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Business BIBLE.

If you're going to set up a new business - do it by the book. The Essential Guide to Starting a New Business in Scotland has been launched by Scottish Enterprise.

It is available FREE from any Business Shop. And since 10,000 copies have been printed, there should be one for every budding entrepreneur.

Scottish Enterprise estimate 800,000 folk are keen to "go it alone".

Around 5000 business people have been consulted by Brian McVey of Scottish Enterprise, who produced the book.

"We first produced a guide about five years ago," he said. "But that was out of print and needed updating."

Those looking to start up their own business are advised by Brian to read the book.

"This is a very, very useful reference book.

"Anyone using it will be prepared and better informed at those crucial, early stages. It gives options and explains how to do things."

Not only do Scottish Enterprise detail how to do it in easy steps and with amusing illustrations, they highlight people who have been successful.

For instance, folk like Belinda Robertson who designs and exports luxury cashmere garments.

"I started 10 years ago as a hobby," said Edinburgh-based Belinda. "It was haphazard and I made a lot of mistakes."

If she hadn't had to take a very close look at her business as one of the first competitors on the television Business Game programme, she is quite clear: "My business wouldn't be here now."

The exhaustive "health check" she had to go through was "harrowing", she said. "It was like undressing in public."

But it enabled her to re-focus. She added: "The costs of selling into too many, too wide, markets was very high. It hit me in the face and I had to consolidate."

Now she only sells to Japan, the United States and Germany. "If you look after what you have, it will grow. Keep your customers happy then look for new developments," said the successful businesswoman.

She has since become a judge on the Business Game and her fine designs in Scottish manufactured cashmere have won her many awards.

This year, it was the Eureka Export Award and last year it was the BKCEC British Apparel Export Award for Knitwear.

In the past, she has won exporting awards and a nomination for the European Women of Achievement awards as well.

Before flying off to a show she was giving in Austria and then Germany, Belinda said: "Set yourself targets.

"Plan how to achieve these goals. Work towards something positive and stay flexible. Don't think, `Could we do it?' But always think, `We CAN do it!'"

With her all-woman team of seven, she has created a highly organised company which exports top-quality, cashmere garments.

"We restructured the firm six years ago and have progressed from there," said Belinda, who believes in having a balance between work and play in life.

"I always take my swim suit and my running shoes with me when I travel abroad. After all, there is life after cashmere."
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 27, 1997
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