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45 years of success - Established 1974

45 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

How To Communicate Clearly and Correctly

As you probably know, Business Training is part of a group of distance learning colleges that includes The Writers Bureau.  Earlier today I was looking at a writing assignment that one of our overseas students had prepared.  It was a lovely short story, full of tension, where two people are drawn to one another but know that things can’t go further because one of them is married and wishes to remain faithful to his wife. It positively sizzled with the chemistry between the two characters.

But, and this is a big but, it was let down by the fact that the writer made lots of grammatical mistakes. They had obviously been so engrossed in crafting and writing the story that they didn’t bother to think how they were expressing their ideas, or check their work when they had finished to spot and correct the mistakes. This meant that instead of being able to recommend that they send the story off to a publisher, I had to suggest that they sit down and start doing some serious revision work on it. Continue reading

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Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business?

Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business?

Many people talk about starting a business, but only a small proportion ever do anything about it. Some people are born entrepreneurs and know exactly what form their business will take. Others may have been made redundant and the only way to earn a living is setting up their own business. A third group might be looking for something to supplement their pension. Whatever your reason, you need to think carefully before you take the plunge because there are certain attributes that you can’t do without if you intend to make a success of your venture. So here are the ‘top ten’!

  • Determination : You must be fully committed to your new career before making your move; and once you’ve started the business you must be prepared  to see it through the difficult times you’ll encounter.
  • Willingness to work hard: This goes without saying. But, during the early days of setting up your business you’ll probably work longer and for less money than you would for any employer.

Continue reading

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Finding A Better Way Of Working

The majority of people who work do a particular job because they need to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and pay their bills.

Some lucky people – and I consider myself to be in this category – really enjoy their jobs. But even people who are generally happy in their work occasionally find themselves falling out of love with the routine, or finding it a strain. Handing in your notice and leaving to find something new might be a bit extreme; so it’s up to you to do some self-analysis to  come up with some strategies that might just get you enjoying your work again. But in order to do this you need to look at what might be causing your dissatisfaction. Here are some possible reasons: Continue reading

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Get 2019 Off To An Ambitious Start

First I’d like to wish you all a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

As the New Year starts, here in Britain the weather is usually horrible – cold, rainy, dark and we may even have snow. So, many people try to cheer themselves up by planning their holidays and deciding where they can go to get a little sunshine and relaxation. I’m no exception – I love to travel.

In fact, I’m privileged to have visited some amazing places over the past few years – the two that stand out most are Japan and South Africa. As a language teacher I’m always interested in how many people use English in the countries I visit, how well they use it – and I usually feel very embarrassed that I can’t speak their language at all. Because English is used so widely and is one of the main languages for the Internet, we are very lazy in the UK. Continue reading

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Christmas Greetings!

I’m going to keep this post very brief as I’m sure you’ve got better things to do at the moment than read our blog!

If you’re making preparations for Christmas then I’d like to send you the warmest season’s greetings. And to all our students and readers around the world, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you peace and happiness.

Until next year…


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Find Your Hidden Entrepreneur!

I don’t think there are many of us who haven’t, at some time, thought how wonderful it would be to own our own business and be our own boss. Not having to work nine-to-five, not having to take orders from someone else, using your hard work to make money for yourself rather than someone else. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Many people manage to make this dream a reality. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds and you can only succeed if you go into it with your eyes open to the problems and have people around you who you can rely on and who will support you. Also, it’s essential to have a good, solid, business plan in place.

So why do you need a business plan? Continue reading

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The Seven Basic Skills That Employers Are Looking For

I’ve been hearing quite a lot about the ‘seven basic employability skills’ recently. So what are they? They’re the skills that all businessmen and women are looking for when they take on new staff, and they include:

Positive Attitude:  You want to do everything you attempt to the best of your ability. You’re willing to have a go with no negative feelings about your job or the people you work with.

Communication:  You must be able to listen well, explain your own ideas clearly and write grammatical and easy-to-understand, emails, letters and reports. Continue reading

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Good Managers Write Good Reports!

When I’m mentoring business students, the one thing that comes up time and time again is writing reports. Many of them find this difficult – and I’d go as far as to say some of them have a mental block about it.

But, if you always work logically and follow a few basic tips it should be a straightforward task – something that you need never dread again. So, before you write anything, you need to be absolutely clear about the answers to the following four questions:

WHY are you writing?

What is your purpose in writing the report? What are your aims and objectives? Without a clear purpose, there is no point in writing anything.  There must be no doubt in your mind. It often helps if you come up with an appropriate title at this early stage as it helps to focus your thinking. Continue reading

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Opening Your Eyes to Sales Techniques

Two of the Business Training Courses that I particularly like are the Complete Copywriter Course and the Professional Sales Techniques Course. I think it’s probably that selling skills – whether oral or written – play such a large part in our life.

You may not think you are a copywriter, but every time you draft a short advert to sell something on ebay or your local online marketplace then you are writing copy. You have to think what features your product has, what  advantages these will provide for the buyer and then what benefits he or she will get from  owning the product. If you can do this successfully you will help yourself stand out from all the other similar ads and make a sale. In other words, your ad will be FAB (features, advantages, benefits). Continue reading

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Happy Staff Work Harder

I was reading an article recently that said that the average British worker spends 81,000 hours – that’s a full 9 years of their life – at work. Now I know that this is only an average, and it varies considerably from person to person, but it certainly gives you something to think about.

If you’re going to spend so much of your time at work then you need to be happy there. So, what are the main things that make you feel good at work? Employers have been looking into this so that they can decide how best to motivate staff – and I’ve been thinking about it from my own point of view, too. There are things that are personal, that the employer can’t do much about. But there are also lots of things that employers can do to make their staff happier, more productive and keep them from leaving. Here’s my list: Continue reading

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Susan Metcalfe - head of Business Training - discusses business, training and work issues. Come and join in the conversation or just enjoy the read!