In my world

first_imgI often wonder about the differences between success and failure. We are all aware that businesses in every sector are struggling in the current economic climate; some get to the point where they cannot carry on and, sadly, are forced to go into administration.The recent, well-publicised events at Coffee Republic are a good case in point. (At this point I should mention that my former business supplied them from 1998, and I purchased a few shares so I would receive copies of their accounts.)Over the years, Coffee Republic has rapidly expanded, acquired businesses – for example, Good Bean – contracted and finally moved towards a franchise-based operation, increasing its estate again. My 10,000 shares purchased at 8p had been diluted to 166, worth 20p each at the time of their administration. I purchased 800 shares at 40p in Caffè Nero at the same time. When it went private a couple of years ago, shareholders received 250p per share. Caffè Nero has continued to expand and, more importantly, make a good profit.A visit to both chains will show great superficial similarity; they both serve similar-sounding drinks and comparable ranges of sandwiches, paninis and muffins and so on. The difference in their performance is not just down to timing; Coffee Republic was into variably performing franchises and some very high rents. Even now, I am watching some great coffee shops not only opening, but thriving; examples include London coffee shops Flat White (www.flat-white.co.uk) and Sacred (www.sacredcafe.co.uk). Many of the successes in this area now have very strong Antipodean roots. Indeed, the current hot spot for coffee shops is New Zealand – in particular, Wellington.I can think of examples in other bakery-related sectors. Paul has been an enormous national success story, expanding rapidly, but they sell freshly baked bread (albeit from part-baked frozen), cakes and pastries, plus a range of filled baguettes and drinks – does this sound familiar? Le Pain Quotidien (www.lepainquotidien.com) has a similar range, although more geared to sit down.Ottolenghi (www.ottolenghi.co.uk), my current favourite London bakery/deli, is going from strength to strength. I defy anyone to visit one of their shops and not feel inspired to purchase. I loved my lunch yesterday, the strawberry-peach and pistachio tart as dessert. I only eat their muesli for breakfast and will deliver their cakes to mum today – via the gym!If you get the chance, please visit some of the places I have mentioned and ask yourself: ’What are they doing right/wrong?’ and, more importantly, ’What can I do with my business to make sure I remain one of the successes?’last_img read more

Little Feat Announce Full Band Performances For Northeast Run

first_imgRock and roll staples Little Feat are gearing up for some fun times ahead, as the group has just announced a handful of shows in the Northeast. While members Fred Tackett and Paul Barrere occasionally perform as a duo, this will mark the full band’s first shows in some time, and we couldn’t be more excited.Unfortunately, however, the run doesn’t kick off until September, so there’s plenty of time to build anticipation before the magic. The four-night run will see the band hit shows in Boston, Port Chester, Huntington, and Washington DC, bringing all of their classics to stage for an exciting round of performances.Check out the full schedule below, and head to the band’s website for details. Pre-sale for tickets begins tomorrow at 10 AM, and full on sale for tickets will happen this Friday, March 25th, at 10 AM.Little Feat Tour Dates9/8/16 – Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre9/9/16 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre9/10/16 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount9/12/16 – Washington, DC – Warner TheatrePresales are Wednesday at 10am > Thursday at 10pm.On sale to public Friday at 10am.[Photo via Little Feat FB]last_img read more

Season 5 of Pro Kabaddi League starts tomorrow in Hyderabad

first_imgHyderabad, Jul 27 (PTI) The fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League is all set to enthral the lovers of the game as it begins here tomorrow.The inaugural match of the tournament would be held at the Gachibowli stadium between the Rahul Chaudhari-led Telugu Titans and Tamil Thalaivas.The inaugural ceremony is likely to be a star-studded affair, with sports icons and film personalities expected to attend the event. Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar will sing a glorious rendition of the National Anthem before the start of the first match of the season, the organisers said in a release here today.Kabaddi stars Anup Kumar, Rahul Chaudhari, Ajay Thakur, Nitin Tomar, besides international player Meraj Sheykh were present at a curtain raiser event here today.Hyderabad would host matches up to August 3. As many as 12 teams compete in the tournament and the season would culminate with the finals slated for October 28 in Chennai.”We are now one day away from the most thrilling season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi ever. I am proud, excited and, at the same time, grateful to the fans, franchises, Star and the federations for supporting us at every step of this journey. I look forward to an engaging season of kabaddi,” said Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi.The 12 teams are Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Dabang Delhi KC, Gujarat Fortune Giants, Haryana Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Puneri Paltan, U Mumba, Patna Pirates, Tamil Thailavas, Telugu Titans and UP Yodha. PTI SJR NRB RYSlast_img read more