Take The Plunge by Michael Carter

Take the Plunge

If you are thinking of starting a small business then this is the book for you. Michael Carter breaks down every aspect of the technicalities of starting up a business from hiring staff, leasing premises, why you might go to your ex-boss for funds and what he/she would expect in return and how to set up salary payments. It does away with unwanted business jargon and has 101 different topics that are divided up with colourful illustrations that help make it an easy to dip into book. Carter even provides a case study for you to follow which ties together most of the topics in the book.

This book is designed for the first-time, would-be entrepreneur and as Carter explains, there are about 5 million businesses in the UK, of which 99.3 percent were small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees). Last year these businesses provided 47.5 per cent of the UK private sector employment and 37.4 per cent of turnover. Carter says that it is important to recognise that going into business is not simply a matter of following numbered instructions as in a recipe. Even if it is the simplest business, there are in fact two strands to it. Firstly, be it bicycle sales, floral throw-making or growing bonsai trees the business itself will have any number of complexities of its own, some of which will be unique to that particular sector of business. We are relying on you to pick something you want to do and probably have skills for.

These are the complexities and overheads that you encounter along your way. Some are genuinely helpful, while others are more like vastly irritating statutory interference. If you’re a politician or bureaucrat, you call this ‘for the good of mankind’. Most people call it ‘red tape’. You can never predict with certainty which of these you’ll meet, so whilst we have striven to put these subjects into some sort of logical order, this might not be your order and perhaps for some, even after retirement, you’ll ask yourself ‘what was that about?’ However, we have noticed that in practice, business is hugely iterative and you will almost certainly find that once you have started trading you’ll be revisiting any number of these chapters, over and over, probably including ones you had previously regarded as not relevant. Make notes in the book and keep it with you on your journey. The best advice to give you at this stage is to pace yourself. Over time, read all the chapters of this book and try to make a mental note at least of the gist of each. Then, later on, when the appropriate black cloud appears on your trail, you might remember enough to know where to find the solution.

Take The Plunge is available from all good book stores for around £7.99.