Book Review: The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business by Harriet Kelsall

The Creatives Guide to Starting A Business by Harriet Kelsall

The Creatives Guide to Starting a Business’ by Harriet Kelsall contains useful information that will allow you to start your own business, including how to create pieces that sell and a business plan, as well as how to identify and reach customers, research the competition, price products and test the market. Also how to promote your business successfully. See more in our review below…

If you feel like you are blindly wandering into a creative business, I suggest you pause, and take just a small amount of precious time to read this book. It has been beautifully written, without business jargon and meaningless management speak, in a friendly and informative way by an inspirational lady who knows what she is doing. Harriet Kelsall runs a successful bespoke jewellery business and is well respected in the industry having won countless awards for her business prowess. She also works as a Government advisor for the Creative and Cultural Skills Academy and is Chairman of the National Association of Jewellers (amongst other things) so clearly, Ms Kelsall is someone who makes things happen.

For someone with so much industry knowledge and influence you might expect a little more pomp and ceremony from this book but it really is quite the opposite.  Kelsall has managed to squeeze 20 years of experience, both good and bad, into 210 pages of solid, practical guidance which is both accessible and enjoyable to read.

Broken down into 16 Chapters covering everything from Business Plans to Identifying your Market, each area covered is interspersed with real life case studies which give the text authenticity and a true sense of validity.

Each subject once discussed, is then directly targeted towards your own situation through a series of questions and exercises designed to help you focus. These questions help to identify what you hope to achieve from your business, whether you currently have the ability to realise your aims but also if it is likely to be successful or not; all quite scary, but essential questions.

For example:

You may be thinking why bother to complete these exercises, but the direction they help you to develop is absolutely invaluable.

This pattern is repeated throughout the book as you are continually advised to stop, evaluate, focus and move forward and it is a habit well worth adopting if you want to succeed sooner rather than later.

What will I learn from this book?

Chapters include: Can Anyone Start a Business, When is the Best Time to Start a Business, Defining Success, Creating Your Product Idea, Identifying Your Market, Reaching Your Customers, Researching Your Competition, Pricing, Money, Testing Your Market, Marketing Your Business, Creating a Business Plan, Business Advice, Persevering, Changing Direction and Dealing with Success.

At no point is it stuffy or difficult to understand, The Creatives Guide to Starting a Business is in fact a surprisingly entertaining read which helps to unravel the complexities of running your own business. I would recommend it to anyone contemplating a new business venture or in fact anyone who feels their business is perhaps going a little astray; Harriet Kelsall is the perfect candidate to provide a steadying hand.

Written by Joanna Varney

Joanna has worked in and around the jewellery industry for well over 20 years. She has designed and created her own pieces as a designer maker, as well as working in jewellery retail on a much larger scale, producing designs and NPD for some of the UK’s largest high street retailers

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