Everyday Tales of Business Folk: a business story for business people – Episode 13

Katherine is back in Craft Beer with her dad. She’s sticking to tonic water this time. She’s telling her dad all about doing the work for Oliver, Julia’s client and going to see Julia for some advice about freelancing.

“What do you think I should do? Julia seems to think that I should really go for it, and look at starting up my own content agency. But I’ve got £2535 left in the bank now, and that’s got to last me and the cats for the foreseeable future. Setting up a business costs money, and I just haven’t got anything spare.”

Katherine’s dad is staring into space. Katherine knows this look from long experience, he’s got his thinking face on. When she was little, her brothers and her used to put bits of grass in his hair while he had his thinking face on, because he was so absorbed in his thoughts that he’d never notice. Katherine smiles. Even if she had some bits of grass, he doesn’t have much hair left now to put it in. He gets his iPad out of his bag, and squints at the screen, reaching for his reading glasses. Eventually he comes back into the real world and blinks at his daughter.

“I didn’t get that place in Spain you know. I was bidding at the auction, but some other guy beat me to it. And I don’t know if it was really the right thing to do. I’d miss the proper beer if I moved to Spain. So here’s the plan. I was just waiting for the accountant to get back to me to tell me it was okay. She says it’s possible, but we have to be careful.”

“What’s possible, dad?” Katherine wonders if he’s heard anything she’s been saying. “I think Julia is right. You’d be bored in another job and I think that London company was taking the mickey. They’ll regret not offering your job back when they started back up again. So I reckon you need…let me see, 12 months of business advice to get you on the right track, a website built, some videos, and some software. The accountant says that as long as the invoices are in my name, I can write it all off against tax and it will save me a fortune.”

“I can’t let you pay for all this.” Katherine’s voice has gone a bit squeaky now “I’ve done it. Dave’s on board, says that all that content you wrote for the website has gone live now, and he’s had two people from South Korea in while I was in Spain and they’re paying for a prototype pump for a baby unit they’re building. Should be worth about 200k to us, just on the prototype. Cheers Katherine.” Her dad lifts his glass, and clinks it against hers and winks.

Katherine can’t feel her legs again. She’s also speechless. Part of her feels relieved, and floating on air and part of her is furious. Her dad has just decided what she’s going to do with the rest of her life, he’s been talking about her to the accountant, arranging things with Julia, setting things up while she’s been worrying about all of this. They have a huge row in the pub.

Tomorrow. Our final instalment. Will Katherine go for it? Will she take up her dad’s offer? Is his accountant right? What would you do?