More tips to guarantee business failure

September 23rd, 2010 | 2 comments Source: EnterQuest

Earlier this year there were a number of ‘manifestos’ for enterprise and entrepreneurship in circulation which a variety of business support groups had presented to the new Government as the way forward for encouraging start ups and enterprise over the next few years. One of those manifestos included a proposal to ensure that new businesses would be able to start up in one day.

One of the biggest causes of early mortality in newly started businesses, especially within a matter of months (or even weeks) is lack of preparation and lack of understanding of the statutory obligations required before starting to trade.

Suggesting that barriers to starting up an enterprise should be removed or reduced is an interesting argument. While it will probably encourage more start ups it will also probably increase the early mortality rate.

On the other side of the coin it could also reasonably be argued that by having these barriers or obstacles there is a quality filter in place which ensures that new enterprises are only started by people who have taken sufficient time to prepare properly – and who thoroughly understand what they need to do, legally or otherwise.

So in this week’s bulletin we thought it would be helpful to encourage our readers to take some more positive action and prepare themselves for business failure. As in previous issues of EnterQuest, we’ve identified some practical tips you can start using straight away which, if followed, will put you out of business and on the enterprise scrapheap in double quick time.

Here are our latest tips to guarantee your small business will fail.

1) Save costs by paying your staff as little as possible – this is a trick any small business can use, and if you pay people less than the National Minimum Wage, you’ll have really cracked it. There are plenty of unsuspecting skint or unemployed people out there, desperate for work, who’ll join your firm for some extra beer money.
2) Conveniently forget to make your tax return – with any luck you won’t get found out, and better still, you’ll spend all your cash so you can’t pay it anyway. HMRC are very understanding about small business cash flow problems and only send people to jail in the worst cases.
3) Only employ people who you know – friends, family and neighbours are a good starting point. Looking for talented people with qualifications will only bring you staff who’ll keep on suggesting new ideas and raise awkward questions about the way you run your business. You certainly wouldn’t want any of that.
4) Don’t talk to customers under any circumstances – and certainly don’t give them their money back if they complain. The last thing you want is to get embroiled in running customer surveys and seeking feedback which will distract you from your objective of becoming a millionaire overnight.
5) Ignore all the new employment regulations that keep coming out. All that stuff about equality and discrimination, harassment, health and safety in the workplace and so on will eventually bog you down in paperwork and red tape. In any event, there were only 56,000 cases of employees taking their bosses to employment tribunals last year – which is actually less than 1% of the small business population, so you’ve got a greater than 99% chance of getting away with it.
6) Get yourself an MBA – that’s one of those university masters degrees about business which are run by professors and lecturers who decided to pursue careers as teachers instead of risking it as entrepreneurs and small business owners. You’ll be able to read endless textbooks and learn practical entrepreneurship theories and techniques such as strategic modelling, time series analysis and microeconomic dynamics. Your competitors won’t even know what’s hit them.

In fact there’s no doubt about it, this is just about the best time there has been in the last thirty years for starting a business which is more likely to fail than succeed.

So don’t waste a second, start writing your business plan and resign from your job today, if you haven’t already been made redundant, and launch your new business tomorrow. Then get yourself down to your local Starbucks and start idly networking with the tens of thousands of other budding failures who are in the same boat.

But whatever you do, don’t waste your time doing any formal or in-depth research, like looking on the high street to see which shops are always full and which ones are empty, or ringing up local firms in your area and asking them to name a service they struggle to find a local supplier for. And don’t bother with stupid distractions like looking at consumer statistics and trends on websites like and, or contacting your local trading standards office to see if you need a licence before you start trading in your area.

Because if you do any of those things you will only delay your suicidal rush into start up. Even worse, you might be in danger of spotting a genuine local market gap, which in turn might need further research and investigation and lead you into the tricky territory of starting up a business which might not fail at all.

And that would involve a lot of time consuming hard work. Now you don’t want any of that … do you??

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2 Responses to “More tips to guarantee business failure”

  • John Beswick

    Brilliant stuff, well pleased that someone is writing it and putting it out there. Just wish it had a wider distribution. Could Vince Cable be persuaded to include this series in one of the Govt.packs for aspiring entrepreneurs. How innocent is that.

    Comment was posted on Friday, September 24, 2010 12:17 pm
  • Gordon Scott

    Whenever anything goes wrong, ensure your staff know you blame them for it.

    After all, they need to know who is the boss!

    Comment was posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 4:17 pm

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