Author Archives: admin

Site Closure

It is with a lot of sadness that I announce that is closing.

The site will be available here for a few months yet.

The site has migrated to and the site there will be updated from now on.

All new content will be posted there and no new content will appear here. You will notices differences between the two sites already.

Please update your bookmarks.

The principal email address for Court Guinness has also changed. Please use the form below to contact him if you need his new email address.

Please click here to visit the new website

Business Plans

Over the course of my career, I was asked to look over a large number of business plans and proposals. Some good, some not so good, some absolute belters and some complete duffers too. There were days when my desk might have resembled the television programme “Dragons Den” had I not steadfastly refused to let it get that way.

So let’s have a look at some and some not so good that came my way:

1) An investment scheme for graveyards/cemeteries. This one just freaked me out from the moment I saw the email header! The plan wasn’t too great either once I read it.

2) A private police force for the United Kingdom. This was by far the most political business plan I had ever come across. Aside of the political messages on every page. It was a very good business plan. I was not sure of the numbers and whether or not they could be reasonably stuck to. In view of some dealings with my local police force recently I think they might have something.

3) A waste management business in Wales. The only time a scam got on to my desk. As with all business plans, a certain amount of checking is done before I even think about going back to the sender. This guy said he had an MBA. I checked with his university. It was a no. Several other checks failed too.

4) An external claddings and coatings business. This arrived on my desk about 2 weeks after the Grenfell disaster. Poor timing. Needless to say, it was a no.

5) A chain of takeaway restaurants in the Far East specialising in British Food. I liked this one. I was unsure of the market size though. A takeaway offering such delights as cod and chips and Sunday roast to takeaway and much more. I know that things such as British produce shops (I was in one in Prague a few years back and they wanted the equivalent of £3 for a pack of walkers salt and vinegar!) and English pubs abroad generally do quite well but a chain of takeaway food shops? It was a fantastic business plan though and if the numbers worked I could see it doing very well indeed.

6) Online classifieds websites. I have seen so many of these usually with inexplicably wild numbers and fanciful predictions. I usually got a few these every month.

7) An Indian restaurant in London. I did this as a favour to one of my neighbours. The only time I ever got offered a “bung”! Well, the owner offered me a free takeaway meal every week if I could point him in the direction of funding. This was a well-written, concise plan, Being local to his chosen site for his new venture, I could see exactly where his income was coming from and how well-founded and how well-grounded his predictions were. I think he erred on the side of caution. I know now that the business pre covid traded above plan. I moved away so know little of its current status.

8) Bitcoin investment schemes. I usually got these 3 or more times a month. All utter tosh.

9) A property investment television channel. Looked great on paper but too narrow a market.

10) A farming business in London. Yes it transpired that is was probably “that” kind of farm. Straight in the circular filing cabinet.

I might write another blog with some more classics at some stage.

Email Changes

As part of the migration away from the email address for Court Guinness is changing. If you require the new email address you should request this by using the form below.

    Delivery Drivers And Culture – The Security Threat

    Lockdowns in the light of the pandemic have been a bonus for the delivery services and have been a veritable god send for the people using them. Deliveries have increased in every sector. These deliveries are vital for their recipients but I have noticed an undercurrent and security risk that should not be happening. This risk is not only antisocial but it is a benefit to burglars too.

    I live in a block of flats with a front security door. This is what delivery drivers do and I know I am not the only one to witness this. They do not ring for the flat but try the “Trade” button. When this does not work. They try and force the door. Sometimes with success. Again anti-social but an open invitation to a burglar to walk straight into a secure block of flats.

    It gets worse, as I have to pay for replacement doors in my service charge, which went up substantially last year owing to delivery drivers forcing the main door and will do again this year owing to the same.

    Now I can sometimes see the security door depending on which room I am so I have compiled a list of the top offender of this crime.

    1. Amazon these guys are the most frequent and from what I have seen the most violent ones at my front security door. They have completely removed a secure closed door more than once! The Amazon drivers like to push past elderly residents as they are coming and going too. I have been told that they have broken glass in security doors at other blocks too.
    2. Hermes. Yes, when they actually deliver, they often leave the parcels outside or just visit to claim delivery! They give the door a good go.
    3. Yodel, not as violent as the other two but still guilty.
    4. Tesco. Often happens but their other crime is making a slightly damaged door much, much worse.

    If we are going to name and shame the rotters we must acknowledge the good guys too. DPD are also frequent visitors to my block and I have never seen such behaviour from these guys. Always very polite too. No trying to push past people either. They wait until they are invited.

    My biggest concern is that the behaviour of these delivery drivers invites other crimes. In fact, by damaging the security doors they are committing a crime in the first place. Criminal damage. I do wish someone would actually catch them in the act. Personally, I would like to see action in the courts and lots of it, as I think it is the only way that this practice can be stamped out. I know for one that I will be even more annoyed if my insurance premiums are impacted.

    I actually just wish they would completely stop. It is actually everyone’s right to live in a safe secure home without the threat of crime.

    Bye Bye Marlboro

    Thanks to the website of The Evening Standard I have just learned that Phillip Morris will be pulling their Marlboro products from the UK within the next 10 years. A brand of cigarettes I smoked for 27 years until 2018 when I quit smoking.

    I can sort of see what Phillip Morris are doing here. They want people to move to vaping products. I am still waiting for the UK government to tax the hell out of vaping products in the same way that they taxed cigarettes on the basis of anything to increase government revenue.

    For many years a packet of Marlboro used to share pocket space with my keys or my mobile phone and there was always a spare pack in my briefcase. God only knows how many packets of Marlboro I have smoked. My bank manager suggests the number may be substantial! From time to time I still miss the cigarettes. I get that moves are being made to make smoking more and more acceptable. It is about 14 years since the smoking ban came into force in England.

    All the same, it is a shame to see a once favoured brand disappearing. Unfortunately, so many older and much-vaunted brands have their writing on the wall at the moment. There is a lot of change going on and some brands are starting to struggle.

    It will be a shame to see Marlboro disappear.

    Fear not I am returning to smoking. I am happy with a vape!