Firstly, Don, thank you for joining us.

No worries.

Many very small businesses are facing trying times. Do you have any tips to help them?

Remember, inflation is your friend. Turn the public’s current financial hysteria to your advantage by jacking up your prices. If questioned, repeat the words Petrol, sub prime and Kevin ‘07.

The dollars and cents come under scrutiny at times like this. How do you think very small businesses should be managing their money?

I’ve always found a good quality paper shredder is an investment in your business' infrastructure. Also, relationships with the tax department, and your ex for that matter, should be on a need to know basis.

If all else fails, remember, Liechtenstein is a great business getaway.

And there’s always Gibraltar or Monaco.

Precisely.

Do you have any tips for surviving a tax audit?

Scraping the number off the front door has worked for me in the short term. But when the plonkers eventually get you, I try and oil the wheels a little. For example, one of my side businesses is owning all the vending machines in the business park I work in. Everyone has a weakness; Polly Waffle, Nougat Log, Mint Pattie etc. I find out what it is and subtly throw a box their way in the early stages of the audit. As an extra tip, make sure it's old stock.

Want more articles like this? Check out the work styles section.

That’s smart thinking. Now ‘thinking smart’ is a common business term, but what does mean to you?

My father once told me, '”Never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.” I'm not quite sure what he was getting at but it's always struck me as smart.

By the way do you have any Tim Tams knocking around?

No, but I may have some of the Dick Smith rip offs.

Hmm.. no you’re alright thanks. Don, have you ever succumbed to the lure of a quickie?

I wasn't aware there was a long way of doing things.

Do you think your clients are stupider, or smarter than you?

It's survival of the least stupid out there. I'm pretty good at smelling a rat and if I sense a potential client is on the cluey side I cut my losses and dump them. A question like “Is your business Quality Assured?” is usually a dead give away that the client is a smart arse and nothing but trouble in the long term.

And finally, Don, how important is networking to your very small business?

I run the World Wide Business Group using five aliases and we all get together on a regular basis and swap notes.

On behalf of the Flying Solo audience, thanks for your time and your exceptional advice.

It’s been a pleasure.

Don Angel - aka Wayne Hope - is from the critically acclaimed ABC comedy series Very Small Business. The DVD of the series is now available. www.worldwidebusinessgroup.com

“ I'm pretty good at smelling a rat and if I sense a potential client is on the cluey side I cut my losses and dump them. ” Don Angel
 
Sam Leader

Sam Leader is a director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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