Life in Poland

Badum tissssssh!

If you are a teacher of so-called business English, for sure you’ve done a lesson about starting your own business – if not out of accountability for the business English knowledge of your students then just for the pure pleasure of listening to them try to pronounce “entrepreneurial”.

I had such a lesson this week. Despite the massive brain power in the room, we didn’t come up with any mind-blowing business ideas. After covering all the various forms of doing business with the pros and cons and all the possible synonyms to “set up”, we basically just sat around feeling sorry for ourselves that our last name wasn’t McDonald.

I am a sole trader, one of the forms of doing business listed in the textbook. According to our textbook, it is one the riskiest forms of doing business with an extremely high failure rate. We tried to put the blame on ZUS but considering that our book is published in England we were hard pressed to come up with a justification. The textbook claims that 9 out of 10 sole proprietorships fail while only 0.9% of franchises fail. Can anyone say, “d’ya want fries with that”? Of course these are English stats, so I asked my students:

If 9 out of 10 sole-proprietorships in England fail, what do you suppose the rate of failure is for Poland?

Reply of  my new, star student:

9 out of 10 in England, you say? In Poland, I’d have to say 11 out of 10.

Badum tissssssh!

PS If you’d like to check where your country ranks in the “ease of doing business” ranking, check out this page :

In starting a business the United States ranks 4th while Poland ranks 124th.

PS2 This barely has anything to do with the post, but here it is anyhow. Enjoy!

But why is their ice cream so good?!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Marek Cyzio
    February 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Actually Poland is #55 😉

  • Reply
    February 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Poland is #55 in ease of doing business but #124 in ease of starting a business in comparison to America's #4 ranking in the same category.

  • Reply
    Lois B
    February 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I'm in the process of starting a business, and kicking around ideas like this is one of my favorite pastimes. Franchisees have a lot of support, but they pay a price for it. I think being able to pay the franchise fees serves a sort of a screening process. It can take some cash reserves to survive while you're getting started, building brand recognition, something that franchisees have when they start out.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    In the UK you start, you fail, you close, you start, you fail, you close, you start, you fail, you close, you start… ad mortem defecatem.Show must go on!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    So Lois, what are some of your ideas? Anything involving your culinary talents?Czar, that's exactly what my father said about doing business in the US. I guess there's no room for sentiment in business.

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