Re: Any news yet?
Posted by: sgrinnall
Date: 28 June, 2012 06:43
From Jeremy Clarksons column a couple of weeks ago on selling a business... I wonder wat Steve or Kens record collection is like?
"...Many may decide to go into business, which in the past used to be an easy option. If you had a product that people wanted to buy, and you sold it for more than it cost, then you would be sitting at the top table at the lodge within a matter of months.
It isnít like that any more. Today you start a business not because you want a fountain from which your family can drink. No, you start a business so that one day, as soon as possible, you can sell it.
Again, that sounds simple, but let me assure you that it really isnít. Iíve spent the past few months negotiating a business deal, and although I am not the most stupid man in the world, I havenít understood a single thing that has been said or done. It has all been gobbledygook, presented in a series of so many acronyms that it sounded as if someone were reading out the model names of every Kawasaki motorcycle ever made.
Each evening Iíd call my accountant, who did his best to translate everything into primary school English. It was never any good because eventually it would go dark, and then it would get light and I would be forced by tiredness to say Iíd understood when in truth I hadnít.
Are you familiar, for instance, with Ebitda? It sounds as though it might be a character at the bar in Star Wars but, in fact, it stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. Itís critical you understand this in business but you donít, do you? Because you donít know what amortisation is. And neither do I.
Thereís another issue with business that is not made clear on Dragonsí Den. When you agree terms, you stand up and shake hands. But then, the next day, the man with whom you did the deal has a completely different version of events in his head. ďNo,Ē heíll say, ďyou agreed to sell for 5p and give me your record collection.Ē
So then you have to employ some suits, who say that you should think more about Ebit rather than Ebitda unless, of course, you choose to use the DCF model. And then it goes quiet and you realise itís your turn to speak and all you can think to say is, ďWould anyone like a cup of tea?Ē
I havenít even got to the misery of tax yet. Not being Greek or Italian, I fully understand that a percentage of what I earn should go to the government. I recognise that if we want street lighting and a bobby on the beat and prisons, we cannot operate in a river of cash and hope the Germans will pay when our government cannot.
I can even work out how much I need to pay each year. Half of everything I earn. Itís a simple sum. However, it turns out that in business, itís not simple at all, and donít ask why because you will then be plunged into a Scrabble bag of acronyms in which time slows down and your internal organs stop working.
To make matters worse, accountancy types actually seem to enjoy sparring with each other using nothing but letters. ďCGT?Ē one will say. ďNot with this PBT,Ē will come the snorted retort. After an hour you feel compelled to stand up and say, ďAre you dealing with my business stuff here, or are you playing out-loud Boggle?Ē
On the next series of Sir Sugarís The Apprentice, he should put those gormless marketing-speak idiots in a proper business meeting and then ask them to explain what just went on. It would be hysterical...."