I suck at buying birthday presents. Please help me find a book on home businesses!
May 19, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

I need to find a helpful book about starting home businesses for my friend.

My good friend is planning to start up her own home-based company over the summer. She already has a number of creative money-making schemes up and running, including painting murals and selling (wonderfully) painted shoes by commission, but she mentioned to me recently that she'd like to get a business going during the summer to tie together all her different endeavours. She plans to keep it ticking over during the next academic year and then really get things moving once she graduates next summer. Her dream is, I think, to open a shop one day selling her various work. I include these details a) because the craft aspect may be relevant to the type of book, and b) to show that she's not planning to spring straight into renting a workshop and hiring staff, but she is thinking long term and taking it fairly seriously.

So, for her birthday I'd like to get her a decent book about small/home businesses to show that I'm supportive of her plans.

But after browsing Amazon, I find myself a little stymied. To be honest, since I know absolutely nothing about home businesses, I don't know what's useful and what's completely irrelevant at this stage. All the books seem to be either incredibly patronising and 'For Dummies' style, (which admittedly may be useful but they're rather insulting to give to someone as a present!), or dense tomes about interviewing prospective staff and buying office furniture in bulk, which isn't relevant to her at this point. I'd like something in the middle.

Specific to the UK is a bonus, but if it's a really useful book otherwise then I can be flexible on that.

So. Does anyone have any recommendations of books they've found helpful? Or, on the other hand, books to avoid like the plague?

Thanks very much everyone!
posted by badmoonrising to Work & Money (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Things change so fast, all my recommendations are out of date. Although I do want to stress that you look for a 'selling your crafts/art' type book, as that is going to have so much more relevance to what she is doing. They usually cover pricing, marketing, sales, home issues, working with vendors, etc. Just a lot more information than a 'home business' book.


p.s. be sure that the book is not less than a year or two old if it is dealing with online issues as well.
posted by Vaike at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2009

You must check out No More Mondays, I listen to this guy's podcasts called 48 days. I want to start my own small business because of it, actually I am already putting together a website where I offer online dating profile writing.
posted by MTheresa at 7:12 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might want to look around for an ebook. I wrote an ebook for my niche because I couldn't find anything good enough in bookstores. There are lots of other people who've done the same thing. That way, you might be able to find something that's really relevant.
posted by acoutu at 7:53 PM on May 19, 2009

I'm currently enjoying The Boss of You, and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, while brainstorming how to work from home or be self-employed.
posted by chez shoes at 8:37 PM on May 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Some of the sites and podcasts you mentioned look really interesting and I'll definitely give them a read. Unfortunately, though, they're not quite what I'm looking for, since I want something I can give to my friend as a present and a URL probably won't hack it! But I appreciate the recommendations, so thank you all.

Vaike, that's a good point about books getting out-of-date quickly. It sounds like I might have trouble finding something relevant and up-to-date in book form...

Any more books recommendations would be greatly appreciated! If not, I guess I'll have to revise my present idea...
posted by badmoonrising at 7:44 AM on May 20, 2009

You can also get her a magazine subscription to something like American Craft, or a book by Seth Godin to inspire her to think outside the box.
posted by Vaike at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2009

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