You know you are old when you mention to someone that it’s sad that Davy Jones of the Monkees has died and they reply, “Davy Who, of the Who?”
You know you are old when you say, “I remember Donna Summer – back in the day she was absolutely electric!” and they reply, “And that day was long before mine!”
And you also know that you are getting irrelevant when you harp back to “Before the Credit Crunch” and the founders of fantastic, successful businesses look at you and don’t really know what you are talking about.
It has been brought home to me forcibly a number of times in the last week or so that we are simply in a totally different place, unlikely to go back to where we were any time soon and it is the possibilities in the here and now that matter
I’ve been privileged to be involved as a judge in the wonderfully passionate Lancashire BIBAs awards. Many tremendous success stories began after 2008. Many others may have been founded earlier but have enjoyed transformational growth in the last few years.
The other day I was chatting with the savvy corporate finance partner of a big law firm. They no longer envisage their business process as being built around clients for life. They think in terms of separate four year periods, during which the capable promoter of a commercial project is likely to create some significant events around funding, contracts, company structure, acquisitions and disposal. They are not short of current capable clients either part way through or entering four year periods (post-2008).
Yesterday we had our Economics Committee meeting at GM Chamber. As ever, the cornerstone was Chief Economist Brian Sloan’s excellent QES analysis. It is becoming more obvious that we need to be benchmarking, at the very least in our own minds, across short term periods. There are signs of growth – they must not be smothered by continual comparisons back into what is now effectively pre-history.
On macro-economic, treasury, and political governance levels, the ongoing events and ructions of the last few years remain vivid, pressing and relevant – indeed, hugely so at the moment.
But in terms of innovators and entrepreneurs sparking new projects and businesses, it is simply now how it is – and for many current successes it is how it has always been.
It’s time for us all, particularly those of us who have been around the block a few times, to stop harping back to environments that are long gone, to step aside from commenting on how young police officers look these days. The simple law in business is that it is a bit tougher but the opportunities for the talented and committed remain vast.
- Malcolm Evans is one of the UK's leading SME business funding specialists.