If my taxi driver is a reliable barometer for the economic outlook, which I believe him to be, things are about to get better irrespective of what the CBI, or the berks running the "Treasury model" might think. He told me that business has been picking up lately and he attributes it to three things, each of which I think might serve as more practical guide for business than any number of MBA theories.
- He spent money on advertising and, in particular, expensive advertising on roundabouts.
- He bought another taxi company (for several tens of thousands of pounds) in order to consolidate but specifically because they had a better (i.e., simpler and more memorable) phone number than he did.
- He started to follow the weather more closely, making sure there were more taxis on the rank when it was cold and raining.
Should Vince Cable become involved in some sort of scandal and be forced to resign, I believe I can point to a ready-made replacement. The person who runs the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills should, in my opinion, be drawn from the ranks of those of create by far the great majority of jobs in these British Isles: SMEs. In fact, I'd go further and say that you shouldn't be allowed any senior position in BIS at all unless you had run an SME for some qualifying period. A few years working for a bank or an oil company doesn't put you in touch with the beating heart of UK plc. I would formally like to nominate my taxi driver as the next Minister for whatever it is that noted tax-evader Vince Cable is Minister of.