As I begin this foreword it is only fair that I declare a strong bias in favour of Bianca Miller – Cole.
I first encountered Bianca when she successfully applied to be one of the candidates on The Apprentice. She excelled throughout the gruelling 12 week process and was hugely impressive during the interview episode with her calm manner, professionalism, well-structured business plan and an ability to articulate her proposal.
It was therefore no surprise to me when Bianca launched her business and it has been a pleasure to observe from afar how she developed and adjusted her business plan, overcame obstacles and now has a business that is going from strength to strength. I wish her and Byron continued success. The Definitive Guide to Start-up Business Success is a pretty bold statement, and to embark on a book with that title is surely something of a stretch. I therefore read the manuscript with a certain degree of scepticism and a sense of foreboding that Bianca and Byron had taken leave of their senses!
After all the only way to really understand about being your own boss and launching a business, is to actually go out and do it. In reading the book, I immediately warmed to it. I enjoyed the anecdotes and was able to relate to many of them, these were peppered with real life experiences and frank advice. I began to find it compelling reading, and my thoughts turned to how much I might have benefited from such a book before embarking on my career in business; I would surely have avoided some of the more common mistakes.
The book is presented in a clear, logical, and very readable format, simplifying and explaining company and business jargon. There are some really valuable nuggets to help you map out your
business, address the matter of gaining access to sources of finance, building your brand and using networking to best advantage. Indeed, the book is so comprehensive and well researched that it leaves no stone unturned in its effort to live up to its title. In my opinion is does exactly what is says on the front cover!
Anyone who has started a business knows that is can be a tough and lonely existence. You need to be resilient, single-minded, adaptable and lucky! In the journey to become ‘Self Made’ Tthere is no-one to blame but yourself if things go ‘off the rails’, however the massive sense of satisfaction, and relief, when business picks up and you gain confidence is absolutely exhilarating.
The thing about business is that it is dynamic, and what has worked today, may not work tomorrow! Self Made: The Definitive Guide to Start-up Business Success identifies the skills required no matter what the change in landscape; qualities such as being inquisitive, asking questions, listening to the answers, spotting trends, business opportunities and learning from your own experience and those of others.
I can now summaries my thoughts. Read the book, you won’t be disappointed.Claude Littner – May 2017 - Entrepreneur & Author of ‘Single Minded’, Advisor to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice
For a business to survive in today’s challenging economic climate, you need; drive, passion,
knowledge, and a pretty robust business network.
It is an amazing achievement that during their first year of marriage along with running their own
multiple businesses, they have managed to create such a phenomenal book to support first time
entrepreneurs. It just shows how committed and powerful they both are!
Whether you are just starting a business or you’re an established entrepreneur with many
businesses, Self-Made shows you both the pitfalls and the opportunities entrepreneurs will
experience on their business journey. Self-Made is the essential toolkit that you absolutely need by
To the social media savvy its #mustreadselfmadeHeather P Melville OBE - Director of Strategic Partnerships & Head of Women in Business RBS
Seriously this is the book entrepreneurs have been waiting for, it is truly excellent!
Self made is an absolute must read for any budding entrepreneur. The book is full to the brim of
practical tips and key insights in to exactly what it takes to start a business. Bianca and Byron write
with such clarity and share their own experiences in an easy to consume format, including check lists
and resources. You really could pick up this book and get to work setting up your business the
moment you put it down! If it is one book you buy this year before expanding your business or take
that all important leap to start up, then this is one! I just wish this book had been around ten years
ago! Ten out of ten for self made.
This book reads like a conversation between old friends. No matter what type of business you are
launching, Byron and Bianca give you a step by step guide to the questions that every business
owner needs to ask them selves in starting up and advice on how to avoid the pitfalls. Most people
want to be an entrepreneur, but this book breaks down the work that comes with that title in an easy
to grasp format.
So many books focus on the sexy front end of starting your business, but this book is a step by step
manual detailing the work that is required to make your business successful. This book is an easy to
apply format of the questions that I would ask both my large and small business clients that want to
start a new venture.
Compared to a lot of authors out there, Bianca and Byron have actually done it and they share their
in advice in an easy to read, easy to apply format, that will have you up and running your business in
Ten years ago I started a charity to help young people from underserved communities to set up their own businesses. Over 270 business started as a result, yet we still see people confused about what business is all about. The world around us is changing. Rapidly. Jobs for life are a distant memory and the fourth industrial technology revolution threatens many roles that many have traditionally used as initial steps into the world of work. For many this is a scary development, but for those who will see these inevitable developments as a chance to traverse the entrepreneurial road less travelled, it opens the door to thinking about starting their own business.
What Bianca and Byron have provided in their comprehensive guide to starting up a business, is an easy to follow but detailed roadmap of things that the aspiring business owner should consider. Additionally, for those who have already begun the journey the guide offers insights that can help their business go to the next stage. As the world continues to change, the need for helpful and sage advice increases. The definitive guide to business start up success does what it says on the tin and adds to the much needed information for the next generation of successful business owners.Tim Campbell - Entrepreneur and Winner of BBC The Apprentice 2005
This book offers practical advice for anyone thinking of starting, growing or scal-
ing their own business. The format is very user-friendly and allows businesspeople
to reflect and think about the importance of getting the foundations right before
jumping into the world of entrepreneurship. Working for the UK’s largest sup-
porter of SMEs, I am confident that many of our customers and other aspiring
entrepreneurs will benefit from Bianca and Byron’s personal experience.Gordon Merrylees - Head of Entrepreneurship, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Ulster Bank
Successful entrepreneurs learn fast. Self Made is a fantastic way to learn an incredible amount of hugely practical information very, very quickly.Dhiraj Mukherjee - Co-founder of Shazam, investor and business consultant
Bianca and Byron have written an accessible and engaging route map for budding entrepreneurs. Not only do they take you through the process, they also offer their own perspective on the advantages and pitfalls associated with the many choices entrepreneurs have to make about funding, marketing and operations. Self Made will prove to be an excellent guide for many.Professor Steven McGuire - Professor of Business and Public Policy, and Head of School (School of Business, Management and Economics), University of Sussex
‘In Self Made, Bianca and Byron succeed in providing the necessary tools for young enterprising professionals. They meticulously construct their advice through four steps: Vision, Action, Reaction and Evolution, and by doing so craft a business mindset that is both daring and responsible. The book seamlessly integrates modern technology and social media tactics, making it a must-read for the new generation of entrepreneurs.’
To climb any mountain, you need support. If starting a business is like climbing a mountain, Self Made is the support rope.Marc Adelman - Media consultant, Los Angeles
I am very excited about this book. It is beyond brilliant and much needed as it covers absolutely everything you need to know when setting up a business – there is even a chapter on mindset which is so important. I really wish this book was around when I started my ventures.Emma Sexton - Founder of Make Your Words WorkTM, co-founder of Flock GlobalTM, broadcaster, Creative-in-Residence at King’s College London