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’ there 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’, Adviser to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice
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 venturesEmma Sexton - Founder of Make Your Words WorkTM, co-founder of Flock GlobalTM, broadcaster, Creative-in-Residence at King’s College London
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
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
This book offers practical advice for anyone thinking of starting, growing or scaling their own business. The format is very user-friendly and allows business people 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 supporter 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