“Are you Looking for Business?” (A kerb side story)

image003“Are you Looking for Business?” (A kerb side story)

How often do you get to say new business just came knocking at your door?

It’s every small business owner’s dream, right? Well, up until about a week ago I’d have enthusiastically agreed but, after recent events, I have to say I now veer on the edge of caution.

Imagine the scene. It’s a chilly but bright March morning and there I am setting out at 6am to attend a business breakfast. I’d been invited to the Luton BNI meeting, which is held at the Indian Cricket Club on Old Bedford Road.

Despite the early start, I punched in the postcode on the Satnav and was quite eager to get there and see what opportunities might pop up. In my mind, I was totally ready to ‘seize the day’!

Twenty minutes later, I hear those common (but all too often deceitful) words: “You have arrived at your destination.”

“Errrm, no I haven’t,” I reply (Come on, I know I’m not the only one that talks to the Satnav).

Having driven up and down a very long Old Bedford Road a few times, little miss ‘I can lie to you but what are you going to do about it’ Sat Nav decides to take me into a nearby cul-de-sac. Still no cricket club in sight.

Pulling over to check the directions on my invitation, my ‘seize the day’ approach was just starting to fade when there was a tap on the car window. Surprised to see anyone tapping on my car window this early, I look up to see a lovely lady who plainly asks me, “Are you looking for business?”

“Yes, I am!” The words are out of my mouth before I stop to think. My immediate reaction is “Wow, BNI must really work, the business comes to you before you even get there!”

And then it dawns on me. I’m absolutely not in the right location here and I’m suddenly aware that ‘business’ may mean something slightly different to this young lady… and to the police! Would the police believe I had a business meeting at that time of the day I wonder? Perhaps not! Uh oh, is that a siren I hear in the distance?

OK, so in the end, my mistake went largely unnoticed and caused me little more trouble than the embarrassing shade of beetroot that lingered on my face for a while. The BNI meeting turned out to be great. I could see how it presented lots of opportunities for Spicer & Co and at least my unfortunate story of how I got there that day was a good ice-breaker!

But what did I learn from my misadventure? Well, two things: firstly never ever rely on the Satnav and secondly always do your homework on any new opportunity that comes your way. That way you’ll set your business off in the right direction and (unlike me) will avoid ending up stuck in a dodgy cul de sac!

Steve Spicer is the General Manager at Spicer & Co Chartered Accountants based in Dunstable.

Spicer & Co offer a friendly and personalized service to local and national business owners and individuals. We offer professional help and advice at affordable prices to suit your budget. Our services include year end accounts, tax returns, bookkeeping, payroll and new business startups.

www.spicerandco.co.uk