When I was setting up my business, the green gables, and since it's been up and running, I've pored over a number of books to try and take in as much business info as I can. Being of the classic creative not business mind I need all the help I can get! So, I thought some of you might be interested in a few of the titles I've found most useful…
The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin
This book is great for the artisan who wants to sell their crafts as a business, not just as a hobby. It's written with the creative in mind and so doesn't bamboozle you with businessy jargon. It covers everything around selling your crafts so not just pricing, selling online and approaching retailers but also blogging, connecting with craft communities and other creative ways of selling such as teaching classes and holding parties.
Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco
Craft Inc. is an American book, like The Handmade Marketplace, but the vast majority of it is relevant to creative entrepreneurs wherever you are. The sub-title of this book is 'Turn your creative hobby into a business' and that's exactly what it helps you with. This book gets into the real detail of preparing your crafts to sell, dealing with customers, marketing yourself, your products and your business, and, most importantly Meg has interviewed a number of successful creative business people whose real-life experience is invaluable ro read. And anyway, how can you resist a book with rounded corners?!
Your Ethical Business by Paul Allen
This may not be a book that you've come across before, or feel is relevant to you and your business. It's more of a businessy type of book and discusses different types of businesses such as charities and co-operatives. But it goes into a lot of detail that I'm not sure you'd find elsewhere, like ethical funding, finding green options for practicals like packaging, stationery and energy, sourcing Fairtrade supplies, avoiding greenwash, with loads of advice from successful ethical businesses in the UK.
A book about Innocent by Richard Reed and Dan Germain
I love this book. I have an enormous amount of respect for Innocent and its three founders – Richard Reed, Jon Wright and Adam Balon. This book is written in the fun, informal, enthusiastic and inspirational tone you'd expect from a brand that's known for all those things, along with producing v tasty food and drink, of course. It's not a traditional business book, instead it tells the story of how the Innocent company was set up and the brand built, all the while keeping to their core values and principles, no matter how many times they were told to ditch them if they wanted to be successful. When it's suggested to me that I should compromise my ethics if I want to be successful, I point the doubters in Innocent's direction. Whenever I'm having a bit of a stressful day I dip into this book and surface feeling inspired and uplifted. And right now Richard Reed is looking for entrepreneurs to take part in a new TV show called Be Your Own Boss… PS I have no affiliation with Innocent, I just think they're fab.
The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick
And last but not least, this is a cracking book for getting into the nitty gritty of getting your business and your brand known out there into the world. It's a hefty tome and there's a lot packed in there with input from experts in different areas of marketing. There's a lot of info to take in so I like to dip in and out of it to get help when needed.
So, those are five of the books I've found, and still finding, most helpful with running and growing the green gables. Let me know if you use them too or if you have others to recommend!