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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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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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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Profile: The Organic Pioneer

Few business people would describe themselves as a “left-leaning anarchist”, but being different partly explains why Guy Watson, founder of award-winning Riverford Organic, has achieved so much. Mark Williams finds out how his belief in organic farming turned into a prosperous business that delivers food boxes to tens of thousands of UK homes each week Born…

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Profile: The Flip-Flop Philanthropist

Rob Forkan has been on an incredible journey. With younger brother Paul he runs Gandys, which uses some of its profits to help orphans in India – just one reason this fast-growing flip-flop brand continues to win admirers. Rob’s amazing story, which includes surviving the 2004 tsunami that claimed his parents’ lives, as told to…

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