Not The Apprentice

The Apprentice is one of my favourite TV shows. I’m no fan of reality TV, but I like this show in particular, not for the unique blend of arseholes they manage to bring together every year, but for the fact that I’ve always liked business, and it’s intriguing to see how people rise to the challenge they set.

Of course, there’s always an element of schadenfreude in that we can’t help but watch and think “Oh, how could they make such a silly mistake!” – and I always sit there wondering if I could do any better in their position. Probably not. I find it amazing how basic mistakes are made all the time, ones that if they had just spent a little longer to think about it they wouldn’t have occurred. But the fact that they happen all the time makes me think that it’s just part of being human to make silly errors – and so perhaps we shouldn’t laugh at them too much.

The reason this whole philosophical musing has come into my head this morning is that I am contemplating how on earth I managed to make a £58 loss from a computer I’ve made. I bought all the parts for the damn thing about two months ago, made it and thought I could get rid of it at a profit. I haven’t. No one’s interested. Either it’s “the recession” or no one likes the specifications of it. But I think it’s a decent machine and well worth £200. Unfortunately, no one else agrees.

So I stuck it on eBay and got a little over half of that. But when I take out the costs of postage, of PayPal and eBay fees, the loss is not good at all. Sir Alan Sugar would not be pleased. “You went out there and lost me money!” he might quip, while poking an accusing finger at me.

I really want to be able to sell PCs alongside PC technical support. Mainly because PC building is easy, but also because it’s interesting to me. A regular sale of just one PC a day would be enough to provide a basic income to allow me to get some proper business premises. There are 60m people living in the UK. Most of them are being conned by buying PCs from PC World, Currys, Comet or whatever. My PCs are so much better quality. The price is roughly the same, sometimes a little cheaper, sometimes a little more, but I have no doubt the components are better than the rubbish PC World, et al put into their computers.

There must be one person in the UK every day who would buy a PC off me. The tricky part is convincing people to trust me. And that’s not easy when you invite them to buy with PayPal.

The perils of business. I’m trying to fend off despair by the fact that I actually had a customer the other day, but I need to generate more to tide me over. To that end I’ve run the classified ad again, and now that the weather is improving my thoughts are turning to getting out there and sticking flyers through letterboxes in this local area. It can’t hurt.

But still I’m waiting for a genuine break. I would have thought by now that something would have turned up via my network of friends and acquaintances. Perhaps they really are as useless as I think they are.

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