10 essential books to help you launch your own creative business

If you've been thinking about starting your own business, and you're worried about all the unanswered questions you might have about taking the leap – make sure you surround yourself with plenty of reading material to swot up on and prepare for the launch. Here, we share 10 of our recommended reads to inspire and support you during those exciting, early steps into the unknown...

1. The Business Side of Creativity – Cameron S. Foote

Described as the "comprehensive guide to starting and running a small graphic design or communications business", this great little book covers all the basics you'll need if you want to go freelance. Bear in mind it's written by an American, so some aspects won't apply to those of you living elsewhere but it does cover lots of bases. A must-read.

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2. Starting Up on Your Own: How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant or Freelance – Mike Johnson

Are you thinking of starting up on your own and working for yourself? Do you need to know the nuts and bolts of setting up, marketing yourself, prospecting for new business and keeping things running on a day-to-day basis? Have you already made the leap and want to get more work, new clients, higher fees? This practical, no-nonsense book pulls no punches and gives you all the guidance you need to set yourself up, plus all the know-how you need to survive, prosper and expand once you’re up and running.

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3. Brilliant Freelancer: Discover the Power of Your Own Success – Leif Kendall

Whether you’re new to freelancing or a seasoned freelance operative, Brilliant Freelancer is packed full of ideas and case studies to help you build a happy, productive and profitable freelance life quickly and easily. From building your client portfolio right through to staying motivated and surviving the tougher times, this book gives you everything you need to take charge of your career and start moving in the right direction.

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4. Hack the Entrepreneur: How to Stop Procrastinating, Build a Business, and Do Work That Matters – Jon Nastor

In this highly recommended book, Jonny Nastor will be your personal mastermind, coach, and mentor as he gives you the guidance and kick in the ass you need today. If you are stuck and don't know what to do next... If you want to control your destiny... If you want to design a lifestyle that puts you in control of your time and income, this book is for you.

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5. Entrepreneur Revolution: How to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and start a business that works – Daniel Priestly

The world is embarking on a new age. The age of the entrepreneur, the agile small business owner, the flexible innovator. The days of the industrial age are over. It s time to break free from the industrial revolution mind–set, quit working so hard, follow your dream and make a fortune along the way. Entrepreneur Revolution is a master class in gaining an entrepreneurial mind–set, showing you how to change the way you think, the way you network, and the way you make a living. Successful entrepreneur Daniel Priestley will show you how to embrace the Entrepreneur Revolution and thrive in the new age.

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6. Business Hacks: A Guide for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs – Andrew Leong & Jamie Rice

Have you ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business? Have you ever imagined building your own company and brand? Perhaps you don’t want to become a full-time entrepreneur, but you’d like to learn how to generate extra income streams. If so, this book answers all of the questions you’ll have when starting your own business.

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7. The Idea in You: How to Find It, Build It, and Change Your Life – Martin Amor

Do you have an idea in you? A hobby, a project, a product ... something that could change your life? The Idea in You is a bulletproof system for finding the right idea and shaping it in to a success - on your own terms. With advice from the people behind the likes of Pizza Pilgrims, Parkrun and Decoded, The Idea in You will show you what to expect, how to think and what to do when launching your own venture. Making your idea happen is possible - and it will be one of the most inspiring and energising experiences of your life. What are you waiting for?

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8. Work for Money, Design for Love – David Airey

Unlike other dry business books, this refreshing, straightforward guide from Logo Design Love author and international designer David Airey answers the questions all designers have when first starting out on their own. In fact, the book was inspired by the many questions David receives every day from the more than 600,000 designers who visit his three blogs (Logo Design Love, Identity Designed, and DavidAirey.com) each month.

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9. The Small Business Start-Up Workbook – Cheryl D. Rickman &, Dame Anita Roddick

In this practical and comprehensive workbook, Cheryl Rickman, offers a modern approach to self-employment and starting your own business. Packed with real-life case studies and practical exercises, checklists and worksheets, it provides step-by-step guide to researching and formulating your business ideas, planning the right marketing strategies, and finding new ways to grow.

You'll also discover what, with hindsight, well-known entrepreneurs would have done differently, what their biggest mistakes have been and what they've learnt: Dame Anita Roddick, Julie Meyer, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Simon Woodroffe and others reveal their best and worst decisions and contribute their wisdom and tips for succeeding in business.

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10. FT Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy – Financial Times Series

Want to take your company to the next level? You need a roadmap, a strategy. Preferably one that is simple, workable and saleable. This book provides you with just that. It sets out a straightforward strategy development process, the ‘Strategy Pyramid’, and guides you through it. It uses a lively central case study throughout, as well as drawing on examples of how real businesses have developed winning strategies. Whether you are intent on growing your business, or setting out on your start-up, this book offers an uncomplicated, practical and readable guide on how to get the strategy you need for your business to succeed.

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