I wanted to read this book for 2 reasons:
- I want to serve and reach female entrepreneurs, so I strive to make myself aware of what advice is being presented to women. When I know the content of these books, it helps me guide people to good resources or steer them away from bad advice.
- I am a fan of Dave Ramsey’s personal finance advice, and this author is part of the “Ramsey Solution” family of authors. I was very happy that Dave brought on a young, female entrepreneur onto his team to encourage women to get into business for themselves.
Who was this book written for:
This book has an extremely clear audience. It is written for WOMEN who want to make a BUSINESS out of their PASSION. This could be a woman who loves to knit or a women who loves saving cats off the street. Whatever her passion is, this books gives some structure and guidance around building that into a business idea.
Newcomers to business need not be scared of the content, it is written in a way that is digestible for anyone who does not have extensive business training or acumen. I really commend Christy Wright on her clear and casual style that is extremely approachable. She breaks down the basics of running a business that can be applied to anyone who either wants to start a business or has started and wants help getting more clear on direction and organization.
Meat of the book:
Business Boutique helps business owners clarify some of the big topics that become the building blocks of a business plan. Christy has an awesome story about growing up learning about business from her mom. She went to work with her mom in the wee hours of the morning and would assist and watch as her mother baked cakes and goodies to earn a living for the single-parent family. Because of her experience with the bakery, she uses a cake metaphor on how to build a solid business plan. She has come up with “Tiers” in her business plan that an entrepreneur needs to develop in order to build a solid business. Here’s the breakdown:
Tier 1 is the foundation of the business. In order to build your foundation, you need to:
- Determine and clarify WHY you want to start your business
- Dream and set goals for what you want your business to do for you, your family, and/or the world
Tier 2 is where you determine how the business is uniquely “you”:
- Clarify you strengths and how you will use those strengths to your advantage in the business
- Determine how you will make money in the business by doing the thing you love
- Determine how you will plan and use your time available to move your business forward
Tier 3 is where you focus on the operations of the business:
- Determine how you will deliver your service/product to customers and work on logistics of how your business will run
- Choose a platform to sell your product/services
- Set up your guiding documents and policies for your business to avoid uncomfortable scenarios with clients/customers
Tier 4 is working on the marketing and outward presence of your business:
- Work on your branding and decide how you want to present yourself to customers/clients
- Do research and determine who needs and wants what you are selling so you can get yourself in front of them
You can learn more about the business plan on her website or through the book (we are not affiliated).
This business plan will leave you with a good understanding of what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you will get paid to do it, and how you will tell people about your business. It’s a great start for anyone confused about where to start. It’s essential for all business owners to have a good written business plan and goals as they are beginning the entrepreneurial journey. I do want to emphasize though, that this “Tier” plan of Christy’s is a starting point. In a year or two of operation, all business owners will need to revisit the plan and work to clarify and make these points very concrete and more specific for measurable results.
Since Christy Wright is a part of the Ramsey Solutions family, she encourages business owners to run their business debt free. I am particularly fond of this advice, and it aligns with what I tell business owners to strive for. This books suggests saving money to start a business or even doing pre-sales in order to start purchasing product to sell. Christy also reminds business owners to open a business bank account right away and to not mix business with personal – another one of my financial rules.
Who needs this book?
I think Business Boutique should be read by any woman who is intimidated by the idea of starting something for herself, anyone with fear about being “good enough”, anyone with “impostor syndrome”, or any woman needing some structure on where to get started. This is an encouraging book, so ladies who need encouragement to get going – here you go!
I will probably be buying this book for a few friends that I have been trying to encourage to start their own business. I know many women think “oh, no one else would pay me to do their graphic design” or “I enjoy decorating my own home, but I’m not good enough to do that for a living” or “there are too many other people in photography, I’m not special”. This book helps women see that their unique perspective on life and their unique experience makes their talents special and marketable in the world. I am 100% in agreement with Christy that we have many women who are very capable and talented that are holding themselves back from being in business for themselves because they worry about the logistics of it all. Business Boutique helps guide the uneasy entrepreneur to (in Tim Gunn’s famous words) “make it work”.