The downside of free start up advice from governments is that it is often their way of ensuring you comply with all their regulations and they collect the maximum amount of money from you.
Most countries have so much bureaucracy and regulations in place to favour big business, and make it difficult for micro enterprise, that if you spent your time getting to understand all the regulations that could affect your business you’d be dead in the water before you’d started.
The irony is that, as you can see from the biggest financial services companies and energy companies they don’t comply either. They gamble, often breaking the law on a massive scale and if they’re found out they then settle out of court. It’s how they make loads of money to pay themselves big salaries and bonuses.
You can’t afford to do this because you can’t afford the army of lawyers and accountants and settlement costs. You need to try to comply without wasting all your time in doing so.
If the successful business owners I’ve met had followed the advice on some of these government and bank backed business advice websites they wouldn’t have built their businesses. For a start, most business owners I’ve met just copy stuff, like crazy.
Even the big swinging dicks in the entrepreneurship world like Trump, Sugar, Branson and Murdoch are copiers – with a twist – and deal makers. They didn’t start out as the innovative, creative, hi tech pathfinders that governments suggest are the new businesses they want to support. Believe me there’s a lot more people that won’t make any money out of app development than do.
By the time most prospective business owners have done all the research and planning, that most government schemes recommend, they’d be too late in getting the product or service to market and the opportunity would have gone.
If they’d taken the government advice their money would be so tied up in supplier contracts (e.g. products, premises, energy, telecoms, financial services) or repayments to investors and lenders that not only would they have no cash to take advantage of deals to be made, but the slightest problem in their cash flow and they could be out of business.
Business is often about having a go at doing what someone else has tried before you. Look at Loubi (Christian Louboutin to you), if he hadn’t read an article about a slashed out shoe with a red line, then thousands of rich women around the world wouldn’t have fallen off his killer heels to, legs in the air, show off his signature red soles.
So I’m not saying don’t consider using your government’s free start up support schemes as some are good but some are so bad they can actually cost you dearly.
By the way ‘Start Up Canada’, in my homeland, is not government run but run by volunteers and was founded by the inspirational, young social entrepreneur, Victoria Lennox. It is truly empowering. New Zealand’s start up support programme is just excellent too – a really good combination of government working with private sector small businesses to help new small businesses.
Come back next week for another feisty enterprise tip from the elusive Ms. Soculitherz and avoid embarrassing fashion faux pas by following her on Pintrest!