The theme in the Book Zone this week is business startups and this book is all about how to make your dreams for a business startup a reality. Entrepreneur and presenter of the Channel 4 series Risking It All Martin Webb has written Make Your First Million: Ditch the 9-5 and Start the Business of Your Dreams (BOOK ZONE 658.421) to inspire others in their business startups and help them avoid some of the pitfalls he encountered while making his way to the top.
Webb begins by telling the story of his first business experience as a cautionary tale of what can happen if an inexperienced entrepreneur doesn’t seek advice before beginning. However, with Webb’s bouncy narration, his story doesn’t so much discourage starting entrepreneurs as show that even after a business disaster (which almost left him and his business partner bankrupt), it’s still entirely possible for an enterprising person to spring back up!
Webb emphasises that there is a certain ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ and is honest about the ‘I’ll do it next year’ attitude that means business ideas stay as ideas, but he also offers tools to go from the someday crowd to the tomorrow crowd.
He goes through the process of planning a business start-up step by step, from seeing whether the first idea is viable to eventually expanding the business or selling it to move on to other projects. He also has a useful section on things like staff reviews that it’s important for business owners to know and tips on how to reduce costs by doing a lot of the work like scouting, market research and decorating yourself rather than employing an expensive consultant to do it.
Throughout, he is open about the fact that starting a business that you hope will make you a million is not easy, but if you have a big idea and a desire to make it happen, Webb has advice for you! His style is conversational and friendly, more like a friend down the pub who is honest but still encouraging than an expert handing down rules, but his business knowledge and experience (including examples from his own successful and less successful ventures) leave the reader in no doubt of his authority.
While the title is eye-catching, Webb’s advice is solid and practical, with tips on how to put everything Webb talks about into practice, all of them from his own experience.
If you liked Make Your First Million…
Watch Dragon’s Den, a series in which entrepreneurs pitch business startups to investors (DVDs held in the BOOK ZONE at 658.022).
Try What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography by Alan Sugar, the straight-talking star of The Apprentice (BOOK ZONE 658.421) and What They Don’t Teach You in Business School: Business the Branson Way by Virgin founder Richard Branson (BOOK ZONE 658.022).
Have a look at the business magazines and newspapers we stock in hard copy for up-to-date news, including The Economist, The Harvard Business Review and The Financial Times, all held at Norfolk House.