Go It Alone - The Streetwise Secrets of Self-employment

Author: Geoff Burch
ISBN: 1841124702
Publisher: Capstone Publishing Ltd

The authors of an unhealthy amount of business books seem to live in a world of external sunshine and abundance. Every sales call results in a gentle hug and every request for money a blank cheque. This book isn’t like that. Although it bills itself as a “guerilla guide to setting up on your own”, it’s more an overview of the practical , often overlooked, aspects of becoming self-employed.

“Go It Alone” focuses more on generics and principles than on hard facts, don’t expect to find anything about the actual process or legal requirements of setting up or running a business. This does, however, allow the author to play to his strengths. The best examples and clearest concepts in the book are all anecdotal and the tone is wry and quite British; which is uncommon for this kind of book.

The book starts by explaining why you might want to go it alone and spends a chunk of the first three chapters ensuring you’re not under any false pretences. It helps identify the real reasons to set out on your own (“you may be skint but you’ll never be unemployed”) and points out the common bad ideas people cling on to. Later chapters, and the largest part of the book, focus on selling and drums in how important it is to any business. It’s nice to see this get pushed home as too many other books neglect the simple fact that no money means no business. Some of the sales examples seem a little simplistic but that adds to the charm rather than diminishes the value of the book.

Summary: A short but entertaining book that presents some of the realities of going it alone. Not an essential read but an enjoyable one. 7/10.