Thursday, 13 September 2012

Make me an offer I can't refuse

I watched a programme on BBC3 last night called “Be your own boss”. Having read the gubbins on the BBC website, it sounded like it could be an interesting watch. It involved entrepreneur Richard Reed looking for the next generation of start-up businesses to invest in. Because I’m a young, dynamic chap full of good ideas and keen to push Datapartners forward, this appealed to me.

Now, you may not know who Richard Reed is. I certainly didn’t. Apparently he is one of the foremost entrepreneurs in the country. This appears to be based on the fact that he founded Innocent Smoothies. If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will know that I wrote about this product last year. His advertising strategy prompted me to purchase a Queen single and download a ring tone for my mobile phone but still to this day I haven’t tried one of his products.

In hindsight, I probably should have realised any modern day “educational” programme was going to be complete toss. It was basically Dragon’s Den meets the X Factor. In other words it was rubbish and embarrassing. I watched half of it through my fingers and spent the other half shouting at my telly at the imbeciles who were getting their 15 minutes of fame.

Apart from the ridiculousness of most of the ideas being put forward, my biggest problem was with the people themselves. For a whole hour all I heard was “Yeah so like I’ve got this like, you know, really great, you know, like, idea right and like it’s, you know, errrrr, really good and like, um, you know, errrr I’d like some kind of like money to, you know, like make it.”

This is a problem because running a business involves being customer facing. It involves presenting yourself to a lot of diverse people who you’re trying to convince to spend money with you. If some snotty student came to me speaking like that I’d show them the door. Then I’d throw them through it.

So you may be expecting me to claim I wasted an hour of my life watching this drivel. Well I didn’t. I came away feeling more confident about my own ability as a businessman. As someone who was born with a stammer and has always struggled on the phone, I am still more eloquent, more personable and come across a lot better than most. I also realised that I know more about the concept of strategy, marketing, sales, finance, negotiation and project management than a lot of people. I just need Richard Reed to give me £50,000 so I can invest in better marketing. So here is my pitch to you Richard: Give me the money and I’ll try one of your smoothies. Deal?