Top Tip

09 August, 2007

My top tip is something we've done for quite a few years - we give our customers Christmas presents. The feedback we get is fantastic. We save up everything we get from suppliers during the course of the year, then I probably spend £300-£400 and my wife Heather goes out buying presents for people, because we know all the customers. If it's a small business, pick out your top 10 customers and get them a present of some kind - if you've got a budget of £10, £100 is nothing in terms of what they spend over the year. And they might get lower prices, but they won't get a gift from Tesco, Sainsbury's or Asda.

Alan Dunn, Open All Hours, Keswick, Cumbria

Send us your Top Tip for getting on in the business and you could bag yourself a bottle of bubbly.

E-mail or phone 01293 610225

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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