They say that hindsight is a wonderful thing, I’m not sure that they understand why. Traditional thinking has it that hindsight shows us the right decision when experience provides memories of the wrong one. For some of us this is not the case, hindsight may show the stupidity of our decisions but it does not mean that we got them wrong.
I spent some time discussing pubs today with a good friend. This wasn’t a review of opportunities it was one of those things that only publicans do well, it was a review of the insanity of the trade. We look at businesses, calculator in hand, and challenge that it can be possible to make even close to a living. The most recent business would cost you a mere £1K a week before you had turned the lights on or brought a pint of overpriced beer. Part of the debate was business rates and I promised to check my old rates when I got home, I checked and realised that only your heart can make you a publican.
I have a couple of folders that hold all of my trading history at the Ship, the wonderful pub that showed me the way. I have some talent but I don’t think that I could produce a business plan that justified business rates of £200 per week, just to hold the keys. I started out with takings of £60 per week and wages of £200. My love life may be a disaster but even my ex wife couldn’t cost me what a pub could! There are few ways to lose money that are as efficient as public houses, but for a few of us none so rewarding. Just looking at the weekly costs of over a thousand pounds and the till readings of less than a hundred should make me grateful to be out but instead it just drives the desire to be back.
Most trades in the UK are in decline as are the wages associated with them. But of all the trades the licensed trade inspires some of us, for me it is only the trade that we all know doesn’t make sense but we can’t leave alone.