I've been a professional freelance writer for some time now but do not profess to know everything there is to know about working for myself. In fact, there is probably more that I don't know then information I do know! However, I found the ultimate business startup bible over Christmas when I was given a book as a present. This is not any old book though - it's Steve Monas's Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible.
Now I usually hate reading business start up books, both those that tell you how someone else did it and those that profess to be how to books. They bore me and are generally useless because they are written by self indulgent and arrogant businessmn that have no clue how to speak to someone like me! However, I was plesantly surprised to find that this book was different. It is actually a well laid out manual so it acts as a practical guide. I'm ashamed to say that I would not have bought this myself had I not been given it as a gift, but now I would not be without it and would highly recommend it to everyone else looking to make a go of their own business, whether that business is writing or not.
The Startup Bible covers aspects of business that I didn't even think about let alone plan for or consider in too much depth! Take outsourcing for example. I do not like turning down work and so would rather work 20 hours if the opportunities arise than saying no. However, it pointed out that if I had too much work and not enough time then outsourcing is the best option in terms of client retention. Of course, client retention is important for any business but the possibility of giving work to another freelancer did not even enter my head! That section in the book is outstanding because it deals with everything I need to know in a straightforward and yet comprehensive manner. All sections are like that in fact and all of them are equally impressive.
Even if you do not read the book all the way through, The Startup Bible is a handy manual to have on your desk for reference. All of the information is aimed at the individual business owner and is based on principles that have helped others succeed in the past. As such, it is a good investment as it will not date. You will need other resources for certain areas. Take blogging for example. There is very little on it in the book but then there is enough about that on the Internet. Most of the information given in the book is hard to find online, or at least hard to find in one place. As a result, I would highly recommend it.
You can view the book and buy it here at Amazon: Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible. It is well worth every penny.