AS all good rock n rollers know, less can often mean more.

"I help businesses to get sales", is how David Anderson introduces himself on his LinkedIn page. Six simple words that sum up a wealth of experience gleaned from roles as diverse as a merchant navy cadet, IT director, engineer, purveyor of bespoke bikes, and rock band singer/guitarist.

With such a technicolour CV you could forgive the Tynemouth-based business consultant for trumpeting his achievements. But the 56-year-old is refreshingly modest about the breadth of his abilities which he draws upon to help give businesses a boost.

"I am a consultant, but I hesitate to use that word because it makes people think about men in grey suits telling businesses what to do," he says. "I prefer to get down and dirty with companies." He then goes on to describe how he achieves this, and in doing so veers dangerously close to spouting a bit of management speak, before he checks himself and says: "Basically, I help them to sell more stuff." Listening to David is a bit like listening to a rock guitarist. He often meanders off into a colourful solo but he will always brings everything back down to earth with a few punchy lines that suggest he is grounded and doesn't take himself too seriously.

Alongside his consultancy, DABS Ltd, David's other great business passion is Azione Custom Cycles, born out of his love of racing bikes, Italy and beautiful style. The firm employs North-East craftsmen - such as acclaimed County Durham-based frame builder and painter Kevin Winter - to help create stunning custom-made bikes. If you want envious glances when you are living out your Chris Froome fantasies on the roads of the North-East then Azione could be the people for you.

The dramatic rise in the popularity of cycling - led by so-called MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) - means that the industry provides potentially rich pickings for suppliers of bikes, lurid clothing, helmets and accessories. Azione takes things up a gear by inviting clients to design a bike to their own specifications.

David explains: "Every Azione is unique and can take from four to 12 weeks to complete. We call our proposition 'Ride Unique’. It is about creating a bike that is absolutely as you want it.

"We've sold about 45 so far, and we're starting to get repeat orders. It is very much about listening to what the customer wants.

"In sales we talk a lot about USPs (unique selling propositions). With Azione the USP is you. It's not so much that the product is different it is that every person we work with is different. What they want from us in terms of design, artwork, all the little details that make it perfect for them, are the USP."

So far the venture has been a labour of love for David, who calls himself "an engineer at heart". He evidently relishes each bike-building commission with boyish enthusiasm. But he is also in talks with innovation experts at Northumbria University to see how the business can be scaled up.

He explains: "It's something I love with a passion, but the business consultant in me is always looking at how I can do things better from a commercial perspective and to refine our proposition, create a clearer, coherent brand..." or put more simply, you could say he wants to help his business to get sales.

FIVE minutes with David Anderson, director of DABS Ltd and owner of Azione Custom Cycles.

Favourite North-East building and why?

Not a building, but a significant North-East icon – the Angel of the North. It’s right in so many ways. Engineering, solid, visible, memorable, and was used as a photo backdrop by my favourite band Vintage Trouble.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?

Merchant Navy, as a Marine Engineering Cadet. I can't remember how much I was paid, probably around a fiver a week.

What is the worst job you've had?

R&D technician in an electro-plating factory. An evil place.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner?

Sorry, not my most imaginative skill. Spaghetti Bolognese probably. Lots of red wine and good craic guaranteed though.

What would your superpower be?

My ability to turn my hand to literally anything I try. Not a brag, just a fact. I have too many hobbies and too many things on the go.

Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party.

Al Pacino; Neil Young; Uma Thurman; Boris Johnson.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much?

A Ducati Multistrada motorcycle for £12,000.

Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why?

There are no best people to follow on twitter. I use Twitter as a tool but not for personal consumption.

Favourite book?

Don McCullin photo compilation.

When did you last cry?

I can't recall.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being self employed and being able to chart my own destiny

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given?

Listen, think, debate first then act, but make sure you do act.

What was the last band you saw live?

A live act in Pitlochry last weekend. Before that, my own band members playing a gig:

Describe your perfect night in.

In my garage building my VW splitscreen, listening to music and sipping a beer.

In another life I would be...

Me, a few years younger so I could do it again.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Tim Roth.

What irritates you?

People with no respect, drive or interests.

What's your secret talent?

Don’t have one – I continually tell people what I do so there are no secrets.

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