Hellbent Blog

Welcome to the Hellbent Blog or Welcome to Hell :)

Our blog is a lighthearted commentary on running an SME in the field of engineering.

Thanks for dropping by - please do read and comment...

 

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  1. Happy New Year – Better Late than Never…

    I think it may possibly be too late to still be wishing everyone a Happy New Year at the end of the third week of January but I’m hanging in there…

    The last quarter of 2016 whizzed by in rather a 'speed of light' fashion for Logan and I with the sale of our house in Happisburgh, our annual shut down and frantic new home hunting.  The latter of which was a #fail so we decided to opt for renting rather than homelessness!  Moving to a property less than half the size of the one you are moving out of with no workshop, garage or outbuildings to speak of was interesting to say the least… thank goodness for friends and family’s spare rooms, garages, sheds and everywhere else our belongings can currently be located frankly.  You know who you are – we really do appreciate you! 

    2017 has started off with more new machining enquiries than we know what to do with.  And curiously they are coming thick and fast from up and down the UK.  On some investigation, it appears for certain search terms, Google has promoted us to page one of its rankings which is rather a luxury… While we are enjoying it while it lasts, we are under no illusions, as search engine optimisation seems to be a fickle business.  Next week we may have plummeted down to page 423.

    In other news (!) the price of metal seems to be going up by the minute – so much so that we are having to write to our customers to warn them that we may not be able to maintain certain pricing structures.  It’s not something we like to do but with metal prices having been low and static for such a long time, we can’t absorb large increases across the board. 

    And finally and most importantly some may say (me possibly?!) – we have found a house to buy.  Yes!  It’s a lovely old farmhouse nine miles up the road from work.  Only snag is it is a little poorly at present.  All being well we should be in possession by early April but it’s still at the ‘fingers crossed’ stage so we’ll have to wait and see.

    And there we have it.  January has been the month of quoting and property negotiations – consequently we quite like 2017 so far. 

    Hope it’s working for everyone else too.

  2. Where February and March went is completely beyond me but here we are in April with that EU Vote looming in 70 days (according to my inbox)...  Without banging on about it (well - a bit) - we're firmly on the #VoteLeave and #TakeControl side. 

    One simple fact - the UK sends £50 million pounds a day to the EU - was enough for me to sit up and pay attention. 

    That's £350 million in one week which, conveniently, is the cost of building a new NHS hospital every week.  So if we came out, we could not only spend money on new hospitals but have plenty of change left over for schools, housing and jobs for people that are UK citizens and haven't arrived here hoping our streets are paved with gold... (an obvious urban myth; only to be exacerbated by the optimistic Living Wage).

    What about on the business front? 

    I was amazed by some of the statistics/quotes I have stolen from an article written by Matthew Elliott, Chief Exec of Vote Leave:

    • Only 6% of UK firms trade with the EU yet 100% must abide by legislation handed down by Brussels - why?!
    • The EU currently has no free trade agreements with the USA, China and India to name but a few (albeit big ones).  Whilst we remain in the EU we are unable to negotiate our own.  Out of the EU we would be able to get on with it.
    • The UK has a significant trade deficit with the EU - in 2014 the EU sold £78.9 billion MORE goods TO the UK than we sold to them.  So who holds the negotiating power? Who is more important to who?
    • The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world - so let's use our strength to make our own way. 

    What about security? 

    We have one of the best intelligence services in the world which is the envy of many so would other European countries want to work with us and share information?  I think so.

    And immigration?

    If we have control of our own borders then we have control of who we allow entry to and who we don’t.  Currently EU open border policies allow criminals guilty of some of the most heinous crimes, entry to our green and pleasant land without checks/monitoring and those with extremist views who wish us harm seem to be just as welcome, putting more strain on our already stretched intelligence services.  Do we want skilled workers to come here to live and work?  Absolutely we do, but we won’t get that with an open door policy.  And can our NHS, our schools and our infrastructure cope with a relentless population surge?  No.

    As for the IMF wading in to the debate – is that to protect a Eurozone that they already acknowledge is ‘weak’ and a ‘concern’?  It doesn’t appear to be for the UK’s benefit and frankly disappoints.  And don’t get me started on David Cameron (who got our vote at the last election) – we are now firmly Camp Boris.

    So, just in case anyone’s not clear, I think we’ll be coming down on the #VoteLeave side on 23rd June…

    And breathe.

    Sally-Ann