A Practical, Personal Guide to Starting a
Successful Business from Absolutely Nothing
By Liz Jackson & Mick Spain
Pearson / Prentice Hall
167 Pages, 5 ½” x 8 ½”
$32.50 Paper Original
You've never run a business before. Now, you're thinking of giving it a go. You've no little handy cash reserves and no wealthy relatives - so you're starting from absolute scratch. Welcome to the ordinary hero's club. You can do it - and this is the book to show you how.
This book takes you through every stage as you follow the real life start up experience of award-winning entrepreneur Liz Jackson’s business start up from her decision to leave her safe job with no cash and nothing to fall back on, to the £2million business employing 100 people she runs today. Packed full of practical advice and tips, it’s as extremely useful as it is inspiring and entertaining.
The early days. First thinking about starting a business, talking to banks and The Princes Trust, deciding to start and then launching. Getting the first client and, disastrously, employing the first non-family telemarketer. By the end of the chapter the business is under way and housed in a converted garage at the back of Liz's rented house. She thought she had arrived!
Practical tips on the decision to start your business, funding your start up, dealing with banks (and why they don't always tell you everything), getting off the ground with very little capital, finding and securing your first customer (and second, and third), what you really need and what you don't (the art of canny spending), hiring staff successfully.
The move to business premises - getting serious
A visit from the council following a call from one of her neighbors meant Liz could no longer operate from home. The business moved to proper premises and the resultant regular monthly bills meant Liz getting out and selling, and the business really taking off. Liz got married at this time and lost her sight.
Practical tips on the regulations surrounding running a business from home, the decision to move to premises, finding the right premises at the right price, the first steps in growing the business, dealing with setbacks.
The plan for growth
The decision to grow the company through developing a network of franchised telemarketing centers. The chapter tells the story of the decision making process and the implementation including Michael joining Liz to set up and run the network.
Practical tips on managing a growing business, assessing your options, deciding on your strategy, bringing in the right people, franchising as a growth model, hiring en masse, dealing with the change in magnitude of a business.
Highly effective marketing & PR on the cheap
How Great Guns built a significant brand with plenty of press, radio and TV coverage - all for very little cash. The unique strategy of Great Guns was to apply for every possible business award, national and local - this chapter tells how it has been achieved. The chapter ends by talking about networking and speaking events and actually earning money from the brand building activities.
Practical tips on getting PR and marketing for your business without raiding the bank including some unusual strategies that anybody can adopt.
This describes the need to manage finances carefully right from the start and how Liz did it. It moves on to budgeting and monitoring financial results and how we handled the complexity as the business got bigger. It emphasizes matching resources to need and to affordability.
Practical tips on knowing who you need to bring in and when, finding the right accountant, managing cash flow, budgeting and forecasting, adapting your financial management to your growth strategy and much more.
Discover how Liz established a strong management team with a real focus on managing people. The chapter looks at about establishing the culture of the company and how Liz gets the best out of her people. This is crucially important in Great Guns as the company is a service provider, so its people are its product. The chapter tells how Liz sets her own goals and 'shoots for the stars', and usually gets there.
Practical tips on goal setting, recruiting key people, motivating and incentivising staff, handling difficult people problems and keeping it personal even during rapid growth.
Suddenly you are running a business bigger than you could have ever imagined in those early start up days only a few years previously. So is it what you want and what next? This chapter looks at all these very personal issues for the entrepreneur and the business through Liz's experience. Where Great Guns goes now and where Liz and Michael go. Liz is now looking at an expansion into Europe and North America.
Practical tips on how to keep your business moving forward - and plan your future in the business. Assessing if you want to stay in, or move out or sell up.
• A brilliant combination of inspiring, fascinating story and practical advice and how to for the ordinary person
Liz Jackson is Managing Director of Great Guns Marketing, a telemarketing business she founded in 1998 with the support of a GBP 1000 grant from the Prince's Trust. A year later, Liz lost her sight and was registered blind. Today, Great Guns Marketing has annual revenues of nearly two million pounds. The business has a solid client base of 500 companies, including British Telecom, Wella and Johnson and Johnson. Great Guns Marketing won the Customer Focus Award 2004 at the National Business Awards, sponsored by Orange. Liz is the winner of the T-Mobile/Sunday Express Women Mean Business Award 2003. Liz, aged 30, is an inspiring business visionary with an incredible story of success over adversity. HRH The Prince of Wales, commented: "Elizabeth has overcome the most extraordinary difficulties to make Great Guns Marketing the success that it is. She is an inspiration to young businesswomen everywhere." Great Guns also features in the Top 21 UK businesses founded with help from The Prince's Youth Trust.
Michael Spain early career was in electronic engineering. He joined the burgeoning computer industry in its heyday, gaining experience in marketing and business management as a senior manager, before setting up and running his own management consulting business for 6 years. Eventually he was tempted away from his own business by daughter Liz in 2002 to join her in fast-growing Great Guns Marketing to develop the franchise model and to run the resulting network of telemarketing centers.
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