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Turn your talent into a business in 2012

Cover of Turn Your Talent into a Business by Emma Jones andCountry Living Enterprise Nation readers will know that we all have a talent for something ? and we love to feature the stories of people who have started to generate income from their hobby or passion and then taken the leap to turn it into a business.

In fact, it seems that we may well be entering a golden age of small scale start-ups as more and more people take the plunge. As Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones pointed out earlier this week, last year saw a record number of new businesses started in the UK and analysts have said we?ve not seen so many since the 1930s.

Of course, our flat economy and its knock-on effects are likely to be giving a lot of a people a reason to go it alone; but it?s also become easier than at any time in living memory to make a living from doing something you love. Thanks to technology, we can manage a lot of essential tasks ourselves, keep costs low and reach a global audience.

But anybody launching a venture can benefit from a bit of guidance. Taking smart steps makes a big difference to your chances of success ? which is why we?ve teamed up with Country Living magazine to produce a guide to earning a living from your hobby.

Written by our own Emma Jones (who else?), Turn Your Talent into a Business takes readers step-by-step through the process of building a business from a hobby or passion. It?s written in plain English and looks at how you can:

? make sales beyond friends and family

? promote your brand and become well known

? register your company and manage finances

? embrace technology to save time and money

? convey a professional image both online and off

? create a support network and work with partners.

The book also features tips and case studies of people who have made a success of their ?kitchen table start-up?, including award-winning artisan baker Alex Gooch and Lise Bech of Bech?s Baskets, whose beautiful willow creations have been exhibited at the Conran shop.

Says Emma, ?There?s never been a better time to take the first steps to becoming your own boss. People are rapidly realising you can start a business in your spare time and on a budget of less than £100, with the end result being freedom and flexibility to choose when, where and how you work. If being in control of your working life and earning from doing what you enjoy sounds attractive, this book is for you.?

Freedom, flexibility and enjoyment ? what?s not to love about that?
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