Cost control

Vince Cable at the Mini-Me conference has today said that he’s prepared to make difficult decisions, but it’s not much fun.

He said this with a smile on his face and the conference delegates laughed appreciatively.

Saint Vince said that he is pro-business and is a real champion of small businesses, fighting to help us get access to funding at reasonable rates of interest so that we can continue to be the engine room of the British economy.

He went on to crack a few more jokes and once again the laughter from the audience was genuine.

This clown (because clowns make us laugh, too) has no idea what it takes to run a business in EB.

A friend of mine has been running his business for 18 years. It’s taken blood, sweat and tears to get it to the position it was in just two years ago. It’s taken even more bodily fluids to keep it going through the hardest and deepest recession most of us can remember.

He has a bank of customers and a loyal team, most of whom have been with him for many years… because the service works.

The service he provides is premium and he has always charged accordingly and, it has to be said, has built up a cost base to reflect the service he delivers.

Now, though, as we emerge (be it ever so slowly) from recession once loyal customers who know that the service works are now challenging the premium the are paying and, because he can’t reduce his fees, are going elsewhere to providers who are less effective, but charge less, too.

After a lot of soul searching, not paying himself, putting in extra hours my friend has concluded that he has to change his cost structure and as the only overhead he can work with right now is his people, guess what he’s doing.

Yep… he’s reducing working hours and making people redundant after putting his heart and soul into the business so he didn’t have to pursue that course of action.

So, Saint Vince, you who have lectured at Glasgow University and been a government adviser, please remember that you’re not the only who ‘isn’t having much fun’ and when you talk of ‘fairer taxes’ and the ‘murky world’ you should spare a thought for my friend who puts his heart and soul into EB and not just his opinion.

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