This book is aimed at people just starting out in their career or work as a designer or artist who have basic business questions and want a quick answer. There are 100 questions in the book, each getting answered briefly.
What I like about this book is that it really looks at starting a creative business from the reader’s point of view, and asks the questions many starters have got.
So no long essays here about finance or legal stuff, but to-the-point questions and answers.
This books focuses on the practical business questions I get very often asked as a creative business adviser by starters: Where do I find clients and customers?, Where do I find a manufacturer?, Should I open a business account?, How do I write a media release?, What insurance do I require?, When should I register for VAT?, How is tax calculated?, What fees should I charge?
What is great about this book is that you can get very quick and to-the-point answers, with good website links to relevant organisations or resources. You can quickly dip in and dip out, or flick through the book, and it also entices you to read the other business questions.
The legal section (an area that most creatives probably try to avoid!) is very thorough and practical, covering intellectual property (e.g. trademarks, copy right etc), as well as contracts, Standards and regulations.
Some of the questions are a bit too self-explanatory or leading (Is seeking guidance advisable?, Should I trust people?, Will I be discovered?, Why should I read a contract?), others are probably a bit too personal or philosophical to be answered in less than 250 words. I think this pocket guide works best when it answers the practical questions of ‘how to’ do finances or marketing.
Author Alison Branagan is a very experienced creative business adviser and author of creative business books. Through this Q&A format it feels as if you get direct advice from her in a no-nonsense and plain English way.
Alison Branagan is a Design Trust partner and you can find more information about her here.
If you are looking for a deeper or more overarching understanding of marketing or business, or want to understand the different consecutive steps to turn your ideas into a business or to start promoting your work, then this is probably not the right book for you.
If you want quick answers and find links to more detailed resources elsewhere then this is a great starting point.
This Pocket Guide was Book of the Month in July 2012. The Design Trust are really pleased to be working with A&C Black/Bloomsbury publishers as they kindly provide copies of our Book of the Month for free to review and or to give away in competitions. Every month we select a book from their extensive creative business range to review, and our Business Club members can get that month a 20% discount on that book (for more details see that month’s Business Club News). Please note that The Design Trust do not gain financially from this arrangement.