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Small businesses: Running like clockwork

When Bob Betts used to tell people what he did for a living, he'd be met with a stifled yawn or, on a good day, a polite smile. But in November 2006, he threw in the towel, waving goodbye to his 15-year career as a computer salesman for IBM. "Now, when I say I'm a clockmaker, I don't meet anyone who doesn't want to talk about it," he says. "Sometimes it comes from people loving anything to do with watches and sometimes they're just enthralled with the romance of time."

Inside SME

Book review: Family Wars, by Grant E Gordon and Nigel Nicholson

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Television series such as Dallas, Dynasty and, most recently, Brothers and Sisters have done much to colour the general public's perception of family businesses. Instead of being places where people with close ties to each other work together to create something worthwhile, they are hotbeds of intrigue, characterised by sibling rivalries and worse. But real life isn't like that, is it? Well, anybody reading Grant Gordon and Nigel Nicholson's book could be forgiven for thinking that the scriptwriters had underplayed their hands.

Roger Trapp: In an ailing economy, good timing is crucial

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Britain's small business and banking communities have never had the best of relationships. Recent events will have done little to improve things.

Small business profile: An artistic way of living off scraps

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Many people dream about developing a business around their hobby, although few realise that dream. Of those who do, fewer still make a go of it. But Christina Doré, 50, has done just that with her craft centre business, A Maze of Memories.

Adventures In Micro-Business: Unsecured loans and Saturday staff

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Q. Are there any circumstances in which my business can get a bank loan without me having to guarantee the loan personally?

Small Businesses: Entrepreneurs promised tax relief and less red tape

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Measures aimed at boosting the UK's small business sector and encouraging innovation were at the centre of the Budget, the Chancellor claimed.

Family Companies: Relief for small businesses as 'income shifting' legislation stalls

Thursday, 13 March 2008

A delay in the introduction of new income tax legislation for family business employees was welcomed last night as HM Revenue & Customs' plans to combat "income shifting" stalled.

Small Talk: Imprint battle wide open as Hydrogen runs out of gas

Monday, 10 March 2008

The takeover saga of recruitment group Imprint was scheduled to end this Friday, when the company's board was set to recommend a bid from rival Hydrogen at an extraordinary general meeting.

Independent retailers: An extended shelf life

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

At a time when Amazon and its low prices are just a click away from most homes, the supermarkets are selling bestsellers at deep discounts and even established high street presences, such as WH Smith and Waterstone's, are resorting to repeated special offers to draw in customers, opening an independent bookshop does not look like the smartest thing to do.

Roger Trapp: It's often those on the shop floor who can spot the best business ideas

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

There are countless examples of small businesses started by people working in particular industries who spot gaps that their current employers either do not see or fill inadequately. Through attention to detail and dedicated service, such enterprises can make surprisingly impressive profits out of the least likely opportunities and in so doing sometimes grow to a size to rival the original businesses from which they spring.

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