Most business books are aimed at big companies. Ken Horn's Everyday Entrepreneurs is an exception. It?s a great book for small businesses and startups, full of excellent advice that is targeted to the SME.
The subtitle is A Sugar-Free, Dragon-Slaying Start-Up Guide for the Simple Small Business, and that?s it in a nutshell. Take Horn?s story of a 54-year-old gardening enthusiast who wanted to sell his gardening services three days a week. But how to advertise?
?John understood very early on that he was not just selling gardening services. He was also selling honesty, integrity, security and friendliness. John was asking people to pay him to go onto their land when they were there and when they were not.?
He settled on a picture of himself and the strapline ?Hello, I?m John, and I look after your garden?, and a CRB badge beside his image (identifying him as approved by police). Simple, direct, straight. He put it up in local garden centres. He got tons of work.
In this book, Ken Horn provides lots of sensible recommendations on business plans for SMEs ? giving yourself the tools to monitor business performance, without beggaring yourself paying consultants before you can afford to. His guide to writing a business plan is plain and easy to put into practice.
Great guidance, too, on how to get help managing your money: such as how to know when you need an accountant and when a bookkeeper.
A really great little book for anyone starting out in business. Ken Horn was an adviser with the UK's now discarded service Business Link, who went to work for himself when it closed. He has helped 5,000 startup clients and now generously gives readers the benefit of his experience for the price of a paperback.
Everyday Entrepreneurs has one limitation for Irish readers: it?s very good on the British tax and grants system, which of course is different from ours. But the advice is still useful.