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.