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.
Like the Enterprise Nation website, the book is split into 3 categories – Business, Lifestyle and Technology. The Business section takes you step by step from getting an idea for your business and writing a business plan through to marketing your business and making that all important first sale. The Lifestyle section discusses setting up your home office, work life balance and taking care of yourself while the Technology section helps you choose the right equipment for your business, at home and when on the move, as well as a good website.
I particularly liked the Lifestyle section, which is something that doesn’t tend to be touched on by other start-up books. For a mum it is SO important to look after yourself, as you are the pivotal person in the family. So advice on eating healthily, exercising and balancing work and home are just as important as choosing the right printer or phone. I also loved the home office section. Working as I do on a laptop on my dining room table the idea of having a designated working space is heavenly to me and Emma was the first person to introduce me to the concept of ‘shed-working’, which has now become the working environment of my dreams!
Emma ends each chapter of the books with links to useful website resources. For a busy mum starting a new business it is so helpful to have someone do all the time-consuming internet research for you – and being a year down the road of my own home business I still picked up some really useful resources which I know will help me out in the future. In addition there are numerous pages of templates at the back of the book to help you write your business plan, marketing plan, press release etc…
Spare Room Start-up is a useful guide from someone who is clearly passionate about helping others achieve their home working dream. This passion is further accentuated by the numerous inspiring case studies of successful home business owners who have walked the walk and now wouldn’t dream of returning to the rat race. Other start-up books may go into finer detail about each individual topic but this may be the book you return to time and time again, as a friendly reminder that you CAN live the dream!
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