Will Roney

Posts Tagged ‘Family Friendly Working’

Book Review – 50 Fantastic Franchises by Emma Jones and Sarah Clay

In Non-Fiction Writing on April 6, 2011 at 09:48

So you want to start a business but you haven‘t got an idea of what to do? Or, you‘ve got the energy but don‘t like the thought of coming up with an idea which might fail, then what do you do? One answer is to consider the world of direct selling or franchises. These are businesses that are stable enough to provide an income; the rub being that you need to find some start up capital to fund initial outlays.

But what franchises would be the best one to invest in?

The latest Brightword Publishing book “50 Fantastic Franchises”, by Emma Jones and Sarah Clay attempts to guide you through the franchise world, and provide 50 businesses that can be started with an initial capital investment. The value in this book is the 50 businesses inside. From an initial outlay of between £0 and £27k there is either a direct selling job or a franchise for you. The direct selling jobs cover the first £225 of initial cost, and then the franchises take over.

You might think that you’ve got an idea about what a franchise or a direct selling job would mean, but there is a good spread of variation in business type – from jewellery manufacture to providing children’s fashions. Other businesses include the more traditional ones (Avon, Vie at Home and Tupperware parties), but there are opportunities in providing DIY and Maintenance, as well as becoming a travel advisor.

This is a useful little book that can give you the confidence to take the plunge and take on a franchise or a direct selling job. With its section at the back providing a list of support organisations it can be seen as a modern take on an age-old business system and very good at providing relevant information.

Incidentally, this is not where the review ends. This is because I was reading this book via Adobe Digital Editions (other ebook readers are available), rather than a traditional paper copy. I found the functionality of ADE did not detract from the experience of reading, though as I was reading it via a laptop I thought it could be a little cumbersome. A better way would be to download it onto a more portable device (Phone, tablet or ereader) which could more easily be carried in a handbag or a pocket.

All in all a very pleasant experience, and made all the better because of the colourful and bright formatting of the book.

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

Book Review – Twitter Your Business, by Mark Shaw

In Non-Fiction Writing on March 21, 2011 at 10:42

There are few big internet companies that truly have a global presence. Facebook and Google are two, and a third is Twitter. Launched in 2006 it has changed the immediacy of news and events all around the world. In five short years, messages and promotions of 140 characters or less have revolutionised how we all communicate and it has changed the world forever. For the uninitiated, Twitter can seem a little fast-flowing and daunting compared to the more sedentary Facebook. I use these terms loosely as in the world of the Web nothing is truly slow.

In Mark Shaw’s book “Twitter your Business”, he attempts to guide the reader into this stream of thought and provide a way for a business to tap and harness the power of Twittering.

A basic understanding of Twitter terminology is provided – do you know your @replies from your #hash tags, DMs or Retweet? There are basic descriptions of what these all mean, and this is the mark of the book that it provides the basics, but also advanced stuff like knowing what time in the day for your tweets to have maximum impact, and whether a dashboard program such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck might be a better solution than interacting directly with the http://www.twitter.com site.

With additional information that allow the user to understand how effective their business exposure on twitter is, this book is a good foundation in understanding the micro-messaging phenomena. Anyone who is starting out on Twitter and doesn’t purchase this ebook will be disadvantaged. They will be looking in many places for the same information that is provided here in one place. An excellent guide to twittering..

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

Book Review – Raising Children – the Primary Years, by Liat Hughes Joshi and others

In Non-Fiction Writing on March 9, 2011 at 10:39

Is there a book that will answer all your questions about parenthood? There are millions of us up and down the country who are looking for one. If only we knew what to do in a given situation, then life would become so much easier. Apart from the fact that if we knew everything to know about raising children, there would be no fun left, and book would have to be bigger than the internet to discuss all possibilities.

Raising Children – The Primary Years’ is one of the latest books on the market designed to cater for a forgotten age range. The ages between 4 and 11 years old have been largely overlooked in the race to provide answers for the very young, and the teenagers in our society. This book takes the transition time between the two and gives it a good looking at.

The author, Liat Hughes Joshi,  has recruited a pair of psychologists to talk to parents and to provide insight into this interesting age. It is notable that the book is peppered with comments and quotes from parents, to reinforce or illuminate the point that the writers are trying to make. This does not make for a fluid book to read, but it gives each section a little coating of reality that most parents can identify with.

With sections on Friends, School, Sleep, Growing up Fast and Money, there is a whole load of parenting advice provided between the covers. But I suspect that one section that will gain a lot of attention is how to strike a healthy balance between gadgetry and the internet, and making sure that your child grows up in a straightforward manner.

This is a book that we have been looking out for, and it does not disappoint. The ages between 4 and 11 are possibly the most important in a child’s life as they provide foundations of the rest of their lives that will be remembered forever. This book will be an invaluable guide for parents looking to find some answers in this interesting time.

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

Book Review – The Procrastination Equation by Dr Piers Steel

In Non-Fiction Writing on January 26, 2011 at 13:21

Why are you reading this review? Is it because you’ve chanced upon it, or because you’ve actively sought out this book on this website? Either way, ‘The Procrastination Equation’ by Dr Piers Steel can help you. If you can get around to doing something about it.

Procrastination is the thief of time, or so we all are told. But how much of that is down to us, or down to our lifestyle. In Dr Steel’s book he attempts to understand what procrastination is, why we suffer from it, and why it is so important that we get rid of it. He tries to encapsulate all of his knowledge and understanding about procrastination into a simple equation that we can all understand. This then (hopefully) gives us all the weaponry to combat what is in certain circumstances a delibitating and regressive part of our nature.

Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay)

With this equation, Dr Steel identifies that there is a sliding scale of four variables that end up defining our motivation for a particular task or event. My favourite one is that of a student writing a report for some college work that has to be in by the end of the month. Generally what happens is that nothing will be done until a couple of days before, and then the student will crash-write the whole report because they know that it’s due imminently. This is a classic example, that with a few graphs can be shown to be true.

The book is well written, and logical in its structure which assist the reader in understanding what is an increasingly important concept. If procrastination can be reduced or avoided, then we can all achieve more and be healthier for it. From first reading about Dr Steel’s ideas I have managed to learn a few things myself – mainly turning off the TV and planning more things to do in the time I have created.

This is a book that is well worth the cover price, and one that everyone should read. If they can be bothered…

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!

Book Reviews – Talking, Arguing and being Assertive.

In Non-Fiction Writing on January 25, 2011 at 13:46

Many of us find that first contact a little daunting; walking into a room full of strangers can silence even the most outgoing of people, but with Emma Sargent and Tim Fearon’s book anything is possible. Tim’s acting career and Emmas business experience meld seamlessly into a book that can be used as a manual for overcoming those intangible barriers that we put up around ourselves.

Their premise is that all talking is about belief, confidence, preparation and application – knowing what you want to say and finding a way to do it. There is also a chapter on how you know when to stop talking, something that can come with nerves or inexperience. It all boils down to those four basics, and this is a good solid example of a book that tries to help the reader make the most of their communicative talents. It’s well worth the investment in time to try some of the techniques proposed by the authors. A handy book in a world full of talking.

Jonathan Herring’s book on how to argue, is something that I thought I knew how to do already. But it’s not about the ranting that we all want to do when connected to a call centre overseas, or discovering that a parking ticket has been placed on our car when we’d left it for ’only five minutes’. Jonathan’s book attempts to  dissect the techniques that need to be used in order that an argument concentrates on the facts, and doesn’t descend into something more personal.

The book talks about the tactics of an argument. Is it between two people acting as agents for two organisations, or is it a more personal contract? There is more to an argument than simply stating the facts and expecting a positive result. As with any negotiation (and this is what an argument is), there are false avenues of discussion, deliberate  distractions and the final dénouement when the real business of the conversation takes place.

This is a book that I found very enlightening, and one that I will employ then next time I need to talk to an overseas call centre. You never know I might come out on top this time.

The final book in this trilogy is the book on being assertive. Assertiveness is different to aggression in that it is about putting a stake in the ground about who you are, but recognising that other people have the right to do the same. Aggression is about threats and dismissals, whereas assertiveness is about confidence and certainty.

Looking to be an assertive person, is something that requires a knowledge of who you are, and a confidence that you’re happy in yourself to be a person that you are comfortable with. It is about responsibility for things that go wrong that are your fault, and recognising that we all need space – physical and mental, to live our lives productively. It is also about limits. One of the examples used in the book is that of Rosa Parks who as a black woman refused to get up from a Whites-only seat in a segregated bus. When asked why she did it, she said that she hadn’t planned to do it but that she’d decided to stand up for her rights as black people had endured too much for too long.

Sue Hadfield and Gill Hasson have written an excellent book that anyone can use to start changing their lives to become more positive and assertive. I can totally recommend it to anyone who feels that they could do with a little magic to transform their lives.

This book review was originally published on Family Friendly Working, a site packed with advice on flexible work for mums and dads.

Have you enjoyed this review? If you have, click through and buy the book HERE!, HERE! and HERE!