Sunday, 7 February 2010

An open goal for entrepreneurs

Am I the only person left who still thinks Dubai is ace? Me and Mrs C had a pre-Christmas break - she likes the shopping and the skiing and I’d heard a whisper the Stevie Gerrard Tower might be available for a song now everything’s going tits up. They keep going on about unsustainable debt levels, but there’s still plenty of Russkis and Afghans about, but the good thing is all the scrotes have bailed out, that night flight from Ringway was starting to look like the Agadoo express. No class.

Out of despair comes happiness, for some. When your mind moves as fast as mine, it’s easy to forget that not everyone’s blessed with the natural ability to be a winner. One man’s hapless idiot is another man opportunity.

Take debt, which I’ve never been shy of doing. We’ve set up RC Money Saving Expert Solutions - a loans business. We run cheap ads on daytime telly and then just waited for the calls to flood in. Your sales jockeys take the calls, act sympathetic and “refer” the request to a “boss” who obviously refuses it – you don’t want to end up actually giving out cash after all.

But you follow this kick in the goolies up with an arm round the shoulder, by referring the punter to a sister company in debt management – the lad at the next desk, or even the same one if he’s good at accents.

We then sign the punter up to one affordable monthly payment at whatever per cent he thinks he can get away with, all in exchange for offering advice they could get for free if they had the wit to look up some cuddly public sector cardigan-wearing types on the internet. It’s flawless, and best of all unstifled by the type of regulation that’s holding British business back.

The only problem is we had that Donal MacIntyre sniffing around – the one who made a berk of himself going undercover with the Chelsea lads a few years back. He was on the radio - kicking up a fuss about it, but why should entrepreneurs miss an open goal in the meantime? As someone once told me, “When we’re good they never remember, when we’re bad they never forget.”

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