Numerous people I have met harbour the desire to write a book at some point in their life and I am no different. However a whole book can seem a daunting prospect, leaving many people shelving their writing dreams altogether. Recently I have decided that in order to pursue my writing seriously I need to start looking at it from a business perspective rather than an artistic one – and to that end Antonia Chitty’s book Commercial Writing – How to Earn a Living as a Business Writer is precisely the book I have been looking for.
Monthly Archives: July 2009
Don’t tell the ‘parent police’ but I let my son have chocolate buttons on toast for breakfast on his birthday. I joked with a friend that I had been a ‘bad mummy’, but actually when I thought a little more about it I decided I had probably been the opposite: a good mummy.
Accountants are always a bit anxious about that first meeting with a new client – what will a client think constitutes good record keeping? A carrier bag full of receipts and a few bank statements? Its often confusing when you start out as to what records to keep. There’s plenty of guidance on the net and plenty of software that promises to solve all your book-keeping needs, however, these come at a price and may not be the most flexible solution for your business.
So what should your book-keeping system cover? Often a few accurately maintained excel spreadsheets will do the job. The first absolute essential is a cash book. This would often be divided into 2 spreadsheets, one for income and one for expenditure, and simply be a copy of your bank statement, labelled up by income or expense category, for example purchases, drawings, stationery, etc,. Use categories that are relevant to your business, but not so many that it becomes confusing. You should list the date the item appeared on your bank statement and give it a numbered reference which you would also write on your filed copy invoice or receipt so that there’s a clear audit trail for your accountant or an HMRC inspector. You should “reconcile” your bank statement to your cash book at least once a month to make sure that the balance on your cash book is the same as the balance on your bank statement. Make sure you record and investigate any differences, which are usually timing such as uncleared cheques and lodgements.
How they started, Global Brands was published in 2009 and looks at some of the biggest global brands in the world today.
One of the most striking things I noticed was that almost without exception all the brands featured were ones that I buy, use, eat at, or have in my home somewhere – from Pizza Hut to ebay and Coca-Cola to Google these really are the biggest brands of all that really do dominate the global economy.
Each brand has its own dedicated chapter, which follows roughly the same pattern – start up, growth and the story now. However, the journey that each went through is completely different. It charts the progress from the first idea, to choosing a brand name, how the business was funded, the expansion to the global market place, what happened when things went wrong, and what the founders view as the key to their success in their particular field.
Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home is written by Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation, the UK’s largest website for people starting and growing a business from home. Emma also runs the Home Business Awards, produces the annual Home Business Report and advises Government on the topic of home-working, so has a fine pedigree to be writing a book on home-working.
My first impression of the book was that it would look just as good on your coffee table as it would on the bookshelf in your office. To me this book was more than just about starting a business from home – it was about making a lifestyle choice and this was illustrated beautifully by the informal photos of Emma with her family, friends and colleagues.
This week Mum’s The Boss is attending a local business event – not as visitors as you might think, but rather as invited guests where we will on hand to talk to visitors who are thinking of starting their own business.
This marks a massive turning point for us. In less than a year we have gone from the people seeking advice to those giving it! It is also an enormous compliment that outside agencies rate what we do enough to include us in their event and a fantastic way for us to raise our profile amongst local businesses.
Now that I work from home my wardrobe of ‘work clothes’ consists of jeans, jogging bottoms and pyjamas – not a dress in sight! This is in sharp contrast to the vast array of trouser suits and shirts I wore to the office before I had children. So now, when I go to networking meetings or to meet with potential sponsors, I face a dilemma about what to wear. I want to look professional and businesslike – but I no longer feel comfortable in (or can fit into!) the suits of days gone by. So what is the dress code for a work at home mum?
We all know how our children benefit from an after lunch nap, and as busy mums we are probably all guilty of using that precious time to crack on with work or housework.
But research shows that a 20-30 minute power nap after lunch can reduce stress, improve memory & patience, increase learning & efficiency and generally make for a more productive afternoon all round.
It may seem like a criminal waste of time to sleep when you feel you could be getting lots done but if you are lucky enough to have children who still nap, or who are at school, then maybe it is worth trying it for yourself to see if you can feel the benefits.
At Mum’s The Boss we are building up a library of business books to share with our members. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of authors and publishers who have donated books to our collection and so, for those of you who aren’t able to join our meetings and borrow the books in person, we will be reviewing the books here on our blog too.
So to kick off, here is Helen’s review on the book Inspiring Women, featuring the women entrepreneurs behind Fat Face, The White Company and Specsavers, to name but a few…..
When you work in a company, personal safety is often guaranteed by the other people working alongside you. But when you work alone, there is more to be taken into consideration.
A few years ago a friend of mine went to a meeting in a school hall, and as manager was the first to arrive to set up. It was during the school holidays, and as she walked down the corridor of a deserted building with the school caretaker, a man she had never met before, she suddenly felt incredibly vulnerable. She was absolutely fine, but it did make her realise how easy it is to find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.