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Looking back... and to the future After 20 years in print, how the original objectives of Better Business continue to be relevant today.

How many universities does it take to make an enterprising graduate? A look at what UK universities are doing to help graduates become more enterprising.

The mystery of double-entry accounting

How double-entry accounting can help you keep track of your finances. A business trip to the ocean

How identifying the Blue Ocean and swimming towards it could be great news for your business.

Food businesses from home

Opportunities for home-based food producers. Where are they now?

Better Business speaks to four previous

interviewees about the ups and downs of running a business.

How to sell to schools Tips on how to supply and sell to schools.

Postcards… small but powerful Why the humble postcard is the stealth bomber of the small business marketing world.

Attracting the right job applicants How to avoid sifting through piles of unsuitable CVs.

Learning from the Olympics presenters How your delivery can make

a difference to how you’re perceived.

9 4

12 14


16 22


30 31


WELCOME Better Business passed its twentieth anniversary during 2012, having been published first as Home Run by its previous owner, Sophie Chalmers, back in 1992.

As I was pulling the content of this current issue together, many ‘Olympic’ emotions from earlier this summer returned – feeling immense pride and enjoying the success

of creating a publication that is read and appreciated by aspiring start ups, business owners and their advocates, and appreciating the legacy of 20 years’ worth of practical business information and guidance.

As I have mentioned in my extended editorial on p4, a lot of the information that was published in Better Business back in 1992 holds true today, and the fundamentals of business are exactly the same. You still need to understand the basics of marketing and finance and, in many cases, using ‘old-fashioned’ techniques remain as the most effective.

The benefits of postcard marketing are explored on p26 and the basics of double-entry accounting (which you can still do with paper and a pencil) are explained on p12.

In terms of business ideas, again, it could be said that little has really changed. Home-based food production remains a viable option – so long as you are able to identify a niche – and it is still possible to make money from your hobby or talent such as photography, drawing and songwriting. Our two features on p16 and 26 explore these opportunities in more detail.

One thing that does change, and frequently, is the provision of business support. There are, however, some establishments that have stood the test of time but are nonetheless having to refocus their efforts in order to attract and support their clients in the 21st century. Chambers of commerce have been around for over 100 years, but as our feature reveals on p6, they face a challenge to make sure they remain fit for purpose for another century. Universities are also finding they need to adapt to support the growing issue of graduate unemployment and their need to focus on enterprise and entrepreneurship is explained on p9.

And finally, as Better Business has been following the exploits of business owners and start ups for more years than I’ve spent in adult life, it seemed fitting in our 20th year to revisit some of the people our team has interviewed over the years to see where they are now and how their business has faired. You can read four case studies in our article on p18 and we plan to revisit more individuals and their businesses from past issues in the coming months.

I hope you get as much out of reading Better Business as we do creating it, and would like to encourage you to pass on any feedback and suggestions for topics directly to me. I’d like to think that the editor looks back in another 20 years’ time and feels the same level of pride in the success of the magazine and the legacy that has been left to them.

Please send your feedback and comments to:

Better Business No 189


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