I’m a freelance writer and a wannabe full-time blogger. Yet I confess to knowing inadequate business knowledge. I began 2019 with goals, dreams and a c’est la vie attitude to IP law, USP and market factors. The book ‘Simple Tips Smart Ideas’ by Erica Wolfe-Murray, is for every dreamer hoping to become successful working for themselves.
Research suggests millennials want to develop their own brands and launch small businesses. Many imagine reaching influencer status and globetrotting at leisure. Problematically, while social-media is a resource for passion; motivating quotes and captivating speeches, little is said about professional technicality. That’s why this year, instead of relying on stories and images of those flying besides the stars, I’ve chosen to educate myself. Erica is as Forbes wrote, “a leading business and innovative expert”.
Simple Tips Smart Ideas begins with an About Me page. Erica reveals she’s supported herself since leaving home at 16, developing small companies and establishing herself in the creative industry. Unusually, Erica has worked as a creative head of a design company as well as a financial director. Though difficult summarising her vast experience, the book’s countless case studies explain how Erica impacts business. Her clients range from production companies, accountancy firms to a professional photographer.
What’s Inside/Is it for you?
If you want to start your own business, generate income from your blog or progress as a freelancer, then yes, this book is for you. From the 5 sections you’ll learn:
- How to draw up a business plan – without stress!
- How to grow your business – the four factors you can influence
- Finance – investment, financial planning, revenue models, simple management etc.
- Your value – how to branch out further and realise your full potential
- People – attracting clientele, how to work with individuals, overall improving engagement
- Marketing – both online and offline
- Goal setting – most of us write goals without key structure
- Intellectual Property – copyright
I felt apprehension exploring this side of business. I’ve always told myself I’m a creative, I don’t need to collect information on business plans, copyright and financial planning. That statement in itself sounds ridiculous. Regardless of your chosen field, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s like a parent only knowing how to play with their children without figuring out how to feed them or change their nappies.
Creatives tend to shy away from logical planning because – to put bluntly – it’s boring. I don’t have the figures for maths and business plans seem tiresome. I’m all for marketing until it involves logging off my laptop. This laziness I possess – which I love excusing as a simple lack of interest, is just as important as my writing.
Why Simple Tips Smart Ideas speaks to me and perhaps eventually you; Erica is able to make unappealing topics fun. Her passion spills on every page like a cup of coffee crashing down on an open book. She doesn’t use overcomplicated jargon nor does she waffle on. Her descriptive language insights imagery, imagination and similes to connect.
Plus, there’s colour coding, diagrams and highlighted points. Erica writes as though she’s speaking with you, and that alone compels you to keep listening to her conversation. I love that in the introduction, you’re encouraged to make notes in the book and store thoughts, tips and plans.
I believe a book’s condition tells a story. We’re usually desperate to maintain their fresh, immaculate gloss when books are great messy – particularly if a learning guide. With Simple Tips Smart Ideas, you can dip in an out whenever, so there’s no rush to finish from start to end.
Simple Tips Smart Ideas Overall
Primarily, the book is targeting small companies who employ 10 people or fewer. It’s therefore written in a style mostly suiting an already up and running business owner. With that being said, Erica does reach out to freelancers and potential business starters. Her ideas are not expensive and are easy to follow.
If you choose to buy, ensure you are willing to put the time in. It’s not a book to browse through on a train commute. I spent two hours going over my business plan, researching external issues and summarising my skill set. I made hidden links between my career past and became aware of my competition and career market future. Vital to know if you wish to switch careers.
I’m very grateful to have reviewed and gladly recommend to anyone in a similar position. Simple Tips Smart Ideas has opened my eyes to a side of business I didn’t know. My greatest surprise is finding out that copyright can be used to my advantage to further my creativity and income. To purchase on Amazon, click here. (Non affiliated link).
How do you feel about business? Are you a blogger unaware of copyright laws or a freelancer without financial planning? This book was given to me to review. All opinions are entirely my own.