So when I saw that the creators of notonthehighstreet.com had written their own book entitled "build a business from your kitchen table" I knew that was a book I had to read.
Not heard of notonthehighstreet.com? Where have you been? Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker joined forces in 2006 to create their new business. Both ladies shared a love of unique, quality, charming products - the kind of thing you might find in a village fair or boutique. They noticed that there was gap in the market for an online platform to sell these products, a way to showcase small businesses and their quality products. That platform is a website called notonthehighstreet.com
Six years on notonthehighstreet.com is an award-winning, multimillion-pound online marketplace selling 50 000 innovative, stylish products. In those six years Sophie and Holly have learned a lot and they have chosen to share that knowledge in their new book.
I have read a few home business type books in my time and I must admit that normally I struggle to reach the end. So I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Well I can tell you now that I loved it. It is very easy to read, fun, honest and informative.
Sophie and Holly have not only detailed their own story in this book, but they have also shared with the reader their thoughts, their mistakes, their triumphs, what they would change and how you can do it all too.
I was immediately struck by how open and honest the book was. It's not some self-righteous read telling you how things should be done. It's a personal account suggesting the path to be taken if you want to make your home business successful. They share their experiences and tips so that we, the readers, can learn.
The book is split into eight chapters:
- The Story Of Us
- Getting Down and Dirty
- Starting a Business
- Launching with a Bang
- From Concept to Conquest
- Money, Money, Money
- (The Non-Existence Of)
- Living Happily Ever After.
These chapters don't just tackle issues that you might encounter when first starting up your business, but they form a guide for when your business is up and running. When you need to think about growth or VAT you can return to this book for the information that you need.
This book isn't packed with business jargon that will make your head feel like it is going to explode. It's easy to read, and aimed at people like me, totally new to the notion of running a business. What's more there is Jargon Buster section at the back if you do get a bit stuck.
I really cannot rate this book highly enough. For me it has given me inspiration, but also a reality check. Sophie and Holly are completely honest about the tough times they have been through, both with the business and with their home lives. They are both mothers and they know how much work it takes to build a successful business as well as to raise a family. They want the reader to go into their new business with their eyes wide open. This is a particularly likeable feature of the book, there's no papering over the cracks.
I highly recommend this book if you are a Mum (or Dad) that wants to start their own business but isn't quite sure what it's going to entail. The ladies also share tips from their partners, all those businesses that sell through notonthehighstreet, so there is no shortage of insider information in this book.
Finally the book features a Directory with links to websites and companies that will help you as you embark upon your new venture. It really is a great place to start and although I don't have any plans for the near future I feel I now have a better understanding of what is involved. I shall definitely be referring to this book in the future - from branding to finance, PR to social networking it's all within these 305 pages.
You can purchase your copy of "build a business from your kitchen table" through their website. It has an RRP of £14.99 but remember to check out bookdepository and amazon for any deals.
If you've read this book I'd love to know what you thought of it.
PS I am now obsessed with notonthehighstreet.com - I have had to hide my purse! Seriously though check out their current competition where you could win £2000 of vouchers when you purchase before 31st July 2012.
I received a copy of this book free of charge. This has not, in any way, influenced my review of the book. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own.