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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Huawei boss in first media interview

Category : Business

Ren Zhengfei, the founder of China’s Huawei – the world’s second-largest telecom equipment maker – speaks to the media for the first time.

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Top tips for growing your business

Category : Business

Last week a panel of experts advised readers on how to expand their small businesses. Here are the best bits from our live Q&A

Jemma Wilson, founder of Crumbs and Doilies, a cupcake baking business which launched in 2006

Sourcing supplies at wholesale prices: Finding wholesale suppliers can be difficult. Some wholesalers are a little bit stuck in the past (I have one supplier who still supplies the catalogue on a CD-rom). Also, you would be surprised how much price can vary between companies supplying similar products. Make sure you get a few prices before choosing a supplier and try and use as few suppliers as possible. This will cut down on delivery charges and staggered supplies. It’ll probably cut carbon emissions too.
Use the phone to get in touch with potential suppliers. In my experience I have received the best service when dealing with a real person. You can build up a relationship with your supplier which can help down the line with cost cutting and problems.

Personalising packaging: There are lots of things you can do to regular stock packaging to make it yours. Stickers are a perfect example. We now have all of our packaging custom-made, but in the early days and until not so long ago, we used boxes and other types of packaging that were held in stock with our suppliers and we simply pasted our flyers or stickers on to them. Sounds ropey but it actually looked really great. Getting custom packaging made can be incredibly expensive so make sure you shop around for the best prices.

Andy Lopata, expert on networking strategy the author of three books on networking

Getting the word out: The golden rule with all social networks is to ‘engage rather than broadcast’. People don’t want to be sold to on social networks. They want you to listen to them, share useful information and get to know you. Frustratingly, this takes time but you sow the seeds to reap the rewards over time. Use Twitter or Facebook to get know your audience and position yourself as an expert and resource for your potential clients and the people who influence them.

James Gill, partner at The Pen Company, a family business which sells upmarket stationery

Ensuring good cashflow: A potentially sound and successful business can fail due to poor cashflow management. For someone starting out I would recommend:

• Get hold of an accounting package. Your accountant will probably have a favourite that he or she likes to work with and will recommend.

• Enter all of your invoices, payments and income regularly – once a week is good. Reconcile your bank statement as soon as it arrives. This way you will know exactly how you stand and will be able to see your commitments at least one month ahead. Estimate future income realistically.

• Negotiate with your suppliers: once you have a relationship with them, many suppliers will give extended terms to customers they trust. They may also be prepared to supply in smaller volume more regularly if you ask, although you will incur more delivery charges.

• Be realistic: don’t assume things will automatically go well, just because you want them to.

• If you see a problem looming, confront it. Contact the other parties that may be affected and explain the situation, what you are doing about it and ask for their co-operation. Knowledge is power and the more information you have the better decisions you will make and the more accurate your planning will be. Keep on top of the stats.

Simon Calderbank, client director for Acquire New Business

Recognising the importance of your brand: Branding is so much more than a logo. Your brand is the emotional reaction someone has when they say your company name – it’s everything they think and feel about your organisation. Think of your brand as a symbolic representation of your company, from the way you deliver your service and the advice you give to the way you answer the phone. It’s the sum total of everything you do to interact with your customers, colleagues, suppliers and market.

Imran Merza, co-founder of Jealous Sweets

Knowing what help is available: Depending on the type of business there are a few options, such as the enterprise capital funds. They are government-backed venture capital funds that aim to invest in fast-growing small businesses. I think getting a business mentor is probably the best way to move forward, someone who can give you tailored advice.

Alex Cohen, founder of Xander Marketing with more than a decade of experience in the field

Recognising the best marketing channels: WIth any marketing channel it’s worth asking ‘What is the purpose?’ first. Just because other people are on Facebook or other businesses are on LinkedIn, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be there. You could try going door to door? What about sending an email with a free white paper? Maybe send a gimmick through the post or advertise in a trade magazine? There are lots of options and sometimes with marketing it’s a case of trying a few and seeing what sticks. I would try a few channels and see what works.

Annette Du Bois, co-founder of Smangel (Social Media Angel) and author of Big Profit Thinking To Stop Your Small Business Sinking

Having a good mix of strategies: The most important thing is to know who your customer is and what you’re really selling to help you maximise your efforts. Most of these are about sowing seeds to farm in the future. One of the gems that a lot of business owners miss is in the ‘follow up’ process, think of it as relationship marketing that continues to build the trust and credibility to make it easier for people to buy from you.

Gillian Harris, managing director of Gilliangladrag

Working with freelances: I employ quite a lot of freelances and tutors at the shop. Always make sure it’s kept business-like. They are indeed your employee, as you are paying their wages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly. It’s just important to establish the working relationship from the offset – to make sure they are working for you in the way you want them to.

Taking on employees: Sometimes it’s really difficult to let go and not be a control freak. But unless you can give your employees a degree of responsibility they won’t work to their potential. So sometimes it pays off to let go of things you really shouldn’t be doing. This allows you to move forward yourself and expand your business.

It is risky taking on employees – and all the associated hassles that that brings. But sometimes companies can’t move forward until they do. The most important thing is to find the right people, so keep looking until you do.

It’s worrying to think that your employees might run off with your customers and go and do their own thing, but you need to remain confident in what you do, and try and find staff who just want a job and aren’t entrepreneurial themselves. It’s just a question of advertising and interviewing until you find the right person.

Click here to read the full Q&A

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Dell takeover battle set to generate $400m fees bonanza for banks

Category : Business

Banks advising bidders on debt to fund highly leveraged buyout of computer maker said to be ‘licking their chops’ over payday

The $24.4bn (£16bn) takeover battle for Dell is set to hand Wall Street firms their biggest advisory payday in at least three years by generating $400m in fee income for deal makers, including a potential $70m windfall for Barclays.

Most of the income will go to banks advising bidders on the debt that will fund the highly leveraged competition for the computer maker, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. “People who have been starving on an island for years are licking their chops,” said Mike Madden, a veteran Wall Street deal maker. “You are looking at a field day for fees.”

Three bidders are vying for Dell, led by the company’s billionaire founder Michael Dell who has teamed up with private equity firm Silver Lake to make the opening bid. However, two further bids were lodged last month by activist investor Carl Icahn and the buyout specialist Blackstone Group – both topping the founder’s offer of $13.65 a share.

According to the WSJ, a successful Silver Lake/Dell deal alone would create the largest fee pool since the turn of the decade and would generate the most advisory income from a leveraged buyout since the Texan energy group TXU was acquired for $32bn in 2007. Even though there have been larger deals than the $24bn Dell battle since 2010, the highly leveraged nature of Silver Lake’s bid means that banks will generate significant fees from arranging the debt. The banks who arrange the debt for the winning buyout will generate the largest fees, with Barclays, Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Canada working for the Silver Lake bid. That banking quartet could generate fees of $70m each for brokering the $14bn of debt that underwrites the offer.

Another group of banks advising Dell on how to manage the bids – Goldman Sachs, Evercore Partners and JP Morgan Chase – could earn a total of $60m, according to regulatory filings. Goldman Sachs alone is earning $1m a month from the deal.

Google ‘sells back Frommer’s guides’

Category : Business, World News

The founder of travel guidebook company Frommer’s tells a news agency that he has reacquired the rights to the business from internet giant Google.

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NanoTech Entertainment, Inc. (NTEK: OTC Pink Current) | NanoTech Entertainment (NTEK) Joins DNA as Founder Member

Category : Stocks, World News

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NanoTech Entertainment (NTEK) Joins DNA as Founder Member

NanoTech becomes a Founder Member of the Digital Out-Of-Home Interactive Entertainment Network Association

PR Newswire

LAS VEGAS, March 21, 2013

LAS VEGAS, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

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Sacked Groupon boss leaves older, wiser – and richer

Category : Business

Founder Andrew Mason accepts blame for financial failings and leaves with colourful goodbye to staff

When a 32-year-old dotcom multimillionaire known for his “goofball” approach to business is fired, the chances are he is not going to slip out the back door, hanging his head in shame. And so it was with Andrew Mason, founder of the Groupon daily bargains website, ousted on Thursday night.

In a classic of the resignation genre, Mason’s goodbye was frank, funny and wide-ranging. It referenced Pope Benedict XVI and video game Battletoads, included a promise to head off to “fat camp” and told his 11,000 staff he would miss them terribly before signing off: “Love Andrew”.

The company Mason built, driving bargain hunters to local businesses in return for a cut of the sales, swiftly became a multinational. Founded only four years ago, it was dubbed the world’s fastest growing company and valued at $13bn (£10bn) by 2011. But the business has become a textbook example of just how fast go-go internet firms can fall out of favour. The loss-making company is now valued at $3bn and the founder – once heralded as a star on the cover of Forbes magazine but more recently described by analysts as a “goofball” – became a liability.

By Thursday evening, after Groupon reported a huge $80m loss over the last three months and shares slid another 24%, the board had had enough. Mason was axed – and the value of the firm immediately climbed.

In an email to the “People of Groupon” to break the news, Mason wrote: “I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.” He continued: “If you’re wondering why

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VIDEO: Groupon founder ousted as shares dive

Category : Business

The founder and chief executive of Groupon, Andrew Mason, has been ousted.

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Groupon fires CEO Andrew Mason after daily coupon company’s value tumbles

Category : Business

Founder and chief executive watched company once valued at over $13bn fall to less than $3bn as demand for product dried up

The troubled online deals provider Groupon has ousted its chief executive, Andrew Mason, the once-lauded wundekind who founded the company.

Mason appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2010 under the headline: Meet The Fastest Growing Company Ever. Google offered $6bn for the company in 2011. The company is now worth less than $3bn.

Investors and directors Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis will take over running the company until a new chief is found. Groupon’s shares soared in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Pressure had been mounting on Groupon as the demand for daily coupons, which make up most of its revenue, appears to be stalling. On Wednesday Groupon said first-quarter revenue would be $560m to $610m, well below the $647.7m analysts had been expecting, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Groupon’s shares lost more 24% of their value Thursday after its disappointing quarterly results. Losses from the Chicago-based company reached $81.1m in the fourth quarter, up from $65.4m a year earlier.

The company has tried to diversify, offering cut-price goods such as juicers and exercise machines. But the profit margins on sales of these products are small and analysts are unconvinced. “We are simply not convinced on the long-term earnings power of the rapidly growing Goods business,” Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post said downgrading the stock to underperform, a rating equivalent to a sell recommendation.

The move brings to an end a remarkable career for Mason at Groupon. The company was once the darling of the new generation of internet firms, selling coupons to local businesses worldwide and taking a 50% cut of the proceeds.

After rejecting a bid from Google Mason took Groupon public in November 2011. The former music student listed the company on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The firm was initially valued at $13bn but it has been on the slide ever since.

Groupon’s board met to discuss Mason’s future last December but he managed to retain control thanks in large part to his shareholding, which controls 10 times as many votes as ordinary shareholders, and the backing of his co-founder Lefkofsky.

“On behalf of the entire Groupon board, I want to thank Andrew for his leadership, his creativity and his deep loyalty to Groupon. As a founder, Andrew helped invent the daily deals space, leading Groupon to become one of the fastest growing companies in history,” said Lefkofsky.

“Groupon will continue to invest in growth, and we are confident that with our deep management team and market-leading position, the company is well positioned for the future,” said Leonsis.

Groupon founder fired as shares dive

Category : World News

The founder and chief executive of Groupon, Andrew Mason, is ousted after another quarterly loss prompts a 24% slide in the online voucher firm’s share price.

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Kelly Osbourne Wears Jacob Arabov Jewelry to The Heart Truth 2013 Fashion Show

Category : World News

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Feb 26, 2013) – Jacob & Co. has been famous for creating award-winning, innovative, and highly technical watches crafted in Switzerland, as well as distinctive, museum-worthy jewelry pieces for both, men and women. Jacob Arabov, the company’s founder and designer, is an artist at heart and keeps surprising his clients with striking designs and flawless attention to detail. His world-class standards have been attracting clients in the world of entertainment, politics, business, and sports for many years.

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