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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business

I remember buying Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio's The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business years ago, when I had dreams of starting my own Etsy shop (which I never actually did).  That was probably around the same time that I bought The Anti 9 to 5 Guide.

The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business is in many ways similar to The Anti 9 to 5 Guide.  Both deal with forging your own path (although The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business does more, while The Anti 9 to 5 Guide explores different options including flex time and telecommuting), and both books are rather dated (The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business actually reminded me of Will Write for Food in this regard - websites are treated as a new thing, no mention of social media or blogs, and lists of websites that are most likely out of date now).

But unlike The Anti 9 to 5 Guide, I honestly enjoyed reading The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business.  Sure, some chapters were a slog (like the one on technology).  But the majority of the book was full of very helpful advice and interesting stories from (mostly) women entrepreneurs (that's another reason this book reminds me of Will Write for Food I guess). Friedman and Yorio provide an excellent overview of all the different aspects of running your own business, including the people you should have on your small business team (a lawyer and an accountant for sure) complete with the questions to ask them, dealing with tough stuff like hiring and firing employees, why you need a business plan (even if it isn't a formal plan), and common business writing you will need.  The key word here is overview though: if you're looking for an in-depth discussion on these topics, you might want to look at a more focused book.

The one issue I had with the earlier part of the book is that it is American; Friedman and Yorio talk about things like taxes and retirement plans, which were not at all applicable for people from other countries (plus there's a good chance that a lot of that information may be out of date even for Americans since the book is thirteen years old).  But other than that, I thought this was an excellent overview on how to go about starting your own business, particularly for women.