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Duncan Bannatyne has proved that, no matter how humble their origins, anyone with enough determination and energy can achieve success. In his book, 'Anyone Can Do It', Duncan describes how he went from a poverty-stricken childhood in Glasgow, to being one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.
Duncan's company, The Bannatyne Group, runs hotels, health clubs and bars. They have now branched into property and are building a number of residential developments. But it all started with an ice cream van that Duncan bought for £450. He expanded until he had a fleet of vans and has been whipping companies into shape ever since; first with care homes, then nursery schools and even a radio station.
Duncan has now added a flourishing media career to his business commitments and is perhaps best known as one of the formidable 'dragons' on BBC's Dragon's Den. He also presents Mind Your Own Business, in which he turns round failing companies and Rich List Give Away, in which he encourages wealthy people to give money to charity.
Duncan's own charitable work earned him an OBE and he is an Honorary Fellow of the United Nations Children's Fund. Through his work with Scottish International Relief, he helped fund two orphanages in Romania and Columbia. Duncan holds an honorary Doctorate of Science from Glasgow Caledonian University for services to business and charity.
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THE RULES OF BUSINESS
by Duncan Bannatyne
* Ensure you have good, regular financial information and communicate with your bankers.
* Always evaluate financial information and use professionals where needed.
* Constantly keep an eye open for the next opportunity.
* Be aware of your competitors and research your market.
* Ensure you have the correct employees in the correct positions.
* Ensure your customers pay you promptly and regularly.
* Learn from other peoples mistakes, not your own.
* Always have a back-up plan.
* Ensure all of your business data is backed up and kept off site.
* Make sure you have an exit plan.
* Do not over-extend your finances or working capital.
* Do not rush a deal without reading the small print or using professional advice.
* Do not put all your eggs in one basket.
* Do not give customers long credit terms.
* Do not forget to identify, review and back-check all work information.