I’m here to present our annual Cream of the Crop sales challenge! There’s a chance to win a luxury white-water rafting trip for two on the Colorado River. The idea is simple: the representative who sells the largest number of our brand’s products between now and June 1 st will be awarded a five-day rafting trip. The runner-up wins a two-day trip. The results will be announced at the company picnic on July 2nd. The challenge starts today, so if you like the idea of a spectacular adventure on the rapids of the Colorado River, get started straight away!

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The conservation charity the World Wildlife Fund has issued a warning about the effects that climate change is having on the snow leopard in the Himalayas. The charity says that rising temperatures are shrinking the snow leopard’s natural habitat to the point that they could die out. Much of the fauna the animals need to survive could soon disappear. But it isn’t just the climate that is posing a serious threat to the future of the species. Snow leopards are highly sought after for their fur. What’s more, as their natural prey is decreasing, there have been incidents of leopards venturing into areas inhabited by humans and attacking farm animals. As a result, leopards are also being killed by farmers trying to protect their livestock.
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Inez: Today in the studio we have Mark, a successful owner of an antiques shop. Mark, is it easy to run a business nowadays?

Mark: Definitely not. I guess it would be a fair bet that about 50 percent of all start-ups fail within the first year.

Inez: Why is that?

Mark: Well, I think that only experts in a given field have any chance of making a profit so before you start a company you should have professional training in the business you plan to operate in.

Inez: And once someone has completed their training, what should they focus on?

Mark: They ought to do a lot of market research. I’ve read the latest data from the Chamber of Commerce and I can see that just 10% of people do that before they open their own business. It seems to me that some of them think that if they are great bakers, they’ll run a bakery successfully. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case.

Inez: Could you tell us something more about how you got started, Mark?
adapted from She, November 2005
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