Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bankruptcy - shark infested waters

Miserable subject for a saturday night but its blogging or X factor and I definitely aint watching that crap.

Our practice is moving into the insolvency field and I am leading a team putting our marketing strategy together.

Our marketing initiatives are predominantly online (we are very good at securing free traffic) and so that is where our research has focused.

Our products relate to straightforward bankruptcy cases and the odd IVA (Individual voluntary arrangements)

Bankruptcy is a simple procedure - once a client gets their head round the concept and the stigma, the benefits can be enormous to someone heavily in debt. In the UK we treat bankruptcy as the ultimate sign of failure whereas in the US its is seen as a sesnible measure allowing someone to start afresh. In typical UK style we dont give people much sympathy and like to kick when someone is down.

Whilst delving into this murky new world I was gobsmacked at the lack of regulation in the "Debt" industry generally. Somehow you think that this area has to be controlled because its focused on peoples livlihoods and their future is at stake. If you need to be regulated to buy a life policy you may never need - surely you would expect regulation for big money consolidation loans, voluntary arrangements etc. Not a bit of it!

There are some real shady bastards out there charging the earth to people who could and should be opting for a safer, cheaper route.

If you are struggling with debt (and Im talking real debt not failure to pay a debenhams card) - the best advice is to see an insolvency solicitor. It doesnt mean you become bankrupt overnight but it might just save your bacon by giving you the best advice possible at the right time.

The majority of the firms out there are sharks - plain and simple. They will kick you when you are down, they will shaft you from behind and they will absolutely not let go until they have finished you off. Dont let them bleed you dry - get the best advice you can.

No links, no publicity for our new initiative, no blurb - just good advice. Stay away from the sharks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Moving office

What a pain

First comes the arguing over which office you would like to have. Youd be amazed how petty this can get - heirachy dictates the size of your workspace. The more clout you have the bigger the office and the snazzier the furniture.

Some poor sod got placed next to a well used toilet. Plasterboard walls - thin as paper - you get the picture

The further up the ladder you are the less work you do when it comes to the shifting and organising - this bit is nicely delegated

Moving day is a day to arrange meetings - lots of them. Keep out of the way and let things happen around you.

Make sure you take the coffee machine with you - the one that makes those nice lattes and espresso's

If youre a trainee - try a sickie or book a well timed holiday because otherwise your in for a bloody awful time. They dont prep you at Uni for the demeaning task of carrying a tub containing a partners bits n pieces up five flights of stairs. (Removal men are used sparingly in our place!)

One last thought:

When your in the meeting that decides on the move - DO NOT VOLUNTEER to lead the organisation. You will always have a bad experience - makes no difference how adept you are - the shit will at some point hit the fan. Its one thing getting shafted for making a legal error (it can happen to the best of us) but its entirely another to lose career points as a result of the phones or network being offline on the day the move completes.

If it can go wrong - it absolutely will where office moves are concerned