Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Updated Court Guinness Business Timeline Historic

The previous business timeline has been updated as part of our new webmasters plans to improve things a little, we would be delighted to know what you think.

March 1, 1996

Court Guinness Systems

Court has clients he looks after in his spare time.

March 1, 1996
October 1, 1998

Time To Get Serious

SystemNet Data is launched & our first
3 x Blue chip clients acquired

October 1, 1998
September 1, 1999

Let’s get growing

45% growth
Irish Operations Launched

September 1, 1999
April 1, 2020

IT Ventures Launched

Our JV, PE and distributorship offering is launched

April 1, 2020
March 1, 2001

Welcome NaytenCourt

Naytencourt arrives and takes over from IT Ventures with a broader remit

March 1, 2001
May 1, 2002

Deutschland!

German operations launched

May 1, 2002
February 1, 2003

Naytencourt On The Prowl

Naytencourt’s first acquisition is SystemNet Data

February 1, 2003
July 1, 2004

Launches and Acquisitions

Ewellmobile launched
Ewellcaraudio launched
Tastefullingerie acquisition.

July 1, 2004
October 1, 2005

More Acquisitions

Some more internet businesses acquired.

October 1, 2005
August 1, 2006

Brokerage

Technical brokerage launched and Court Guinness starts publishing.

August 1, 2006
January 1, 2008

The P2 Set is launched

TThe P2 Set launches in 2008

January 1, 2008
October 1, 2009

Credit Crunch!

Ewell Systems (Wimbledon Systems) Launched
SystemNet Data divested
Naytencourt Closes

October 1, 2009
March 1, 2010

Fireblade Internet

A small business focused ISP is launched.

March 1, 2010
January 1, 2011

Court Capital Partners

Court Rebrands

January 1, 2011
September 1, 2012

Stanfio Business Services

Stanfio business services a joint venture is launched

September 1, 2012
January 3, 2013

Court Leaves the IT sector

Court made a decision to exit the IT sec tor

January 3, 2013
January 1, 2014

New Dawn!

Court expands from technical brokerage to general brokerage and he also makes some private investments. Court is medically banned from flying.

January 1, 2014
February 1, 2015

Project Retail 2018

Court Joins the board Project Retail 2018. He left this project at end of 2017.

February 1, 2015
April 1, 2016

Divestments

Court makes a number of divestments.

April 1, 2016
January 1, 2017

Publishing Is Go!

Court launches The Weekly Deals Free Sheet to promote deals on brokerage and advertise deals for others. Readership of 5000/week attained

January 1, 2017
February 1, 2018

It All Goes South

Court suffers major heart trauma. Medics tell him to stop working. He spends months in hospital. He gets rid of most of his business interests and tries to stop working…

February 1, 2018
June 1, 2018

Court Can’t Let Go

Court switches The Weekly Deals Free Sheet to a montly and then bi-monthly publication as he cannot let go of this little baby!

June 1, 2018
December 1, 2019

30,000 Uniqure Readers

The Trade House Magazine grows to £1 billion of advertised business opportunities and 30,000 per issue!

December 1, 2019
December 1, 2020

Court’s Health Goes Again

Court’s health starts failing again and he has to pack up for good this time. The final issue of The Trade House Magazine reaches over 115,000 unique readers and carries nearly £2.5 billion of business opportunities.

December 1, 2020
January 1, 2021

That’s All Folks!

After over 20 years, 1100 flights, 3200 nights in hotel rooms, 3 car crashes and around 1 million business miles Court Guinness calls it a day.

January 1, 2021

Band 5 Bullshitter Update

Since I started spreading the term around a little I have been asked by quite a few people if I am setting up either a band 5 bullshitter discussion forum, name and shame board or band 5 bullshitter ratings board on this site.

The answer is no. Even though I am retired I simply don’t have the time to develop and administer such a thing either on this site or on any other. Any website needs regular administration and maintennance and those based on CMS’ platforms need maintennace on a more regular basis which I cannot commit to.

I am in favour of a ratings board or name and shame board or similar and I think it could be a good thing. The band 5 bullshitters could be ranked from minor bullshit through to cretinous and life-threatening.

If someone developed such an animal they will get an introduction blog written by me, a link in the blogroll/bogroll section and if it is totally anonymous I will add the 100 or so I have on a list in my desk file here.

Remember a band 5 bullshitter dosen’t just have to be a band 5 nurse. It could be any NHS employee from a toilet cleaner right up to a chief executive or chairman.

London Visits

I am starting to plan 3 post-covid visits to London.

As per my policy on London visits (Click Here) all meetings will be held in the vicinity of London Heathrow Airport.

I already have some meetings penciled in but do have space for other meetings.

To arrange a meeting with me in London please use the form below to contact me.

    Ultimate Early 90’s Bit Of Kit

    Welcome to my first PDA. The Sharp IQ 7000!

    I found this while clearing out some stuff recently. I am amazed I still had it. What is even more surprising is, that after all these years it still works! What is even more surprising is that if I click on the Memo function, there is a still note there that I wrote in 1992 regarding quite a car smash I witnessed on Balham High Road, London! There are also a few phone numbers that are long out of date. The Ford Dealer listed went bust in 1995 and I have updated the phone numbers for certain friends as they have all long moved on.

    I picked this device up in 1991. It was expensive but I got a good discount through a friend of mine. It came with 32k (yes kilobytes) of memory and the calculator, memo, calendar, diary and contacts modules. You could expand it but these memory cards were very expensive so I didn’t bother with them. It served me well for a few years until a Psion came along. It shows how far we come in 30 years. 32k sufficed back then and this device could swallow all the data I could chuck at it. These days any device I touch needs at least 32 Gigabytes and all my devices have at least a 128GB SD card inserted into the expansion port. This also shows what we now need in terms of functionality. Back in 1991 I probably had about 100 contacts. Up until recently my mobile phone was synchronised with my work CRM system. over 14,000 contacts! I am now back to around 1,000 contacts. My memo files are generally a lot larger now too. I don’t think some of them would fit on this device.

    Between 1991 and 1995 this device was constantly by my side along with my pager and latterly a Motorola 8800 and then a Motola Dynatac flip phone. and it worked very well, managing my life and keeping everything in one place. Mostly living in my jacket pocket or briefcase next to my wallet, passport, paperwork and cigarettes it got knocked about quite a bit too and certainly saw some “action”. However it never once let me down in the field which is more than I can say about some of the devices I have had had since. I am amazed it is working today as I write although it is nagging me for new batteries!

    This was one of the first mainstream PDA devices and although it had its flaws it was a stellar bit of kit. It did show the market how these devices needed to be designed. Sharp left the PDA marketplace a long, long time ago. Based on this device I do wonder what delights they could come up with if they were still in the market.

    I am going to keep this device and it will not be going on Ebay.