Whether you are a start up, a freelancer/contractor or running a small business Quantum understands that sometimes you need some help or inspiration from others. We have put together a selection of our favourite resources - and hope they help you too.
The CaFe is an information resource portal for contractors and freelancers all over the world. You can find news, advice and guidance as well as discussion boards on topics like umbrella contracting and a jobs board
Jam-packed site full of useful stuff for sub-contractors, Everything from contracts, disputes and adjudication to marketing, blogs and The Little Book of Crap Advice for Specialist Sub-Contrators"
Don't miss your weekly fix of contractor tax & business news. A host of resources regarding contractor's guides, insurance and finance are available. Be sure to check out the 'Popular Articles' section and the 'Top Providers' list of contractor vendors.
Not construction specific but useful site with loads of helpful, businessy stuff and more than 20 different contractor calculators.
In their own words “Freelance Advisor is written and run by freelancers and contractors for freelancers and contractors". Authentic content brought to you by your peers, don't forget to check out the 'Recommend Reading' and 'Reader Offers' columns.
To the point, basic but helpful stuff if you're starting a business or running a small outfit
Sister site to startups.co.uk this is packed full of guides to marketing, planning, finance, law and other aspects of business
No one has time to read business books right? Most are far too often just academic and not practical. But we've found a few that are worth your time. From practical problem-solving reference books to stories from other businesses that will inspire you. We've also added in a few titles tried and tested and recommended by experts and other business owners.
Running a Successful Construction Company (For Pros By Pros) by David Gerstel This went down well with others in the same game.
“I am a builder in Scotland and there is not much advice and support on running a building company up here at all. I stumbled across this book and it has become a bible for me which has some excellent advice."
“As a result of reading this book I am making a progressive move into managing my company instead of trying to do everything and being on the tools all the time."
“Most people who start construction companies start out as construction workers who get an opportunity. They are often brilliant at building, but lack training in the business aspect of running a company. This book is helpful in that it really explains the business end of the construction industry. It will tell you the logistics of bidding, tracking expenses, labor costs, time sheets, draws, and all kinds of other things the those not familiar with the industry might have problems with the first go round. It helps you to figure out all of the little things that you might forget."
“As somebody who was in the business for almost 20 years, I wish this book was around when I first started. It covers all the bases and offers good advice on where to obtain the necessary items you'll need to get up and going.
“This has been a real eye opening book. This book has helped me to organize my accounting system in more streamline manner. I have put a plan together to implement more of the systems into my business. This book is a must for anyone getting in or already in the construction business. It explains so many aspects of the business that no one tells you about."
Millionaire Contractor Book: An Indispensable Guide to Starting or Growing a Successful Contracting Company
This is American so some of the content won't apply but many of its principles are relevant and there's still lots of useful stuff. It's a simple step-by-step guide to starting or growing a successful construction or contracting company. This book is loaded with progressive and modern techniques for becoming highly profitable quickly. Marketing for contractors, Sales for Construction businesses, Accounting for Contractors, Construction Contracts, Contracting Forms, Customizable Construction Forms, it's in here.
Bog-Standard Business - How I took the plunge and became the Millionaire Plumber
Charlie Mullins call himself the millionaire plumber. He went from being a North London street urchin to owning London's biggest independent plumbing firm, Pimlico Plumbers which he built from scratch into a £20 million a year business. This is his story in which he reveals how he survived his tough upbringing, bid a painful farewell to his first passion – boxing, worked his way up from apprentice, through sheer hard graft and determination, to conquer the plumbing world. It's a valuable insight into how to build a business and the courage required to make it a success.
Start it Up: Why Running your own Business is Easier than you Think, by Luke Johnson.
A successful businessman and gifted columnist, his views carry clout.
Younger entrepreneurs, Johnson says, tend to have more appetite for risk (“when you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose"), but he does encourage mature entrepreneurs. “Their experience and their wisdom will be their secret weapon," he says. “The veteran generation can take its revenge by going freelance and doing well in the self-employed world."
The most successful entrepreneurs, Johnson cautions, “are not the same as other people. They have an ambition, a competitive urge and a lust to take risks that is way beyond the norm."
But one reviewer warns this book is only for those already brimming with confidence. Those with smaller kahoonas may be overwhelmed by Johnson's views, which include such wisdom as staying physically fit and marrying later in life if you're committed to successful entrepreneurship.
The Rebel Entrepreneur by Jonathan Moules
This is heaving with personal stories and will reassure new entrepreneurs that they're not alone. They'll be encouraged that bootstrapping (ie, “the value of having no money") is seen as critical to business success. While Moules – and FT writer – admires entrepreneurs, he shows that they are often flawed, lucky, certainly adaptable, and always persistent. “Entrepreneurs are not those who push their original ideas at all costs but those who work out which of their original assumptions are wrong and stop pursuing them."
The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day by Alex Goldfayn.
A series of 22 different techniques businesses can use to improve how they communicate their value to present and future customers.
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business by Paul Downs (Blue Rider Press).
A memoir – not a manual – about life as a small business owner, complete with honest reflections on failures and shortcomings.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
“[I was so] excited to read this study of brilliant performing businesses and I felt like I recognised and agreed with so many elements of what Collins was describing. In particular, learning about 'Level 5 leadership' was inspiring and something to aim for in my own leadership," says one business owner about this book.
Also check out Jim Collins's established classic, Built to Last. A well respected book about building visionary organizations that prosper long into the twenty-first century and beyond. A coherent framework of practical concepts to be applied by managers at various levels.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Recognised as one of the most influential books ever written. It presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems. Includes penetrating insights.
One minute manager
This best seller starts from the assumption that people are every company's most important resource, and sets out three simple steps to getting the best from them and making every company run more efficiently. Quick to read and full of useful techniques.