We all want to get rich don’t we? No? Ok, carry on searching for pictures of celebrities then! If you do, then read on for my 10-tip guide to becoming a millionaire with your small business idea. You’ll have to think like the big boys & girls do in the city – which roughly translates to thinking about nobody else.
- Ensure your sales force is UK based but your customer service team is outsourced to another countryLarge companies receive 1000′s of letters saying they hate these foreign call centres where the operator hardly understands you or reads blindly from a script – they take these as a way of understand the customers needs – if they hate it, give them more of it so they won’t ring up and will just accept that they have what they have.Your sales number should be an 0800 freephone number but your customer services has to be 0844 with a minimum hold time of 10 minutes – remember, you make money while people are on hold!
- The product is what it isBig companies don’t listen to what their customers want, they tell them what they want. Design a product with different specifications but the customer can only buy version A, B or C, there’s no middle ground.Don’t forget, shiny retail boxed extras and upgrades are the key here.
- Image is everything!Make sure your retail store looks immaculate, large glass fronts with bright lights make a statement and don’t forget to dress your staff all the same and make sure they are as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as your store. If you’re a web-only business, make sure your website is very impressive – yet still not giving people a price until they hit the buy button.
- Customer was the king – shareholder will be king!Get into the mindset that your company’s legal obligation is to serve its profit margin, this means stepping over your own grandmother at times because your shareholders will buy and sell your shares like nobody’s business and the ones that hold onto them are waiting for one thing only – dividends! There is no profit in lowering prices without raising throughput. Energy companies know this, the more energy efficient devices become, the more a unit of electricity is going to cost. And just to remind you, shareholders are like Paulie from Goodfellas, F*** you! Pay me!
- Ensure your company structure is robust enough to survive a crashEnsure that your company receives all the profits while taking on no liabilities but own another company which takes on all the liabilities and staff so that you can break it away from the mothership if needed and let it sink while retaining all assets and bank balances – perfectly legal in westernised company laws.
- Use your profits wisely; lobbying, political payoffs, buy competitors shares – all good!You have to be seen to be believed, there’s a peerage out there for everyone, some people inherit one, some people go on TV and shout at people and get one and others buy one – I mean, it’s not a membership club where there’s a specific joining fee, but, pump enough of your profits into various political interests and you’ll become their interest, you’ll also find it easier to get a law made for you to protect your profits – the music industry did this and got away with it by forming the bodies that collect money and call them royalties.
- Press releases – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThose three important words, in capital letters, emailed to every blood-hungry reporter will surely grab their attention and have them writing column inches or queuing up for interviews. It’s all “buzz” by another definition but get your company name printed a few times in the right places and watch your turnover go up.
- Look after your key staffNever cut management salaries, force new contracts without signatures under penalty of redundancy on your key frontline staff, reduce their hours and hire more, less skilled people to fill the empty slots. Put all lower staff on pay-freezes and overtime bans, remove their employee discounts and privileges because you can’t afford them and then put out big morale boosting press releases saying bonuses for management are up 17%
- If all else failsGo on a reality show like The Apprentice, X-Factor, Britain’s (not) Got Talent or Big Brother and tell the world about your idea with enthusiasm – it’s easy, all you have to do is stab several people that you get friendly with during the process in the back, take the prize and then get a reality show of your own.
So that’s it, my top 10, tounge-in-cheek tips for taking an idea from rags to riches, playing it fast and loose, behaving like the city boys and getting to live a champagne lifestyle on a champagne income.