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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Thomas Graham’s Lakeland Adventure!18 April 2016

Having been kindly introduced by Sue Coulson of Coulson Associates, delivery partner for the Cumbria Family Business Network; Roger Smith, Managing Director and some of our Thomas Graham team ventured to the lovely Lakeland offices in Windermere on Wednesday 9th March to have a grand tour and to meet their Marketing Director, Tony Preedy!

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Finding the right path15 February 2016

The path to success (maps not required!)

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Britain's favourite bakery Warburtons18 November 2015

Jonathan Warburton of Warburton's Bakery was the host of the November in-sight event back in 2014

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

How far we've come...10 November 2015

Reflecting on the success of the Family Business Network

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Mummy, is all the world made of Gingerbread?02 November 2015

Will they or won't they was the question on everyone's lips as the next generation of the world famous Grasmere Gingerbread brand took centre stage at the Summer In-Sight event.

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Wrapped up05 October 2015

Flexible income options have risen in popularity since the introduction of new pension freedoms

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Lifetime legacy01 October 2015

Gifting can be a satisfying way of saving your heirs a significant Inheritance Tax bill

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By Lydia Winder - Cumbria Growth hub

CN GROUP BUSINESS AWARDS 2015 LAUNCHED01 June 2015

On Friday 29th May the CN Group 2015 Business Awards were launched. David Helliwell, editor of The Cumberland News and the News & Star, said: “The awards are a great way to focus on business successes across Cumbria. “They always uncover a wealth of talent and innovation that reminds us of all the great things going on in our factories, depots and offices. “As ever we want to showcase the very best of the county and, for that to happen, we need people to make sure those entries come in.” The awards are free to enter and are open to a

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Succession planning18 May 2015

What happens to your business when you want to be spending more time away from it than working in it?

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

From cappuccinos to cardboard boats - the story of one family business with a spring in its step23 March 2015

The Family Business Network March In-Sight event took a turn in a new direction welcoming Anthony Smith and Pamela Horobin of Progression Solicitors to the prestigious Windermere Suites at Lakeside Hotel

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Succession planning - How success in one context can contribute to pain in another context18 March 2015

One of the hallmarks of being an entrepreneur is that you like to get on with the job and make things happen. Which is great - it tends to have a positive effect on business growth

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By Lydia Winder - Cumbria Growth hub

New toolkit launched to help businesses exploit their Intellectual Property16 March 2015

Businesses will benefit from a new ‘IP Finance’ toolkit, advising on how to understand and present the value of their Intellectual Property.

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By Lydia Winder - Cumbria Growth hub

The GREAT way to grow: small businesses share their advice11 March 2015

34 stand-out UK small businesses have been chosen to feature in a new guide launched this March by the Business is GREAT campaign. In it, small businesses and top entrepreneurs share their most invaluable pieces of business advice, hints and tips to show UK businesses how to grow and expand. - See more at: http://www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk/Create/Blog#sthash.CuY2JfJs.dpuf

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National Apprenticeship week 2015 09 March 2015

As you may be aware, National Apprenticeship Week 2015 is taking place from 9-13 March. The Week will celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. We thought it might be useful to provide an overview of the different ways you and your members/networks can get involved in the Week. - See more at: http://www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk/Create/Blog#sthash.yo1T0Hzr.dpuf

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The Lake District – Chinese Destination of Choice09 March 2015

The Lake District – Chinese Destination of Choice “The Chinese Outbound Market could be the biggest phenomenon to hit the global travel industry since the invention of commercial flight” (CNN, 2013) Colin Fox, Marketing Manager, English Lakes flew out to Hong Kong, then travelled to Guangzhou in November 2014 to join a group of UK tourism professionals promoting their businesses at Destination Britain China, the annual highlight of Visit Britain’s Chinese promotional activity.

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Family Business Network05 March 2015

Just six months after launching the Family Business Network In-Sight events over 222 people from all walks of family businesses have benefitted from embracing the unique opportunity to hear from some of the top family businesses in Cumbria

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Relevant plans16 February 2015

Small businesses often pay more for life insurance, but there are ways to reduce the cost

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Tax year-end: Taxing times11 February 2015

It pays to get your finances in order before the end of the tax year.

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Succession planning with the Family Business Network12 January 2015

A couple of years ago I was asked by a manufacturing company if I'd work with them to help plan their succession. I'd known the MD for some ten years and worked both with him and for him in various capacities over that time. When in first knocked on his door to do a Cultural Audit on his family business, I was taken aback by the grim environment - a locked door opening onto a cold, greyish hall with bars over the small window, which was called 'Reception'.

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Don't get trapped by the new Lifetime Allowance23 December 2014

If you’re fortunate to have pension savings worth over £1.25 million, you should act now to sidestep a potential £137,500 tax bill

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

How retirement will look in 201515 December 2014

On 21 July 2014, the government released their response to the ‘Freedom and Choice in Pensions’ consultation, effectively giving the go-ahead for the sweeping pension changes that were proposed as part of the 2014 Budget in March. These changes could radically alter your plans for retirement

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Workplace pensions and auto-enrolment10 December 2014

Automatic enrolment is ‘one of the biggest reforms to UK pensions in decades,’ according to the National Association of Pension Funds. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that the new rules ‘could almost double private pension income by the time people now starting work reach their retirement.’ No employer – however small – can afford to ignore these changes.

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By Martin Norris - Cumbrian Newspapers

Corporate Social Responsibility: its impact on recruitment, and the man in the bright blue socks09 December 2014

Don't be afraid to show off your CSR endeavours...or your socks

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Mentoring04 December 2014

'I learnt about coaching and the value of asking open questions as a way of influencing and motivating them.'

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Taking control of your pension plan04 December 2014

If you add together all the money you have in pension arrangements, the total may well dwarf every other investment you ever make. Despite this, many people are happy to leave their pensions in the schemes of previous employers and insurance company ‘managed’ funds, which may be fine for relatively modest pension funds, but can be relatively disappointing performers.

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Pensions and tax planning for high earners01 December 2014

If you find more and more of your income is taxed over the basic rate, you are not alone. The higher rate threshold - the point at which you start to pay 40% income tax - has reduced to £41,865 for 2014/15, down from £43,875 in 2010/11.

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Growing your business through mentoring10 November 2014

One of the outcomes of being a mentor is the satisfaction it gives in seeing another person, and their business grow, another benefit is the fact you learn not only about mentoring but about yourself in the process

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

What is mentoring and what does it mean for me?05 November 2014

Mentoring is one of those words we hear a lot of lately and it's commonly recognised as a 'good thing' to do, but there's a wide range of meanings covering the role of a mentor and the process of mentoring.

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By David Graham, Assistant VAT Consultant - Armstrong Watson

Distance selling - Should you be VAT registered in another EU country?10 October 2014

Cross border transactions is one of the most complex areas of VAT. If they are part of your business activities it is vital to ensure that you understand the relevant rules.

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By Adam Ford - 4D Web Design

A view from inside the matrix - Part 206 October 2014

My first piece of noticeable tech that is starting to surface is the inflatable UAV. The Chinese are developing lighter than air inflatable drone that will cut down on Carbon Footprint and can be used for low speed low altitude reconnaissance. It could have radar absorbing material on it for stealth and would be light weight, easy to store and very portable. Great we say, does that mean that standard kit for any platoon in the Chinese army will now be a puncture repair kit?

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By David Twiddle - Twiddle & Co.

Is a Non-Exec right for you?06 October 2014

Why more and more entrepreneurs and family business owners are turning to non-execs to fill the skill gaps on their board.

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Budget 2014 - The Pensions Revolution24 September 2014

The 2014 budget proposals have been described as a "pensions revolution". Are you aware of how the new retirement landscape could affect you?

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

Financial protection for you and your family18 September 2014

The underpin of most good financial planning is life and health insurance protection. It's vital to ensure that, if the worst should happen, the right amount of money will reach the right people at the right time.

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By Katie Vallis - MakeUsAWebsite

Using Video To Promote Your Business Online16 September 2014

Do you want people to know more about you and your business? Well reach out to them in a way that they love; video. Here’s how using video marketing can help raise your profile online.

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By Marc Morrison - Mobetrics

Putting the Dev into Biz Dev11 September 2014

We all carry over skills from roles we've done in the past; here's how we try and run our company using principles learnt from software development.

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By Martin Norris - Cumbrian Newspapers

Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?09 September 2014

Vision. It’s seductive. It sells. And it should be used in your recruitment.

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By David Martin - The Highest Branch

How to be rubbish at selling!08 September 2014

Do these things if you want to be rubbish at sales. So don't do them then Eh? You know what I mean!

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By David Hamer - MakeUsAWebsite

Do you need a responsive website?05 September 2014

Development and change is always rapid in the web design industry, but the last year has seen a rapid acceleration in one technology in particular. Responsive websites.

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By Dianne Richardson - Balfour Beatty

Is Social Media still the elephant in the room for SME's?05 September 2014

So I like a bit of Social Media, I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn and Twitter for business and keep in touch with family and friends via Facebook. I also dip into Google+ now and again but if I’m honest that hasn’t really captivated me. Social Media is nothing new, it’s been with us for some time now so why do some companies I meet in my role still say to me “Oh no, we’re not going to do that, Social Media can’t help my business, it’s just a waste of time” as if Social Media is something other than a communication channel to customers.

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By Adam Ford - 4D Web Design

A view from inside the matrix01 September 2014

Read Adam's views on what is generally happening around web design and technology.

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By Barry Leahey - Playdale Playgrounds Ltd

From the Lake District to South Korea – How to be Successful in Export Markets28 August 2014

In today’s economic climate the competition for business in the UK is fierce, and it is more important than ever for businesses to make the most of every opportunity available. Barry Leahey of Playdale Playgrounds Ltd. discusses the success that their business has had in export markets over the past four years, offering great advice to other businesses who are considering taking their business overseas.

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By Rachel Johnson - Bluestar

Who's on your database?28 August 2014

How do you keep existing customers loyal and find new ones? The secret lies in using the data you already hold more effectively.

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By Sian Hunter - MakeUsAWebsite

Using Link Prospecting To Build Your Brand20 August 2014

An explanation of what link prospecting is and how it helps to raise your profile on the internet.

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By Jeanette Brown - Dodd and Co Chartered Accountants

The Yoof Of Today………………….13 August 2014

Are the employability skills of today’s young people as bad as they are made out, and if so, whose responsibility is it to do something about it?

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By Andy Pearce - MakeUsAWebsite

What is Google AdWords and Why Should You Use It?13 August 2014

AdWords is the Google Pay Per Click advertising platform and it is massive, it accounted for 85% of their revenue last year at just over 50 billion dollars. That's very nice for them I hear you say, but what has this got to do with me? Well quite a lot I think and I will try to explain why.

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By Mike Turney - Mike Turney Wealth Management

The importance of business succession planning 11 August 2014

What happens to a business if its owner or co-owner dies or falls seriously ill and what can you do to ensure what you would prefer to happen actually happens.

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By Rachel Johnson - Bluestar

Time is money: Ten tasks that can be outsourced06 August 2014

Once upon a time most business executives had an assistant who took care of many time-consuming tasks, freeing the executive to concentrate on the more important jobs. Today, virtual assistants (VAs) are ready to step in and perform the same service.

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By Marc Morrison - Mobetrics

Exploiting Mobile Technology for Business Improvement29 July 2014

Smartphones are now ubiquitous in both our personal and business lives but do we really use them to their full potential?

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By Douglas Russell - Armstrong Watson

Holiday season – Can the business cope without you?14 July 2014

Is it now far too easy for an individual to be dragged into business matters when they should be relaxing with the family on holiday?

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

What is it that makes your business sustainable? 07 July 2014

Hertzberg’s model of what motivates people at work is still valid, as no one has set about disproving it, despite the fact he created it 56 years ago. Cumbria Family Business Network hosted an event last week, which included a workshop on ‘Creating a sustainable culture’ which was a strong re-enforcement of Hertzberg’s work. Read more!

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How to keep blog content fresh when writing isn't your thing02 July 2014

A blog can benefit your business in many ways, but if you don't enjoy writing or run out of things to talk about, creating new posts can become tiresome. Need inspiration? Here are some ideas that will delight your readers and keep your content looking fresh.

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By Sue Coulson - Coulson Associates Ltd

Some things can be obvious to others but not to you...26 June 2014

“People to People” (P2P) are words that, to me, as someone whose business is founded on forging new and existing relations and networks, should be obvious. Read why!

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By Colin Johnson FCCA - Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers

Accounting records – keep it clean 16 June 2014

There is nothing more likely to attract interest from HMRC than an “untidy” set of accounting records. As a business owner there is an onus to keep proper and correct accounting records, but likewise business owners have to balance this requirement with ensuring that the business operation continues and profit is crystallised. Here are some tips on how to keep HMRC happy, minimise risks of enquiry/cost and play to someone’s strengths;

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Is your business sustainable? 10 June 2014

Some research by the Hay Group has shown that on global, regional and domestic levels that when family-owned businesses transfer their companies to the second generation, only 30 per cent will survive and it’s predicted that fewer than 1 per cent of businesses will survive beyond the fourth generation. So, if you’re in the situation of being a first or second generation family business and intend that your business should not only continue but flourish, what can you do?

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By Clive Drinkwater - UKTI North West

Looking forward to a summer of exporting04 June 2014

Clive Drinkwater, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Regional Director North West, looks forward to a summer of exporting.

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By Tom Holden - ENWorks

Half a billion reasons to be cheerful! 02 June 2014

Twelve months ago, the newly established seasonal trend of above inflation energy price increases was making headlines, whether its déjà vu or a glitch in the matrix, here we are again. The key difference now is that energy has shot up the political agenda, seeing all three political parties looking to take action on energy prices!

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By Sandra Mashiter - Barclays

Do you need to secure finance to help with your growth plans?27 May 2014

Do you want to grow your business? If so, come and speak to Barclays we have already helped many SME’s in Cumbria to grow by investing in their plans this year. Identifying the requirement is a good start but after that there is a whole lending journey ahead. Hopefully these tips will give you a better understanding of that journey and help you to access the finance that your business needs.

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By Stephen Robinson - Xyone Cyber Security

Cyber Security - Dominating the Headlines!21 May 2014

Cyber security continues to dominate the headlines of late with reports highlighting the ‘Heartbleed Bug’ - one of the biggest security threats the internet has faced which exposed thousands of users’ sensitive account information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Here are some top tips for your staff to help reduce cyber security breaches in the workplace.

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By Colin Johnson FCCA - Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers

Sage Accounts: Looking After Your Data 21 May 2014

With our ever increasing reliance on IT systems for general business needs and in particular accounts data it is important to maintain the integrity of your sage 50 Accounts data.

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By Ali Bramall - Integration

Hello, Cumbria Family Business Network!19 May 2014

The Family Business Network is a new and exciting initiative, forming part of the range of business support provided through the Cumbria Business Growth Hub. Supporting family businesses to grow through utilising the knowledge and resources of other family businesses.

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By Colin Johnson FCCA - Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers

Payroll Update 2014/15 14 May 2014

The new tax year has now started and so here’s a handy reminder of all the new legislative changes that came into effect from April 2014.

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By Paul Harper - The Farmer Network

New Business Opportunities07 May 2014

Attracting a younger work force into agriculture is quite tricky –unattractive hours, a great deal of responsibility and isolated working are key features. The EU definition of a young farmer is 40 and below, so young people are definitely lacking in the industry. But what about the increasing number of young people in Cumbria who are keen to take on the challenge, but don’t have a farm readily available to them?

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By Sarah Mantell - Sarah Mantell Coaching

Applying for a job - 10 top tips30 April 2014

Sarah Mantell knows how important it is to stand out from the crowd when applying for a job - read her 10 top tips on how to make your application successful to make sure you secure an interview!

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By Nigel Holmes - Armstrong Watson

Share and Share Alike22 April 2014

Recent research shows that 30% of family companies pass to the second generation, and 13% pass to the third generation. Find out what Nigel Holmes, Director of Corporate Tax, Armstrong Watson, thinks about family owned and family run companies.

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By Jason Gooding - Chief Executive, Carlisle City Council

Who'd be a public servant? 11 April 2014

Councils appear to be among the least loved of all institutions right now; who'd be a public servant? Find out what Dr Jason Gooding, Chief Executive, Carlisle City Council, had to say when asked that very question.

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By Kath Lord-Green - Insight Training, Coaching & Media

That OMG moment04 April 2014

When Kath Lord-Green of Insight Training, Coaching & Media attended the UNCover PR event at Rheged on 1st April with Cumbria Business Growth Hub, she got more than she expected, in the form of a brand new employee. Read more about how Kath was inspired at UNCover PR and meet her new PR girl.

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By Charlotte Davies - Search Strategist

SEO vs. PPC: Which is the best way of promoting your website in search engines?01 April 2014

There has been a long running debate on whether PPC or SEO is more effective. Which is easier? Which drives the most traffic? Which is better overall? Charlotte Davies answers these questions for you.

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By Melissa McCormick - Cartmell Shepherd

Pick up the pace in 201424 March 2014

Melissa McCormick from Cartmell Shepherd blogs about the opportunities available to “accelerate” an improvement to your business.

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By Jackie Harris - Brightspark Marketing

A quick guide to running a low-cost customer focus group17 March 2014

Modern marketing is no longer about formulating an offering (product or service) and then finding customers, it’s about finding out what people want and need, and then creating your product or service accordingly. One of the easiest ways to make sure you are selling the right thing to the right people is to run a focus group. Read Jackie's quick guide to running a low-cost customer focus group.

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By Chris Lamont - Lamont Pridmore

Paying too much tax? Time to start planning03 March 2014

No one wants to pay more tax than they have to – and yet that is exactly what countless businesses are doing, either because they do not realise they are paying too much or because they do not know where to turn for help. Read Chris Lamont from Lamont Pridmore's blog on why you need to start planning!

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By Tony Ferguson - Dodd & Co Accountants

A New Year’s Resolution to Keep? An accountant’s plea28 February 2014

Find out why accountants everywhere will be heaving a huge sigh of relief and possibly taking some well deserved time off now the start of the year is out of the way.

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By Belinda Mortell - University of Chester

Business Engagement – Working with Colleges and Universities24 February 2014

Belinda Mortell, University of Chester, talks about how businesses should engage with Colleges and Universities.

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