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This podcast selection is taken from a series of Business Hub radio shows broadcast on Star FM between February 2011 and October 2014 with advice from basic book-keeping through to crowd funding, directors loans, cashflow and a whole lot more!

There's something for everyone so do feel free to download and share - it might just be the golden nugget of information you need for your business to succeed!Listen at Star 107.9 FM

Listen to previous shows here.

Business Trouble - your choices

What's in store for 2013?

The Business Hub Show - 20 January 2013

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It appears it is not only the weather at the moment that is freezing but also the UK economy, with very little signs of growth anywhere.

Recent reports tend to conflict quite a bit, but there does seem to be an overriding picture that we are in the doldrums and having great difficulty getting out!  Talk of a triple dip recession – although as I have argued before I cannot see we have ever got out of recession – and continuing high profile company collapses.

It could all be rather depressing.

The challenge for businesses is to find a way to prosper in this market. Many great businesses were founded in recessions – Microsoft – FedEx – General Electric (GE), to name but a few – and have gone on to be iconic names.

TMA Conference – Tidal Wave of Turnaround … where is it?   15th November 2012

Evening Standard's veteran business editor Anthony Hilton gave his views on the economy.

The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis might look frightening, but Hilton thinks we will come through it: "Greece's balance sheet is a sixth the size of Lehman Brothers."

As for the euro currency itself, he said: "I expect it will collapse when it doesn't matter anymore."   70 currency unions have failed since 1945.

Hilton thought there were two positives on the horizon for the UK economy: "The oil price will fall as the US becomes energy-independent, and Mervyn King will retire from the Bank of England."

The latter was a good thing because King has been an apostle of keeping down interest rates, which Hilton thinks need to come back to at least two or three per cent. Such a rise would clear out thousands of zombie companies that are presently crowding out healthy ones. Higher rates could even boost optimism, he added.

Jon Moulton is a British venture capitalist. He is the founder and managing partner of the private equity firm Better Capital, and is the former managing partner of the private equity firm Alchemy Partners. Moulton is best known for leading Alchemy Partners' bid to buy MG Rover from BMW in 2000, and is well known for being outspoken.

He said that Hilton's early more cheering analysis was balderdash. Debt levels are far higher than admitted; the Coalition's austerity programme is nothing of the sort with real spending soaring out of control. Current government spending / GDP is the same now as when the “cuts” were announced!

Unlike Hilton, Moulton is convinced high borrowing and high spending by governments is incompatible with economic growth.

Low interest rates encourage debt and penalise savers and pension funds to avoid early pain.

Debt preservation and growth is preventing structural sort-out (nations, banks, and companies) and threatening future growth.

Zombie Companies

1% of GDP going to the public sector decreases growth by 0.12 – 0.13 %.

UK was 37% public sector in 2000 now near 50%

13 x 0.12 = 1.56%; is low growth a surprise?

The Eurozone is a basket case, and the only solution is the immediate departure of Germany from the euro.

39.6 per cent of non-retired households received more in benefits than they paid in taxes in 2010/11 compared to 31.7 per cent in 1979 and 29.0 per cent in 2000/01

We’re all doomed!  There will be a major Crisis.

Europe

I feel Europe is going to be a big issue in all of this, and continuing uncertainty there will have a great impact on what happens in the UK … and we actually have, despite what the politicians might like to have us believe, very little control or influence. Watch this space. Who is right, Anthony Hilton or Jon Moulton, or is there another scenario?

Government initiatives

Over the past few years we have seen a myriad of initiatives from the Government (both this administration and the previous one) to help businesses and encourage growth. It is my feeling that with one notable exception these have all failed to deliver.

The one arguable success was the Time to Pay scheme put in place to allow businesses and individuals to defer tax payments and agree repayment plans. The scheme was easy to use and worked. It put new money into the economy, effectively providing short-term overdrafts. It has though now been significantly wound down and is no longer having the impact it was.

We currently have the Funding for Lending scheme and the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, both being delivered through the banks. Personally I am sceptical about both of these, but we may hear an alternative view from one of the area’s leading bankers later!

Recent failures

Finally, something to think on, the recent high profile failures to hit the headlines. All retailers but perhaps with a common theme … Comet, Jessops, HMV and Blockbuster.

They have all failed to move on. Each, for different reasons have found that their traditional business model has gone away and they have failed to move with the times and adapt. Dinosaurs comes to mind!

There is a very powerful lesson here. Business must adapt and change as otherwise they will get left behind.

I can see many further issues with this problem as the lean times clean out the weak players. Make sure you are not one of them.

 

 

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