A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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A small business, facing a big government questionnaire

I'm wading through 18 pages of terms and conditions and a 17 page questionnaire on Quality and Health and Safety, send to us by an organization which wants to send a delegate on one of our courses. They've also asked us to provide 8 additional documents or document sets, some of which are very wide ranging. They are, of course a government Quango.

My thoughts on this?

I think it's out of proportion. If we were (say) a University looking to welcome dozens of students for a three year course from this organization, it would be reasonable. But we're not - we run a single training room, they're sending a single delegate.

I think it's very cheeky and nosy. Yes - we do have "environmental policies", but provided we provide a good service to our customers, and we do it all within the law, what business is it of a Quango that's nothing to do with the environment!

And I think it brings up things that we should (and do) have right, and it's an opportunity to look through that great long list in other people's eyes and see if we have missed anything.

We have a choice.

We could say "this is part of the 10% of the potential business that takes 90% of the effort" and "no bid" the course booking - even though we can do a really superb job for the delegate involved.

We could grumpily complete the paperwork, moaning at the cost to us.

Or we can grab the opportunity and answer - in an appropriate manner for our size of company, and we can take benefit from the answers by checking that our mission statement, health and safety policy, equal opportunities policy ... are all as we want them, and that we have though through everything about how we treat our delegates ...




Edit ... Opportunity grasped - see the distilled policy summaries [here].
(written 2010-05-12, updated 2010-05-14)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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