I recently finished reading “How to start a Home-based Jewelry Making Business” by Maire Loughran. It was recommended to me by my teen-aged daughter. As a CPA with a master’s degree in business administration, I have some experience with start-ups, and I have also read a few craft business books and magazines, as well as done research for my own business plans. I was interested to see if my daughter’s assessment of the book was accurate.
The book is a quick read because it’s written in a lively, conversational style, using plain English even for the technical aspects. Loughran covers all aspects of starting a home-based jewelry business, beginning with the psychological (are you ready to do this?), legal issues, writing a business plan, marketing, and winding up with finances. Throughout the book, she gives alternatives for each action, points out potential pitfalls, and challenges you to be prepared to make adjustments when needed. She doesn’t pull any punches; if your dream piece of jewelry won’t make money, she tells you up front that you need to make changes. I love that about the book. Too often, small businesses fail because the owners are too much in love with their forest to see the trees.
As I said, the book is a quick read. It is less than 200 pages, and many pages have cut-out sections with illustrative anecdotes, charts and side notes. I questioned whether the book could really cover the material advertised in the space available. The author managed it by referencing additional sources of information on particular topics. Many of the resources are available on the web. I thought this was one of the best features of the book. If you don’t need further details on the topic, it doesn’t clutter up the book, but if you do, there is ample additional information readily accessible.
All of the examples and anecdotes in the book are perfect for the target market of home-based jewelry business owners or wannabes. I’ve experienced some of the pitfalls myself, and the suggestions in the book for corrective action make sense to me. Nothing suggested was overly expensive or something that you wouldn’t expect to be able to tackle yourself. It was full of practical, down-to-earth advice. I liked the book and will go back and re-read certain parts to work through applying them to my own business.
All in all, I’m impressed with my daughter’s ability to pick out a good business book.
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