Profile: The Publicity Queen

If she ever tires of running her hugely successful Gateshead-based vehicle rental business LINGsCARS, Ling Valentine could probably earn a fortune by teaching others how to promote their businesses. You might remember her from an episode of Dragons’ Den in 2007, where famously she rejected investment from two Dragons. You might have seen her in publications ranging from adult comic Viz to…

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Why it’s OK to fail sometimes in business

Chances are, you’ve probably never heard of Traf-O-Data. It was a venture started in the early 1970s by a couple of teenagers from Seattle, Washington. Using the Intel 8008 processor, Traf-O-Data analysed traffic data punched into paper rolls, so traffic flow could be improved. The budding tech entrepreneurs tried to market Traf-O-Data to local government.…

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How we started our microbrewery business

Many people start their own business because they dream of riches, while others simply want to earn a living from something they truly love. The latter is true of Liverpool-based Grateful Dead fan John Marsden and his wife Julie, who set up The Melwood Beer Company in mid-2013. “For many years I’d dreamt of running a microbrewery…

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Profile: James Caan

Entrepreneur, investor, author and TV personality James Caan seems even more enthusiastic than usual, perhaps partly because work has finished on a new seven-part TV series he is fronting called The Business Class, which will soon be hitting our screens in the UK on CNBC. Caan is joined by experts from various sectors who help…

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10 Ways to get better results when negotiating

In the months ahead, as Brexit talks gather pace, “negotiations” could be a word that many of us grow tired of hearing. But negotiating is something most of us do every day, whether in our business or personal lives. Negotiating means trying to reach agreement with others. It’s about finding a solution that suits both…

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What key lessons can your business learn from the world’s top tennis players?

Almost half a million spectators are expected to flock to the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AKA Wimbledon) between Monday 3 July and Sunday 16 July to enjoy the world’s oldest tennis tournament, where 757 of the world’s best players will compete in 674 matches. During the fortnight, according to the official tournament…

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Are you setting your prices too high, too low or just right?

Of all the challenges you face when starting or running your own business, setting prices is among the most important.  Your prices say much about the value you attach to your business and the things it sells. Get your prices right and you create a platform for success. But get it wrong and the implications…

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What key lessons can small businesses learn from Sir Alex Ferguson?

Even if you’re not a Manchester United fan (and many of us aren’t), you have to respect the club’s success under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Without him, United’s phenomenal achievements simply would not have been possible. Things could have been very different. Had United not won the FA Cup in 1990, months after what…

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How some of the world’s most successful businesses started

From Nike and Adidas to Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, SUBWAY and Ben & Jerry’s… In 1964 University of Oregon athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman started Blue Ribbon Sports as a distributor for Japanese shoemaker Onitsuka Tiger, with sales made at track meetings from Knight’s car. Just do it  Business was encouraging that first year, with turnover of…

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