The Startup Coach, is the go to guide for anyone looking to start, build and run a successful business. Week on week we hear of new businesses bursting onto the scene, especially with the rapid pace of the tech industry, nothing is ever static. And London seems to be the place to be; with one fifth (nearly 40,000) of the UK's tech businesses headquartered here.
The Interview (London) talks to Carl Reader, author of The Startup Coach, an award winning accountant and an expert in the world of franchising. Carl’s aim is to help and inspire people to start their own business and to spread the word that business does not have to be complicated but in fact it can be fairly straightforward if systems and strategies are applied correctly. The Startup Coach is here as your guide to building a healthy, sustainable and successful business.
Hi Carl, please can you introduce yourself?
Sure, I'm Carl Reader, author of The Startup Coach! I left school early to do an apprenticeship as a hairdresser - that didn't go so well. Fast forward to now and I've had the pleasure of working with thousands of business owners, helping them start, grow and franchise. I'm also the Affiliate Forum Chair at the British Franchise Association, and enjoy spreading the word that business doesn't have to be complicated!
Could you tell us about your career in accountancy and how you have come to be the author of two books?
As an accountant I was always a round peg in a square hole. The work didn't suit me, and I preferred going out and meeting people. Luckily, the world is short of accountants who can actually build their own business as well as their clients, so this set me apart from my peers. The Startup Coach was then a natural progression, to transfer some of my learnings to a wider audience.
The Startup Coach is a teach yourself guide to setting up a business.
What is the main aim of the book?
Simply put - to de-mystify business. It is as far away from a typical management / business book as possible. What I've tried to do is to include proven tools and techniques, but to simplify them so that anyone can use them.
Could you tell us some key points covered and your best pieces of advice that you can offer to anyone starting a business?
The book covers everything from a self appraisal of yourself and the business idea, through to the day to day running of a business. The main advice I can offer any potential entrepreneur is to go for it, but to also make sure that they are prepared! Entrepreneurship involves some level of risk, but every risk is calculated - not a wild gamble.
How have your personal business experiences helped you to write The Startup Coach?
They have been the backbone of the book! Often, when writing I'd smile to myself, thinking about my own experiences, and how I wished that I could have advised myself from an arms-length position!
What do you think is the toughest challenge of setting up and maintaining a business that people are faced with?
A lack of education. Formal academic education is great for certain professions, but it doesn't prepare you for running a business.
And how can people deal with this?
They need to soak up enough information to give them a good grounding - but not too much! Sometimes, people can suffer from information paralysis, when the most important thing is for them to pick up the phone and start selling!
There is such a prominence of people starting or wanting to start their own startup. Which sectors do you think are going to see the most success and why?
The business world is changing rapidly. As of today, we're seeing lots of technological innovations, particularly around FinTech and IoT (Internet of Things). It almost feels like the dot-com boom, all over again!
Can you tell us a about the other books you’ve written/or are writing?
I've just finished writing The Franchising Handbook, which is with the publishers and will be released Summer 2016. There's another book up my sleeve, but at the moment it's top secret...!
What are your future plans for your career?
For me, my main objective is to continue to build my core business (d&t), and to keep spreading the word that business doesn't have to be complicated. I think that there is a huge swing towards self employment, as you said earlier, and I hope to make sure that anyone starting their business realises that it is easier than many will have them believe!