Welcome to the May Bank Holiday Enterprise Britain Quiz.
There is only one question: What word is defined as follows in the Oxford Dictionary:
“A chance of injury or loss or bad consequence” (Oxford Dictionary).
While you ponder the answer can I discuss with you the issue of risk.
You, an owner, manager, member of staff, running a ‘small’ (hate that word) business are a risk.
• You don’t always pay your bills on time (often because the cheque from a Government department has not arrived).
• You don’t make investors in your shares enough profit to pay a dividend so the shares don’t go up so they can’t sell at a profit so demonstrating there is no loyalty to your company at all.
• The Business Angel who put £40,000 in to your business a year ago and seemed rather decent has been watching ‘Dragon’s Den’ and has decided he wants to be a self satisfied, patronising ‘Angel’ and arrives with his solicitor and a list of demands. He says his risk profile has changed.
The nature of risk is one of the most misunderstood terms used in conjunction with Enterprising Businesses.
I have never understood how market regulators, market officials, financial journalist, bank managers (whoever they are), MPs, Treasury officials and so on expect that it is realistic to run a market for enterprising businesses without there being risk.
Most people using the term “risk and reward” simply don’t understand it. I will return to this subject in another Blog. The answer to the quiz question is of course……….risk
The four million members of Enterprise Britain who are flogging themselves to death on a daily basis play quizzes everyday of the week:
• Which Government paid official is coming through my door today – the VAT Man, an inspector from Inland Revenue, a Health and Safety officer
• What wheeze has the bank thought up today to extract more money from my business?
“We have reviewed your current account and we have found that we
missed an overdraft position in 1952. You owe us £14.2.6p which is now
£14.27p and with compound interest at 17% (a preferential rate as you are a
valued customer) we have deducted £2,309.66p from your account. We
enclose a FSA required leaflet ‘How to Complain’. Please note our call centre
in Asia is currently closed because of street violence.”
May has been one of the extraordinary months I can remember with a Prime Minister in open revolt with the heirs apparent in his Cabinet, MPs diminished by the issue of expenses, a Speaker who had forgotten his role and much more…
Thank God (whichever is your God) that the heart of this great country remains the brilliant, energetic, hard-working, honest members of Enterprise Britain.