The music industry isn’t something you’d immediately think of when it comes to inspiration for running your own business but pop groups have been dealing with the taxman on a personal basis since the days of rock ’n’ roll. And, in a world with competition at its heart, the likes of Radiohead, The Beatles and – yikes! – The Spice Girls can teach us all a few lessons about staying ahead, as well as how to gloriously mess everything up.

Remember the value of good marketing – The Spice Girls

Take five vaguely talented young women, throw in some catchy tunes and add in an instantly memorable catchphrase (“Girl power!”) and suddenly you have a pop phenomenon. When Smash Hits gave them all nicknames (“Posh”, “Ginger”, “Sporty”,  “Baby” and “Scary”, of course) and Geri wore that union jack dress, the project was complete. Cue two years of global success and careers that are still going today.

The lesson: No matter how good your product is, if you’re not marketing yourself and telling people exactly what you’re about there’s a good chance you’ll fail.

Treat your fans well – Radiohead

Free downloads, secret gigs, social media interaction, a band that plays at the biggest festivals – being a Radiohead fan means you feel truly valued by the band you love. The band even gave their fans the chance to download an album for free, though many people paid for it anyway. Why? Because they felt real loyalty to the Radiohead brand. And that’s a legacy that will last decades.