Tag Archives: classics

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.

The Modern Classics Debate

I am of course talking about my love affair with modern 1980’s, 1990’s cars and Jaguar motor cars of any age.

Catawiki’s modern classics auctions have regularly been a case of lose the credit card before visiting. They mainly have left hand drive stuff but there is some really great stuff in their auctions.

A quick look at eBay reveals from very nice cars that I could quite happily purchase. A beautiful Daimler is here. A Ford Sierra Cosworth is here. These are fanstastic cars. Definitely one that got away!

The things that these cars have in common is that these cars are rising in value so fast. Yes very good examples are so hard to find and this is reflected in pricing and values which is related to supply and demand.

My fear here is that these cars will end up being mothballed a bit too much. You see this is not just about the car being in mint condition and winning rosettes at a car show but about the occasion of the drive. You see with modern tastes and safety regulations. Cars that are as special as these will never be manufactured again with the same magic. This is what makes the drive such an occasion, not only is it an occasion but its fun too, as these cars drive differently and on a challenging road can also cause the driver some excitement.

This is the key point to me.  cars like these should be fun and exciting and these days should be not only an occasion but an event. They should be driven and enjoyed!

I still hanker after a Jaguar XJS convertible, in mint condition, preferably painted in British Racing Green, however prices are slipping that too far away from the grasp of my wallet! I do make one promise though. If I do manage to get my paws and accelerator foot on a Jaguar XJS not only will it be meticulously well maintained but it will be enjoyed and well driven!