Dodo Vine

There have been some fairly significant changes at Cuckoo Vine lately – most notably that ‘Cuckoo Vine Ltd.’ has closed down. It’s been a roller coaster 18 months, with more thrills and spills… Continue reading

Boutique and Unique – new collection on Two Red Trees

This month sees the launch of an forward thinking new business in the world of unique and boutique products. Two Red Trees gives consumers access to only the finest handcrafted items from talented artisans around… Continue reading

The Law of Mass Appeal in Business

– with specific reference to Shell Suits Cast your mind back to the mid 90’s and let’s examine a huge high street fashion hit – the shell suit. Shell suits were everywhere ,… Continue reading

If you’re crap at diving, start a bellyflop contest…

This post is all about playing to your strengths. Look at the man in this photo. He’s overweight, bald and looks like he’s been shrink-wrapped into his swimwear. Traditional thinking might proffer that… Continue reading

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

Heave your slightly wobbly, mince-pie bottom out of your seat and raise your glass of mineral water for a toast to 2012 – cheers! Once again we’re in a state of reflection; looking… Continue reading

Can Crime inspire Business? – examining how to start a trend…

If you’re a criminal, looking for a nice spot to perform some heinous demeanour you’re more likely to opt for a run down, neglected area to go about your work. So does it follow that… Continue reading

Business owners Eat your sprouts! – Inspiration from Africa encourages UK entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur behind a small business start-up can sometimes seem overwhelming. Whilst bigger competitors storm ahead seemingly unhindered by the struggling marketplace, the ambitious people behind the fledgling companies of the UK… Continue reading

5 Ways to use Reviews to boost your business

It’s all very well receiving positive feedback, but what good does it actually do you? Well, no good at all unless you actually use it. This little article takes a closer look at… Continue reading

Be Part of the ‘Values Movement’ – and for Christmas we’ll give you a free £48 Gold membership!

The one thing that differentiates good, small businesses from many big corporations is that we’re not just about money. We care, we’re grass roots and we make decisions based on our beliefs, not… Continue reading

Entrepreneurs’ main Challenge – The Growth vs. Panic continuum

As part of the ‘Journal of a Start-up’ I thought I’d reflect on what I’ve found to be the most important aspect of starting a company – state of mind. Or rather, degree… Continue reading

Student Landlords or Surrogate Parents? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference!

Conscientious property owners Nick and Sally had no idea that setting up as student landlords meant they were about to inadvertently adopt 16 extra children. Woops. Here’s how they’re going about lightening the… Continue reading

Good news for Start-ups – even the bloke who draws recession graphs has been made redundant

Good news for start-up businesses – even the bloke who draws recession graphs has been made redundant – Mike explores what this might mean for aspiring entrepreneurs… I tried looking at some ‘recession… Continue reading

Oh! You Pretty Things, and the arrival of The Off-White Wedding

Cuckoo Vine’s Mike Carthew looks into a rather unlikely business model, and a very likely success story in the world of wedding one-up-manship… I’ve just been talking weddings with a girl who’s received… Continue reading

Start-ups vs. Web Developers – 10 Rules to avoid bankruptcy

If you’re setting up your own company you’ll inevitably find yourself playing a game of tug of war with a web developer and your wallet. It’s a stark reality that any business needs… Continue reading

No-one likes a show off! (except customers trying to choose a business)

When is it okay to show off? Conventional wisdom says ‘never’. We’ve had it drummed out of us because it makes others feel inferior. Like that time in Year 6 when Ben Taylor… Continue reading

Thumbs-Up Mondays

Think back over your weekend. Wasn’t it lovely? But what was it that made it so great (apart from overindulgence and general tomfoolery)? It was the people, and not just your friends and… Continue reading

Why NOT to build a Business Model based on a Kevin Costner Film

…and how to finish Year One of trading with £50K. Kind of.  In this post I’ll explain how I did the misguided mathematics which ultimately swung my decision to launch a business. I… Continue reading

Turning Ideas into Businesses – easy if you’re piss*d off.

Every business starts with an idea. Whether it’s a Eureka moment, confused scribbles on a napkin or years of thinking around a problem, everything starts in someone’s head. Turning ideas into reality however… Continue reading

Selfless helper or Self-help? The logic behind the Journal.

This ‘Journal’ is a bit of an experiment. For anyone curious as to what it’s like starting your own business, I hope this will give you a bit of an insight. Of course,… Continue reading

A Flexible Approach – spotlight on a yoga entrepreneur

Yoga has burst onto gym class timetables around the western world with speed not seen since the advent of Mr Motivator. Yet its goals couldn’t differ more from our work-hard play-hard day to… Continue reading

Throwing in the Trowel – Gardener leads the trades with a forward thinking approach

Back in Victorian times gardening used to be a wonderfully simple affair: you either had the wherewithal to pay your burly groundsman to tend to your estate, or you didn’t own a garden.… Continue reading

All of a sudden I’m a blogger. How invigorating!

I have of late been generating large volumes of gripping prose singing the praises of various members of Cuckoo Vine.  I subsequently realised I had nowhere to publish said prose and so, following… Continue reading