Rocking the Old Boys’ Clubs

Waspies mean business

Keep up won’t you? News that there are now 395,000 independent, own biz, direct sellers in the UK, up 20,000 since 2009 with an increase of 120% in party plan revenue, got me thinking. You’d be right in guessing that I’m more Agent Provocateur than Ann Summers but what’s not to like about a Rampant Rabbit! So, I do know what party plan and format businesses are.

BTW when I told my inept agent, fashion disaster, pathetic excuse for an entrepreneur, Tony Robinson OBE that I was going to an Ann Summers party, he asked me to bring back a ‘rabbit’ for him. He’d thought it was that gold foil wrapped,chocolate rabbit that you get at Easter. He really does need to get out more, without his fleece, but he is a chocoholic so has a one track mind.

Tough times mean doing it for ourselves

As you’ll know from my enterprise best seller ‘Stripping for Freedom‘; when times get tough more and more people turn to the format businesses (direct sales, distributorship, licensed agency, franchise), most often part time at first, as an extra and alternative way of earning a living.

I’ve highlighted the word alternative. My investigations show that as the number of jobs available in larger organisations quite rapidly decrease so starting and running your own business, including the supposedly safer, format business, is the best and often the only alternative way most people have to earn their living.

OMG – how sad are beards?

Now I know my fab readers aren’t gullible enough to believe the government and big company spin that increased bank lending, reducing the tax rate and providing mentors is the reason more people start their own business. Most people don’t expect to be the next Sir Richard Branson or Lord Sugar. Indeed, most of my devoted, and seriously intelligent fans, don’t want to grow a beard or be a man.

People start their own biz because they want to control their own destiny, rather than have it controlled by an employer or the state – and they, mainly, just want to put food on the table. Many have no alternative, like my hapless and hopeless agent Tony Robinson OBE. They regard themselves as unemployable – in his case because of his incredibly advanced age, fleece and total ineptitude.

Know-How for a Rainy Day

What’s this got to do with direct sales, party planners and other format businesses? Well, the fact is, despite government not because of it, over the last 30 years the number of people running their own micro businesses has increased fourfold to 4.5 million. 1 in 7 of the UK adult workforce are now running their own micro business and this will move to 1 in 4 in the next 20 years.

So if you can do the math, you know like you do when you’re deciding whether you can have the Jimmy Choos as well as the Burberry bag, you’ll realise that most people will need the skills and know how to start and run their own business at some stage in their lives.

The best way to learn enterprise is by doing enterprise. So,starting off running a part time business, whether it’s your own or freelancing or a direct sales business or a distributorship, is a great way to learn and make some useful extra money too.

Level the Playing Field and Stuff the Boys Clubs

I’ve met a fabulous and inspiring woman called Tina Boden who has co-founded the Enterprise Rockers Movement to help make life fairer and better for micro enterprises everywhere. Tina says it’s not worth wasting valuable enterprise and retail therapy time on trying to change the ruling Old Boys Clubs of government, institutions and BigCo executives – because it’s a man thing.

Indeed, the super rich, and, natch, I expect to be amongst them, continue to get richer and government continue to give 95% of all government funding, at least £17 billion a year, and support to the bigger organisations. This is because of the Old Boys Clubs looking after their own. It makes no sense because it’s a no brainer that they should only give support to businesses, of all sizes, in their first 3 years of trading as these businesses produce all the new jobs, innovation and growth.

However, Tina believes they these Old boys Clubs can eventually be rocked by the ‘Power of Plenty’. If all Micro Business Owners looked after their own by trading together and supporting each other, not only will they survive and thrive, they’ll get some power too. Jump on the Enterprise Rockers bandwagon – I have.

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