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Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from southern England that the crisis is also hitting UK lorry drivers...

This is a better news report on something relating to the current recession than I've ever seen on the BBC...can you get Al Jazeera on Sky? Might start watching it instead of News 24...

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This is a better news report on something relating to the current recession than I've ever seen on the BBC...can you get Al Jazeera on Sky? Might start watching it instead of News 24...

How do they manage to tell the story so effectively without a least three presenters on million pound contracts?

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Truck company owner says:

I go to the bank manager to borrow money and he says I got to show him a business plan. A business plan? So I says to him <<how long's a piece of string?>>. He's got to be having a laaAAARFE!

My guess is, he's been 30 years in the industry, but only less than 10 as a business manager. I bet if I said to him <<cash flow forecast>> he'd think I was talking about a blocked drainpipe.

If this is what our 'captain's of industry' have become then it will be a very long time (as in decades) before we see any kind of recovery.

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Truck company owner says:

My guess is, he's been 30 years in the industry, but only less than 10 as a business manager. I bet if I said to him <<cash flow forecast>> he'd think I was talking about a blocked drainpipe.

If this is what our 'captain's of industry' have become then it will be a very long time (as in decades) before we see any kind of recovery.

He's an owner driver, can't see what point you're trying to make here.

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He's an owner driver, can't see what point you're trying to make here.

He is so clueless he shouldn't be running a business and he certainly shouldn't get a loan. If anything, his problems accessing credit is a positive for the uk.

Although the UK is drowing in problems, Al Jazeera completely missed the plot when they chose him to underline them.

Edited by williamdb

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no need for truck drivers in a city based economy. money is easily moved at the click of a mouse. another 20th century industry obsolete.

now, where is that on line fridge, im a bit peckish.

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He is so clueless he shouldn't be running a business and he certainly shouldn't get a loan. If anything, his problems accessing credit is a positive for the uk.

Although the UK is drowing in problems, Al Jazeera completely missed the plot when they chose him to underline them.

Yes, all business should be conducted by top flight graduate whizz kids, nothing will go wrong then.

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He is so clueless he shouldn't be running a business and he certainly shouldn't get a loan. If anything, his problems accessing credit is a positive for the uk.

Although the UK is drowing in problems, Al Jazeera completely missed the plot when they chose him to underline them.

the point is, he HAS recognised the problem, its a cash flow issue, ie, business has slowed and he either stops for good, or gets a loan, and commits to further years of debt, to help past the temporary slow down.

He's seen the green shoots propaganda, he KNOWS the banks are grtting their temporary help and he knows the G Man is backing the banks with business loan guarantees.

He's applied as he has been advised, he's been told to F OFF, as a business plan would simply confirm he cannot continue.

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He is so clueless he shouldn't be running a business and he certainly shouldn't get a loan. If anything, his problems accessing credit is a positive for the uk.

Although the UK is drowing in problems, Al Jazeera completely missed the plot when they chose him to underline them.

Actually, it's getting late and this was not the point I wanted to make.

When asked for a business plan by a potential lender his response is 'how long is a piece of string'. He sounds rather cheesed off the banker should dare to ask for something like that.

As I said above, the chap is clueless, but more importantly he has absolutely no concept of

- the need to evaluate his ability to repay monies he might borrow

- the need to plan ahead

- the concept of cash flows and how critical they are to a business' survival

- the fact that borrowing adds to his business risk and weighs on the bottom line through interest payments

- etc.

The point is:

To me he is criminally incompetent and irresponsible. His business survived only because money was so cheap as to be worthless and the economy was booming.

If as a result of ten years of credit boom the bulk of small business owners are like this chap then they have no chance of survival in the current environment. Bankruptcies and job losses will be enormous.

And we will have to wait for a whole new generation of small business entrepreneurs to create new jobs.

Edited by williamdb

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Actually, it's getting late and this was not the point I wanted to make.

When asked for a business plan by a potential lender his response is 'how long is a piece of string'. He sounds rather cheesed off the banker should dare to ask for something like that.

As I said above, the chap is clueless, but more importantly he has absolutely no concept of

- the need to evaluate his ability to repay monies he might borrow

- the need to plan ahead

- the concept of cash flows and how critical they are to a business' survival

- the fact that borrowing adds to his business risk and weighs on the bottom line through interest payments

- etc.

The point is:

To me he is criminally incompetent and irresponsible. His business survived only because money was so cheap as to be worthless and the economy was booming.

If as a result of ten years of credit boom the bulk of small business owners are like this chap then they have no chance of survival in the current environment. Bankruptcies and job losses will be enormous.

And we will have to wait for a whole new generation of small business entrepreneurs to create new jobs.

Im afraid most small business is like this, there just never was a huge excess of profit available for rainy days.

indeed, even many large businesses are hiding very small margins behind a facade of cheap credit. thats why so many are going to be crushed in the next round, after the holidays.

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He's applied as he has been advised, he's been told to F OFF, as a business plan would simply confirm he cannot continue.

No, in the video he says he's been asked for a plan and he has told them to F OFF ('how long's a piece of string'). He didn't _accept_ nor understand the need for a plan, for himself, but also for a potential lender (who might want to know if/when he might get his money backand if the debt can be serviced).

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No, in the video he says he's been asked for a plan and he has told them to F OFF ('how long's a piece of string'). He didn't _accept_ nor understand the need for a plan, for himself, but also for a potential lender (who might want to know if/when he might get his money backand if the debt can be serviced).

well, my bank has regular phone calls with me, usually to advise the ex business manager has moved up to better things, having passed the age of 19.

A bank, offering a service, COULD have offered to spend 20 minutes doing a quick excel spreadsheet with him.

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Actually, it's getting late and this was not the point I wanted to make.

When asked for a business plan by a potential lender his response is 'how long is a piece of string'. He sounds rather cheesed off the banker should dare to ask for something like that.

As I said above, the chap is clueless, but more importantly he has absolutely no concept of

- the need to evaluate his ability to repay monies he might borrow

- the need to plan ahead

- the concept of cash flows and how critical they are to a business' survival

- the fact that borrowing adds to his business risk and weighs on the bottom line through interest payments

- etc.

The point is:

To me he is criminally incompetent and irresponsible. His business survived only because money was so cheap as to be worthless and the economy was booming.

If as a result of ten years of credit boom the bulk of small business owners are like this chap then they have no chance of survival in the current environment. Bankruptcies and job losses will be enormous.

And we will have to wait for a whole new generation of small business entrepreneurs to create new jobs.

This seems pretty patronising and staggeringly naive.

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Im afraid most small business is like this, there just never was a huge excess of profit available for rainy days.

indeed, even many large businesses are hiding very small margins behind a facade of cheap credit. thats why so many are going to be crushed in the next round, after the holidays.

I agree with you but this guy is way beyond dealing with low margins.

He hasn't got the margins, business slows down due to the biggest recesion since the 30s, but this guys thinks: 'No problem, I'll just go to the bank and borrow money to pay the wages'.

To me he is a bit like a guy who would try to borrow for a house on 50X income, and then to a request for information about his income would reply: 'well, how long's a piece of string?'...

Crazy.

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the point is, he HAS recognised the problem, its a cash flow issue, ie, business has slowed and he either stops for good, or gets a loan, and commits to further years of debt, to help past the temporary slow down.

He's seen the green shoots propaganda, he KNOWS the banks are grtting their temporary help and he knows the G Man is backing the banks with business loan guarantees.

He's applied as he has been advised, he's been told to F OFF, as a business plan would simply confirm he cannot continue.

Yep. In a business like trucking, size matters. You need economies of scale to avoid empty miles, and to keep the best standards of maintenance and driver training (big, efficient companies have fewer accidents, and generate less pollution per unit of freight transported).

Your owner driver needs a business plan that includes allying himself to a bigco, or at the very least to a cooperative that'll function as a bigco. As a corollary of that, he gets access to the bigco's resources.

That is, if he isn't just plain surplus to the world's requirements.

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A bank, offering a service, COULD have offered to spend 20 minutes doing a quick excel spreadsheet with him.

It's not the bank's job to do that. Bank loan aside, if the business owner can't do it himself or find a way to produce one then you've got to ask if he should be running a business.

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I agree with you but this guy is way beyond dealing with low margins.

He hasn't got the margins, business slows down due to the biggest recesion since the 30s, but this guys thinks: 'No problem, I'll just go to the bank and borrow money to pay the wages'.

To me he is a bit like a guy who would try to borrow for a house on 50X income, and then to a request for information about his income would reply: 'well, how long's a piece of string?'...

Crazy.

I think he listens to nulab, sees what they do, and speaks the speak.

its crap for him, its crap for us.

Nulab have no personal skin in the game, is the big difference.

Bring Forth the Guillotine.

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Yep. In a business like trucking, size matters. You need economies of scale to avoid empty miles, and to keep the best standards of maintenance and driver training (big, efficient companies have fewer accidents, and generate less pollution per unit of freight transported).

Your owner driver needs a business plan that includes allying himself to a bigco, or at the very least to a cooperative that'll function as a bigco. As a corollary of that, he gets access to the bigco's resources.

That is, if he isn't just plain surplus to the world's requirements.

Probably overstating the benefits of being a big operator there.

What I would say is that the operator licensing regime makes it very difficult for operators to easily expland and contract in line with conditions, particularly on more onerous standard national licences.

Return loads not really that much harder for the small operator to pick up, key in road haulage is either to be very big, quite small and have a pallet franchise. People with a couple of dozen trucks will be quite vulnerable. Having said that loads of really big outfits gone too.

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It's not the bank's job to do that. Bank loan aside, if the business owner can't do it himself or find a way to produce one then you've got to ask if he should be running a business.

Most business plans have more common with Mystic Meg than any business ability.

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Yes, all business should be conducted by top flight graduate whizz kids, nothing will go wrong then.

You don't need to be a whizz kid to write a business plan. How can anyone start a business without having some idea of where they're aiming to go?

As far as the numbers go there's help, starting with the accountant/bookkeeper, government bodies or small business associations that will help you, etc.

Anyway, the guy is not saying he can't do one, he is questioning the legitimacy of the request for a plan. He doesn't see how or why, wanting to borrow some money from the bank', he should try to plan ahead for the future.

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Most business plans have more common with Mystic Meg than any business ability.

I have to agree :rolleyes: . But at least they force you to think about the medium term future of the business. To go back to the video, all this guy thinks about is 'I don't have money to pay the wages, I'll go borrow money from the bank'. He doesn't see the need to wonder if paying them will make him go bust after a while.

Edited by williamdb

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You don't need to be a whizz kid to write a business plan. How can anyone start a business without having some idea of where they're aiming to go?

As far as the numbers go there's help, starting with the accountant/bookkeeper, government bodies or small business associations that will help you, etc.

Anyway, the guy is not saying he can't do one, he is questioning the legitimacy of the request for a plan. He doesn't see how or why, wanting to borrow some money from the bank', he should try to plan ahead for the future.

What he's saying is that revenue in small businesses is highly uncertain and to suggest anything else is I would say more BS than any kind of business plan. Business plans are by and large a shibboleth and hoop jumping exercise - many hours have been spent producing slick business plans only to make the business no less vulnerable to failure.

Small businesses have erratic cashflow, this is a fact of life. Banks have traditionally, in normal economic conditions, ameliorated this. You seem to have the idea that rather than take that route small business people should merrily throw in the towel on a couple of decades work and merrily waltz themselves down the bankruptcy courts to financial oblivion.

Edited by Soon Not a Chain Retailer

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I have to agree :rolleyes: . But at least they force you to think about the medium term future of the business. To go back to the video, all this guy thinks about is 'I don't have money to pay the wages, I'll go borrow money from the bank'. He doesn't see the need to wonder if paying them will make him go bust after a while.

I agree, his best approach to ride the storm would probably be keeping one truck he drives himself and ditching the staff. Staff aren't easy to get rid of though and redundancy can be costly.

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I have to agree :rolleyes: . But at least they force you to think about the medium term future of the business. To go back to the video, all this guy thinks about is 'I don't have money to pay the wages, I'll go borrow money from the bank'. He doesn't see the need to wonder if paying them will make him go bust after a while.

If you're right that he's only been managing a business for 10 years, he's only ever seen the good times during which a notional business plan along the lines of "buy truck, shift goods, bank payments" would have been sufficient.

You can hardly condemn the many people who built small businesses around cheap credit and are now coming a cropper and flailing about -- it's not their fault; as far as they could see they were building and running genuinely successful enterprises. Unlike some rather larger businessmen, it wasn't this trucker's job to understand the economic environment he was operating in.

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