The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook

There’s a lot about The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook by Iain Scott which resonated with me. In particular, Iain mentions a few times about bad experiences with ‘business advisors’. You know, when you go to a business advisor to get some advice on how to set up/run your business and instead they tell you you should be something else entirely (in Iain’s case it was “don’t give up your secure job”). Yes! This is exactly what we found in the early days of running our business. To be fair we also met some smashing advisors who were very encouraging, but one crushing experience was with a Business Link advisor who told us that we should go and work for someone else instead. Really? Is that supposed to boost our confidence and help us get our business on the right track? No! Luckily we didn’t pay any attention to the pillock and ten years later our business is going strong.

It was really refreshing to read of someone else who has had similar experiences and had the confidence to carry on regardless.

I also liked Iain’s attitude that you don’t have to be a born entrepreneur, that there are many reasons why you might set up your own business and everyone is capable of learning how to do it. In fact I think this is the real strength of the book – making your realise that you’re not the only one who feels the way you do and giving you a confidence boost to give it a go. Raargh!

So, if you’re thinking of starting your own business (or are already running one but want a boost) then this is a great book for helping you with your confidence. Don’t however fall into the trap of thinking it’s a how-to guide on setting up a business, as this really isn’t what it’s about. Think of it as a pep-talk rather than a how-to and you’ll be on the right track.

In fact, I’ve marked down my rating on this a little because even though I loved the idea of an Enterprise Agony Uncle I found the explanations more confusing that helpful (sorry Iain). I’m afraid we’re going to have to agree to disagree on changing ‘margin’ to ‘contribution’ – that makes even less sense to me than margin. But the concept of an agony uncle is brilliant!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy “The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Handbook” from Amazon >

Brilliant Start-Up

Brilliant Start-Up by Caspian WoodsNow here’s a book to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing: Brilliant Start-Up: How to Set Up and Run a Brilliant Business by Caspian Woods. First published last year I was delighted to find it in the online catalogue of our library system and amazed to find a copy actually at our local library, viagra buy so went skipping round to borrow it.

The book takes you through the stages of setting up and running a business. It is an inspiring mix of practical information and entertaining writing style. If you’re toying with the idea of setting up a business then this is definitely the book for you. Our business has been going for a few years now but even though some of the book was covering old ground I still found it an interesting read, so I would say that it’s not necessarily just for start-ups. It’s given me a new perspective on parts of our business and I’ve set myself some homework to follow up on some ideas.

The only criticism I would have is the bias towards sales rather than marketing as a whole. There’s a whole chapter which is basically on telesales way before the whole marketing concept is covered, which I found offputting. However, the author began the book with explaining that it would be opinionated and this is an example of that. I can see the point he’s trying to make, I just don’t necessarily agree with it.

My previous book review was, I said, not one for lifting your motivation. This book is exactly that – whether you’re thinking of starting up a business, are in the process of doing so, or (like me) have been running a business for a few years, this book could provide you with the inspiration that you need.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy “Brilliant Start-Up” from Amazon >

Another blog added to blogroll

The latest addition to the resources page is Steve Parks’ blog on entrepreneurship. Steve doesn’t post that regularly but when he does it’s always a good read. I particularly enjoy his thoughts arising from train journeys – sitting on a train obviously gets the thoughts flowing for him.

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