Progress report

I completed the bank forms yesterday after calling Derek (business relations manager) and discovering that he also wants a business plan and our CVs. The CVs we can do, but the business plan? How does one do such a thing?

I had a look at the PO website which contains some info on how to apply to become a subpostmaster. It mentioned on there that only UK residents may apply, so I called their HR dept. and it seems that we should be just fine, providing we can prove that we will be resident when the application is made. I did discover, however, that the application cannot be submitted until the current postmistress has formally handed in her notice of resignation. I foresaw a vicious circle. She won’t resign until she has an offer; the bank won’t offer the loan unless we’re accepted by the PO; and we can’t put in an offer until the loan has been approved.

So, I called Derek again and put him in the picture. He was pretty helpful – he’s a bit of a Jack the Lad actually, using such phrases as “rubber ducked” and “lazy bastards (referring to Arran’s plumbers)”. Providing we are approved, the loan can be offered on the condition that we are accepted by the Post Office. At that stage we should be able to put in an offer which will also be conditional upon acceptance by the Post Office. Then the current postmistress can submit her resignation. I don’t foresee any problem with being accepted by the post office, apart from the whole residency thing. But we’re committed to moving anyway, so even if we move and it doesn’t come to pass, at least we’ll be out of Lux.

The Post Office has a template business plan that you can download, as does the Royal Bank of Scotland. On reading it through, I realised that we did not have enough info from the seller, so wrote out a list of questions. I then called my good friend Graeme, who just happens to have gone through this process himself, and got some great help from him. He’s asked that I send him the info I have and he’ll look it over and see if he thinks the asking price is too high. He’s also going to show it to his brother, who’s a business relations manager at another bank. He is also going to send us the business plan that he used so we can see the sort of thing we ought to be thinking about. And he suggested that we get an accountant to draw up our business plan, which is good because it so happens that a good friend of Lorraine’s is an accountant!

So considering Graeme and Irena the accountant’s help, it seems once again that things are stacking up in our favour.Is this my higher power at work? I just have to keep on going with it and not let things slip. At the moment I’m waiting on Graeme’s business plan arriving and I still have to call the seller with my list of questions. I can’t do that tonight as I’m out playing guitar and it seems more or less to have been decided that it is I who will be doing most of the organisation on this. I’m happy with that, and it seems to make sense given that it’s in my part of the world and I speak the same language.

Maybe I’ll call the seller at work this afternoon and get that done.

Meanwhile, I still have the translation to get finished. Lorraine got as far as reading through Chapter 4 of 8, so I can review her changes to Chapters 1–4. Hopefully it won’t be too big a job.