More tea, Vicar? Oscar Wilde teaches us about business life

When Oscar Wilde wrote The Important of Being Earnest he gave Lady Bracknell the memorable line: ‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’ More than 100 years after the line was written, there’s a lesson for us in business today. Our blogger Stuart Pearcey explores the connection…

Lady Bracknell would never have dreamed of dealing with what she would have undoubtedly seen as the grubby world of commerce. Goodness me, no. She would have had staff to deal with that sort of thing.

But I bet she would have had an opinion about the way those self-same tradespeople should go about their business, and would have shared it with them in the unlikely event that she was ever forced into a conversation.

Which is why it’s bizarre to think that in that one particular line she was given by Wilde, she tells us so much about the way to succeed in business. Had she known, she’d probably have had an attack of the vapours, and required a sniff of the smelling salts and a large brandy. However, it’s there all the same; It’s about learning from mistakes; about building success based on decisions tempered by experience, and about not going around the same ‘loop of error’ more than once.

We can’t ignore technology
It’s getting on for forty years since the spreadsheet was invented. In computing terms that’s an Ice Age ago. Imagine; it was a decade before the internet became publicly available. And yet there are still people collating expense reports using forty-year-old technology. To do so is to make the same mistake not once, not twice, but again and again. For as much as forty years. For anyone to justify it by saying ‘we’ve always done it this way’ is to bury their head in the sand, because by now changes in technology must have impacted on other areas of their lives.

It’s a safe bet that they’re perfectly happy to look through eBay, order groceries online, watch television, or have added a satnav or dashcam to their car. I’ve slipped in that reference to television because, in the UK at least, it’s no longer possible to watch TV as we did in the 1970s; the analogue signal has been turned off, and we’re all digital. There. I said it. We’re digital.

What the cloud means for expense management
For expense management, that means we’re in the cloud. Computing in the cloud is the best thing ever. It means people like us, developers of the most versatile expense management app imaginable, can connect with you, the people who manage expenses for your business. Armed with our smartphone app (which works on Android and iPhone with equal ease) and an internet signal, you can record, submit, claim, and pay expenses.

That means there is no excuse to continue around the dreaded ‘loop or error’. You can run, but you just can’t hide from your mistakes – like failing to embrace the simplicity and effectiveness of money management apps.

Free offer
So, here’s what we’ll do. Our expense management app comes in three styles. Two are aimed at SMEs businesses; one at very much larger corporate organisations. (for the first two, the principle difference is that one package incorporates an approval process; the other doesn’t). If you’re in an SME, we’ll give you a 14-day free trial so you can download our product and try it in your own business, at no cost. After those two weeks, stay with us and we promise that the prices are so competitive that using our cloud-based software will pay for itself in the time you save, and the streamlining you can achieve for your expense management system. You have nothing to lose. Go ahead. Try it now.

Nowadays everyone can order anything and have people deliver it to the door, in much the same way that Lady Bracknell would have been familiar with. It’s just that today the bridge between the thought and the action is wildly different from anything she could possibly have understood. Heavens, today we can even manage our expenses whilst taking tea with the Vicar (or anyone else for that matter).  Goodness knows what Lady Bracknell would have said about that.

Picture: Joanna Kosinska | Unsplash