Going it alone…

With all the talk about Scotland and going it alone the question of can she or can’t she go it alone.
Now any fool knows that of course you can go it alone and of course you too will have the benefit of living or dying by your own decisions – whether they be poor ones or brilliant ones.
The question is really that is this a good thing to do? I really mean is it a good thing for Scotland or in fact any nascent country or any group to “go it alone” how does the Tom & Barbara scenario pan out for anyone else.
Great idea! but history tells us that self sufficiency is usually macro-economically disastrous. You can do everything yourself; but do you really want to. Should we all return to doing everything ourselves from killing the pig for breakfast baps to basket weaving or collecting gallons of urine to make soap or maybe we would be happier just popping down to the supermarket and buying something that someone else – who I may say really is far better at it – for example Proctor and Gamble have made a massive global empire just from taking the piss…
So I would encourage anyone who is wanting to become self sufficient to think of the alternative. This should be “outsourcingnot becoming a “Jack of All Trades” but focussing on your few core skills and creating a niche of excellence and getting paidanf handsomely for it then finding someone else to do the stuff you are not so good at and probably don’t enjoy anyway.
So Scotland take note of course you can become independent but do you really really want to…
As I say to any person wanting to set up in business for themselves it is much better to be in control than not but then not everyone is born to be in control and be comfortable with it.

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Know your rights

Every business needs them, every business uses them – absolutely no customer reads them or in fact very few actually understand them. in reality they are a very negative process.  They detail what your rights are when things go wrong sometimes disastrously so. Before you go further watch the movie below and how much your privacy and rights are really worth. The customer is king unless they are not…       Terms & Conditions may apply!



Loose Change or Loose Morals?

Or should this be “The rant of a time poor shopper”
This is not strictly a business matter but does help to highlight the way the different genders deal with negotiating transactions.
I always seem to join a queue in a shop with a lady in front of now this lady can be any size and any age but I only notice it’s a lady because of what happens when we get to the checkout counter…

Now I, and I believe that includes most men, have some rough idea of what the items they have chosen to purchase are going to total up to so can prepare to cover the cost when asked to in a timely manner. But get behind the person I was recently, when finally the counter comes up on them it’s almost a shock and, additionally, the amount requested seems to come as a complete surprise.

The person in question is clutching hold of her handbag as if her life depends upon it and grudgingly opens it to retrieve her purse when the total owed becomes clear. This then escalates into a search of the deepest crevices of her purse to finding what cash is hiding away. After some rummaging she withdraws the amount and then what she says next brings a cold fear into my heart; “I think I have the extra change”! This throws the mathematically challenged shop assitant into a cold sweat of panic and now all calculations will have to be done again. After payment is carried out we have the purse closing ceremony where it is repeatedly checked and finally closed then returned to the handbag which is also then closed and checked, but please note this has to be done at the counter, exasperatingly we then the receipt has to be put away safely before finally moving off to one side to let the next person in the queue have their turn. If there are three or four women in the queue in front of you, take my advice, give up and go elsewhere. For me the process is simple, regardless of the total, men get out the largest note in their wallet and quickly pay taking the change and receipt in one hand and then stuffing into their pocket for later checking if they can be bothered.

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This is by no means a modern phenomenon if I remember correctly in the famous film The Glen Miller Story starring James Stewart as Glen Miller and June Allyson as his wife Helen there is a scene where Helen is tired of living the life of a nomad and wants to settle down. Glen says that they can’t afford it and Helen replies that she has saved enough for a Deposit by emptying his pockets of change every night. Now in the late 1930’s I can believe that may have been possible but now finding £50K in my pockets or down the back of the sofa is downright impossible however women are still predisposed to carry out the change liberating routine.

I would never contemplate riffling through my wifes handbag, god knows what I would find, as that would be a gross violation of trust.

The point I am making is that the speed of transation allows men to close a deal and move on where a women needs to be sure that it is all going to plan.

If nothing else it explains why I never seem to have the right change for the parking meter…

Poor Communication

Communication is fundamental to the smooth running of any organisation or in fact with any interaction between people. Recently I have experienced or become involved with disagreements where is becomes obvious to the outsider that the problem has been very poor communications in point of fact some of these disputes cannot be unravelled as the communications have got so bad that each individual has become intransigent and slips into the I’m right your wrong argument style. 

One involves two companies who despite advice they both consistently ignore basic business rules around planning and contracts. This has resulted in a dispute which has degenerated into verbal assaults and liablous emails flying about.  
How to solve these reputation destroying and ultimately business closing situations?
It’s rather like the letters that have appeared out of the Good Friday Peace Agreement. Finding out that negotiations rely upon two things, one is both sides knowing what they want and secondly how much they will give up to get what they want. If that isn’t there then there are no negotiations finally without communication there is nothing. 
Be open, have a plan, have agreements in the clearest language possible. Expect things to wrong. All these equal success.