Jim’s Group founder opposes government intervention

By Sarah Stowe | 06 Nov 2015 View comments


Last week, the FCA called on the government to set up a small business assistance program which would help to drive franchisee recruitment. Despite wanting to expand his own business, Jim Penman, founder of the Jim's Group franchise, disagrees and says the governments "interferes far too much".

FCA executive director Steve Wright told Franchising recently that the call for government action to support new businesses is at an embryonic stage, however it aims to support incoming franchisees whose investment plans can fall flat when funding isn't forthcoming from banks.

The CEO and founder of the Jim's Group, which includes Jim's Mowing, Jim's Bookkeeping, Jim's Paving, Jim's Building Maintenance and Jim's Fencing, had a lot to say on the matter, but in short doesn't support calls for a government assistance program, and would rather the government simply "get out of the way".

He told us:

"I think it [government assistance] is a bad idea. The government should butt out [of business]. I think they're very damaging, the kinds of things they do. That's the funny thing about people in government, the less they know about business, the less clues they have, the more they think they know how to run things better than we do. They're a pack of incompetent meddlers and they should just get out of our way and let us run the businesses.

"What they should be doing is getting rid of a lot of the red tape and all those things that shackle us down. It's like they're loading people down with chains and then holding a biscuit before them to give them some incentive. It's ridiculous.

"For example, a lot of the licencsing requirements to do certain jobs … The fact that you have to have a rigid four year apprenticeship scheme to do things in so many different industries is really, really bad. Take, for example, plumbing. You could teach someone how to do that very quickly. You could put them through an induction course, we could teach them to do things like clearing pipe lines and kinds of things like that, simple jobs. You could certify them, qualify them, but no, you can't do that, you've got to go through some four year system. The rigidity of the way they do things, and [the way] they pour massive amounts of money into useless tertiary education systems … I think the government just interferes far too much.

"There's too much regulation, too much bureaucracy … They should just get out of the way.

"What I believe in is what Ronald Reagan said: 'The nine most frightening words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'."

Do you agree with Penman? Tell us your thoughts?