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