Challenging, fun, interesting, stressful, stimulating, expensive.
Clients to be found, networking to engage in, signing up to (and paying for) memberships in order to engage in those networks..
Finding an office that will not break the bank (ie no income yet, but plenty of outgoings) seeing the taxman (best to be honest) …. getting business cards, letterheads, a website … oh, and yes, finding some time to try and get some clients, not to mention the housework, the packed lunches, picking kids up from school…
What is interesting is that as far as I can see there are no breaks for a start-up.
For instance, I must pay social insurance, I must pay tax, I have to have some form of health insurance (fair enough, I guess) but why are they no breaks for a small, new business trying to get its foot on the first rung of that huge, huge ladder that seems to endlessly point to blue sky (nope, not that hackneyed blue sky thinking bollocks, just space with no limits let alone frontiers.)
I have been to the tax peeps and they say, no, you have to pay tax of about 7.5 percent. I even had to give them a notional salary. Will one dollar do I asked.
I have been to the small business advice people and they say, no, you have to pay social insurance of about $65 a week (er, I am not earning anything I said……).
I use my cell phone only. But no company seems to want to know that I am a startup and offer help and advice.
I cannot comment on the banks. I am avoiding them…. (rather like the dentist. To me, banks and dentists go hand in hand. Both pull teeth and charge.)
I have not heard of Government subsidized offices, fully serviced, for start-ups, that can help ease that initial burden. Maybe they are in the EEZs, are they?
I cannot afford smart lawyers or accountants. $600 an hour is all the money I have set aside to keep me in coffee for the month.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not shooting the messenger. The Government people I have met have been fantastic, welcoming, encouraging, supportive.
But on the face of it, in my experience, this is not an environment that is conducive to start-ups. Maybe Government has these facilities. If it has, the message is not filtering down… at least to me.
Government may trumpet schemes to get Bermudians jobs on cruise ships, but that is not what I want. I want help to ease that initial burden of overheads when there is no income.
I am not asking for a nanny state. I am asking for an initial break to get me on my feet so that one day I can take on and train Bermudians, creating jobs and wealth.
Is that too much to ask?
* Does this match your experience? I’d really like some feedback.
* My next blog will try and give some advice to avoid the things I have tripped over.