Accountancy degree, it was Economics).  I have worked in business, as a finance director, which is like an Accountant, just more decisive.  I have faced the stigma and the ridicule, the tumble-weed silence when someone asks you what you do.  I consider myself a fairly confident and comfortable individual, married with children.  The stigma of instantly explaining that I am an Accountant usually means that I tend not to tell new acquaintances what I do.  I tend to have a good chat and sometimes later in the discussion I get asked the inevitable question and usually I get the same response, “No, …. Really, … You don’t seem that boring.”

I have read recently how the debate continues, Accountants are boring.

So I have taken some time to have a look at this, …. Sensibly and with the respect and gravitas that the subject deserves.

The Science of It

It appears that in 2005, the City University of Hong Kong proved that accountants were boring and this was due to using dull words and dull methods of communication.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3342652/Its-official-scientists-prove-why-accountants-are-boring.html

Now, I am sorry, but I think that you will find, that if you study any specialist talking through the technical areas of their roles, it is boring to others.  Physics and rocket science hardly makes great after dinner conversation, but Hollywood can make it look like that they are all Tom Hanks.  And anyway, an academic study to prove that accountants are boring, surely that has to be the apex of boring.

Technical or detailed aspects of any job will be boring but cannot make you boring.  All jobs have a level of technical knowledge and expertise; Formula 1 engineers are intensely technical, yet are seem to be glamorous. Honda pride themselves on the attention to detail and market that as a key USP for what they do.  Professional decorators watch paint drying for a living, but they are not labelled as boring as Accountants.

In fact the technical point and the issue that even Accountants are different can be seen in the categories that in the Accountancy profession, we find ourselves labelling each other, finders, minders and grinder.  The differences between those who are good at getting clients; those that build relationships and those that do the numbers.

The Butt of Many Jokes

Accountants tend to be the butt of jokes and they centre on the boring tag:

An Accountant is:

  • Someone who uses their personality as a form of birth control (I have two sons!)
  • Someone who makes a bold fashion statement by wearing a blue suit instead of grey
  • Someone who isn’t really boring, they just get excited over boring things
  • Someone who does not have the charisma to be an undertaker
  • Someone who does not know that Gap is a clothing store

An extroverted accountant is one who looks at your shoes while he is talking to you instead of his own.

However my favourites have to be:

There are three types of accountants in the world, those who can count and those who can’t!

There once was a business owner who was interviewing people for a division manager position. He selected an engineer, a mathematician, a physicist, a logician, a social worker, a lawyer, a trader and an accountant to interview and decided to select the individual that could answer the question “how much is 2+2?”

•       The engineer pulled out his slide rule and shuffled it back and forth, and finally announced, “It lies between 3.98 and 4.02”.
•       The mathematician said, “In two hours I can demonstrate it equals 4 with the following short proof.”
•       The physicist declared, “It’s in the magnitude of 1×101.”
•       The logician paused for a long while and then said, “This problem is solvable.”
•       The social worker said, “I don’t know the answer, but I am glad that we discussed this important question.
•       The lawyer stated, “In the case of the Crown vs. Svenson, 2+2 was declared to be 4.”
•       The trader asked, “Are you buying or selling?”

The accountant looked at the business owner, then got out of his chair, went to see if anyone was listening at the door and pulled the drapes. Then he returned to the business owner, leaned across the desk and said in a low voice, “What would you like it to be?”

Why is the last joke funny? Yet it speaks volumes about why Accountants are not boring.  It is not that we cheat or that we have an array of despicable tricks (ish).  It is that we are trained to think laterally, finding an answer and solution for our clients in what we do, despite apparent problems and issues.  We try and cut through the issues and problems and solve the problem, in whatever way we can.  We are solution providers and aim to get clients where they want to be.  There is no such answer as no and there is no such statement as “It cannot be done.”

Glamour and fame does not necessarily mean that you are not boring

Living with the stigma of being an Accountant has meant that I do not immediately tell people, as I explained earlier.  Yet it can appear that working in the more interesting world of showbiz can mean that you are instantly seen as interesting and glamorous, even if in reality you are, well, boring.

Everybody has an odd story about meeting a TV celeb and I am not any different.  Mine comes from meeting a celeb as part of the hobby that I have, a hobby that used to be seen as unusual and weird unless you were Welsh or gay with a Judy Garland obsession, I sing.  But now since the advent of Last Choir Standing, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and now Glee, it seems not only acceptable, but actually cool.

I was actually taking part in a large choral piece with a group of choirs and we had an afternoon rehearsal before the evening performance.  I stood next to a chap, who I did not know, and spoke to him during the coffee break.  Now I usually  have a high tolerance for boring people but he was pushing that somewhat and he started to say to me that he likes singing but “with his job” he does not really get enough time to join in with singing stuff.  Now at that time, I was going to ask what he did, but I did not get the chance and we carried on chatting or he carried on talking at me and he kept dropping in with, “of course with my job I don’t get a lot of free time and of course with my job I am out and about a lot.”  Well, I kind of got the message, but decided that I would not ask him what he did, let alone realise that I was supposed to know already.

Afterwards I was asked by the others around me, what was he like? What did we talk about?  I did not know that he was a famous TV presenter (of the DIY/house-changing/gardener-ish ilk), yet I declared that he was ok, a bit boring and pretty self-centred.

A lot of people in business say that perception is everything.  I think that is true in this case, he was perceived to be interesting and famous, and I am sure that it is true about Accountants.

Accountants in business and as leaders

The UK has about 50,000 family doctors, but nearly 280,000 professionally qualified Accountants.  That is a lot of boring people.  At any one time there are 165,000 registered students training to be Accountants.  That is a lot of young people wanting to be boring people.

Around 80% of FTSE 100 Companies have at least one Chartered Accountant on their main board of directors.  Many Finance Directors go on to be Chief Executives and prove to be successful, ok Gordon Brown did not do that well.

And Accountants have gone on to fame and fortune and have shaken off their old image as being boring:

  • Barry Hearn – Boxing manager and sports events promoter
  • J. P. Morgan – This famous financier and banker
  • Pádraig Harrington – The former PGA and Open Golf Champion
  • Lee Van Cleef – Hollywood star of spaghetti westerns
  • John Major – Former British Prime Minister and often described ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ (…no wait that’s Mike Tyson). Major trained as an accountant. Some might say, “Unsurprising!”
  • Kenny G – The saxophone player
  • Josiah Wedgewood – As in Wedgewood the potter.
  • Luca Pacioli – Big mates with Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • John Grisham – The best-selling author, and I thought he was a lawyer
  • Robert Plant – The Led Zeppelin rock legend
  • Cecil Parkinson, former Conservative MP and now Baron Parkinson

And for those in the West Midland who have already have heard of Peter Murphy, he was included in an article in the FT in December 2010 as the story of the Accountant who went on to feature on the South Bank Show, meet the Queen and play harp for Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Has Accountancy made me boring?

I do not believe Accountancy has made me boring, but I let others be the judge of that.  I do believe that it has given me an insight into how businesses work and what does not work.  It has given me insight into how you can build a business, sustain a business, the importance of supporting structures for business, for operational issues and improvement, the importance of strategic thinking, of assessing where you are now, where you want to get to and how to structure a plan of how to get there.  It has given me an insight into finance, into cash management and working capital and it has given me insight into taxation, what can be achieved and what cannot be achieved.  It has given me an insight into leadership and change management and what makes organisations work and what deters them from working well.  It has given me an insight into recruitment and appraisal and how to challenge others and help them improve, how to empower others to improve the business and to enhance the team, their skills and achievements as well.  It has allowed me to work with a large number of businesses, helping them achieve their goals.  It has given me an opportunity to understand the real meaning and importance of good marketing and sales as the lifeblood of a business.  It has allowed me to be involved in marketing initiatives, new start-up businesses, new funding initiatives, working with banks, with other business organisations, with universities and new technologies.  I have worked on business turnarounds, helping business turn a corner and re-build.  I act as Finance Director for a number of innovative start-up innovative product businesses, new technologies and leisure businesses.  It allows me to talk to and meet new contacts and potential new clients on a constant basis.

If all of that means that Accountants are boring, then, well I am ….. boring I suppose.

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA, McGregors Corporate, More than just Accountants!

McGregors Corporate are a Member Of Probiz Tax.  We provide Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.  We are relentless in helping businesses.  Here are some examples of how we do that:

Accelerate Your Business Growth and get supported with Grant Funding.
http://wp.me/pQyUg-29
Midlands Investor Network – Launch Event and Update
http://wp.me/pQyUg-25
How an FD drives a business when sometimes Accountants are just catching up
http://wp.me/pQyUg-j

We like to keep things simple, for ourselves and our clients;
We build our business by reducing our clients’ business and taxation costs;
We build our business by increasing our clients sales;
We build our business by helping our clients succeed in their business;
It is that simple and we meet you to discuss all these things for free;

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659
T: 0121 236 3317

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

February 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Does the FIFA World Cup Decision Surprise the Home of Britain’s Got Talent & The X Factor

leave a comment »

Does the FIFA World Cup Decision Surprise the Home of Britain’s Got Talent & The X Factor
(some lessons in business)

Most of us are all seriously upset at England not getting the World Cup for 2018 and (at least on the decision day) appear to be bemused at why FIFA chose Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022, when clearly England had by far the best bid.

Perhaps it is that FIFA and the way that it chooses where the World Cup is hosted has more similarities and areas in common to the business models of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) and The X Factor (TXF).  As a business blog it may be interesting to review this area, as well as reflecting on how both organisations appear to have elements of democracy and group decision making, with both organisations headed by a strong and dominant Chief Executive.

The Business Model

I think that it is fair to say that BGT and TXF are business models and this can be outlined.  It is also fair to say that both BGT and TXF are not really talent competitions.  Whilst the winners have talent, the selection of the program does not necessarily choose talent, good singers, great performers, they are choosing contestants to make an entertaining program, some the strange and unusual, but many with a “back story”, the creation of ordinary person from Tesco/small Scottish village/family man/orphan/recent bereavement/you name it, the creation of a story to sell to the media is the powerful selling tool, central to the program’s success.  The consumers buy into the idea that BGT and TXF are searching for talent across the UK and we buy into the idea that the judging panel are seeking out this talent themselves, but anybody who has read Ben Elton’s Chart Throb will know, “Do the Maths,” and you quickly conclude that there is a serious level of embellishing the message,

What does that teach us about a successful business model?  It says that the initial purpose of the program, i.e. a show to identify the best talent, is second to the entertainment of the show itself and second to the creation of a powerful back story to sell to the consumers/customers the product and it is they who are paying for the product.

How does this business model compare to the business model of the FIFA World Cup.  I think there is possibly a key comparison that being the best does not mean at all that you will be included on the show.  FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, SB, reportedly had already said that England’s bid was practically faultless, yet England came last.

Perhaps like BGT and TXF, FIFA were not, and are not going to look for the best talent and the best bid, perhaps they are creating their show with the best back story to sell the World Cup product to the World Cup customers (the 208 FIFA member countries).  It is also fair to note that Australia had an incredibly strong bid for 2022, yet lost to Qatar, an oil state just over half the size of Wales (which apparently is a standard measurement for land area), with a population of 1.4m, no real football history, but lots of oil.  I am not intending to be political, just stick to the business model review.

So in comparison football talent or history is not what matters at all.  FIFA is possibly selling a back story for the world to consume, just as BGT and TXF does.  South Africa was a great back story and Russia appears to be another.  Cynically you could also go on to say, does that mean that the host will be in FIFAs pocket and at their beck and call in the future and will be dumped as soon as the next big thing comes along, just as BGT and TXF appears to do, get your 15 minutes of fame and fade away as soon as you no longer can produce money.  Well, I really would not like to comment on that one.

The destruction of future talent and desire

We all either know people or know people, who know people in the music industry in some form (6 degrees of separation would confirm that one).  People who I have spoken to have said that there is a genuine problem that that new bands and talent do not get spotted as they did in the past, by doing constant and gruelling gigs in small clubs and venues, and hoping that their agent/manager can get the appropriate talent scout and A&R person from a record label to spot the talent and sign them up.  Interestingly the very job that Simon Cowell, SC, had at EMI (but it helped that his dad was an executive at EMI at the time).

Many in the music industry are now openly saying that to get on, you have to be part of the whole reality TV and talent show route and doing the apprenticeship in clubs and small halls can no longer be seen as a sensible route to securing a record deal.  Rather than Britain’s got Talent or The X Factor, it can be seen that BTG is destroying Britain’s talent.

Is there an analogy to FIFA and world football here as well? Australia is an up and coming footballing nation, who I recall have beaten England 3-1 in 2003, but hopefully not at cricket this year.  How are they feeling losing to Qatar, who has never even been to a World Cup? Is this not stifling and restricting the development of football throughout the world.  Surely a country should get the World Cup as a developing footballing nation, not just because there is a good back story, or lots of oil (sorry no politics).

Interestingly there are comparisons here with SC and SB in that SB is pretty much a sports administration professional and has been involved in the development of a number of sports over a significant period.  Both of them used to develop the business and now control it and neither of them really had any significant professional interest in doing it, professional administrators being the key phrase, initially responsible for the development of talent, now controlling and owning it.

The overriding question, however is that, are both organisations actually destroying the talent that they rely on to trade in the future.

Control by Committee v Control by a Board

There is another interesting comparison as to how a business is run.  An SME owner managed business is generally driven and controlled by one person and everything that they say goes.

As a business becomes more complex and larger, with aims to progress beyond the OMB, that business has to take on more senior skills at a board level.  If the business wishes to become a large company or listed company or even to enhance the value to sell to a third party, the business has to be structured to trade without the all-encompassing control of the original owner manager.

The first introduction externally at a board level is probably a Finance Director, who will look to set areas for improvement covering support, operational and strategic areas and will look to structure the improvements in these areas, to be able to drive the business on http://wp.me/pQyUg-j.

Initial challenges and pressures can present themselves at this point as the owner manager sometimes faces robust challenges to their decisions and direction for the first time within their business.  The key point that this is leading to, is that as a business progresses and becomes larger and more developed, its systems and senior management team become more developed.  A full established and advanced board of directors will seek to drive the business as a board, making decisions as a board, setting strategy as a board and utilising their complimentary skills, as a board.

The next question and observation is to look at an organisation controlled and lead by committee and it sometimes can be very different.  Decisions are not necessarily made by the contribution of the unique skills of each member contributing to the strategic direction of a business, whilst each member in turns leads the area that they are uniquely responsible for.  Leadership by committee tends to be either by majority of opinion or by a controlling chair making all of the strategic decisions, with the committee only playing a supportive role.

Another comparison then, well both BGT and FIFA wish to appear to be democratic.  They both want to look as if a group of specialist and key individuals are combining their skills and knowledge to lead the organisation.  However, it appears that the latter structure highlighted above is how both organisations operate, with their own chairs/chief executives in SB and SC making all of the strategic decisions with the committee only in support.  At a smaller local level, you sometimes see this in the operation of school governing bodies or parish councils with the will of the chair to take the decisions wherever they like, with no opposition or real debate from the remainder of the committee who in many occasions may not have the skill set to challenge the chair.  Could SB and SC be the despot in this analogy and could they be using the committee structure to look as if there is a democratic decision, possibly, either way it is not really the way a successful and sustainable business operates.  As a business it has more in common with an owner managed business than an advanced public company.

Fooling some of the people, some of the time

An entrepreneur does not necessarily create something new or gives the market what it wants all of the time.  An entrepreneur spots an opportunity in the market to exploit and makes money and may well recognise that this may not last forever.  All products have a life cycle.  Businesses have to either re-invent or change to continue to be successful.

There are some key and famous sayings that come to mind that include a lesson here.  The saying, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” is sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but actually was said by PT Barnum, the circus showman and entrepreneur.  PT Barnum is also attributed to saying that there is a sucker born every day, but apparently he himself denied that one.  Both are pretty relevant.

What is the lesson here, well in BGT and TXF we have a business that is doing its best to fool most of the people, most of the time and there appears to be cracks appearing in the business model, which may lead to either business failure or change of strategy.  Chinks in TXF armour have recently been exploited by Facebook campaigns to ensure that Rage against the Machine became Christmas number 1 in 2009 and this year ensured that Wagner continued on the show, long past his original use.  Given this, there is evidence that the public and consumers are fighting back and this may continue.  As Barnum says, you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time.

Is this going to happen to FIFA and its leader SB, given recent comments made by the UK sporting media (and not just Panorama or the Sunday Times), this possibly could happen.  The customers of FIFA are the individual member countries, 208 member countries represented by 22 committee members for the selection of the World Cup.

A Facebook campaign as the consumer strikes back may ultimately change the business model for TXF and BGT; 208 member countries of FIFA are a far more powerful consumer and if directed could well start the changes to the FIFA business model as well.

Light-hearted but pertinent business observations written whilst recovering from man-flu

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA
Director
McGregors Corporate

We like to keep things simple, for ourselves and our clients;
We build our business by reducing our clients’ business and taxation costs;
We build our business by increasing our clients sales;
We build our business by helping our clients succeed in their business;
It is that simple and we meet you to discuss all these things for free;

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659
T: 0121 236 3317

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

December 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm