Not about frocks
Keep up won’t you; I’m not asking you to actually sleep with the celebs. I don’t allow anyone to sleep with me. Simon Cowell’s unofficial biography mentioned Dannii Minogue but not me. Yet, coincidentally, I also have a chic shorter ‘do and a couple of designer frocks with an of-the-moment statement shoulder.
No, what I want you to do is consider why government folk, like your Brit Prime Minister, David Cameron, choose celebrities and big company chiefs to advise them on promoting and supporting business start-ups. Put it another way: why don’t your government ask people who have started and are currently running micro businesses to advise them on enterprise policies?
For example, they could use Stefan Topfer instead. Stefan is the Editor of The Small Business Blog and is a highly successful entrepreneur. Then there’s my hopeless agent and highly unsuccessful entrepreneur, who still knows a thing or two about starting and running micro businesses, Tony Robinson OBE.
Not about self-employment
The answer to my question is ‘charisma’. This is something the glampreneurs and fat cats have but the aforementioned German and Yorkshireman do not. Perhaps they’re messy eaters too, especially with posh nosh. You see your government like to portray starting your own business as something anyone can do. In fact they want everyone to do it whilst the big corporates, that are running the country, lay off thousands of employees. It makes the unemployment figures look acceptable.
Furthermore, the Banks and Big Companies want the 6% of start-ups that become substantial businesses as their customers and the glampreneurs want to sell all the start-ups their books and events.
It is about aspiration
Celebrity spokespeople will stay ‘on message’ for government. On message is that entrepreneurs are sexy and wealthy but the self-employed are the great unwashed. On message is that successful start-ups need to invest in financial services (loans, insurance and pensions), utilities, technology, and management and business skills – plus have a volunteer mentor, who may not have started and run their own business, on their shoulder.
Government and corporate leaders legitimise these messages about enterprise, such as, ‘Business in You’, as important for ‘trough filling’. The trough is filled with lots of dosh from start ups buying lots from big companies, taxation and lack of pay out to the welfare state and corporate social responsibility. The public sector and big company leaders keep filling the trough even as they lay off thousands of their employees.
Business owners, like Stefan Topfer and Tony Robinson OBE, recommend an alternative approach which is that people starting a business are best to bootstrap, test trade, not borrow, and should spend most of their personal time winning customers and managing cash flow.
Furthermore, they suggest that the best help they’ll get will be from other self-employed and micro business owners and that they may need to avoid supplying big corporates as they’ll pay them after, an average, 80 days. In fact, this German/Tyke combo hardly recommend start-ups do any of the stuff most government spokespeople, glampreneurs and corporate leaders do.
So now you know why government get into bed with the celebs.