In 1992 I wrote a book aimed to help people who were starting or running small businesses, mostly in the clothing trade.. It was serialised in MENSWEAR magazine and advertised in the trade press.

One clothing manufacturer ordered 100 copies to distribute to all his retail customers!

Although it is really only a 54 page home published textbook, it sold several hundred copies and attracted a lot of favourable comment. It seemed to fulfil its purpose – namely to offer practical advice to small entrepreneurs.

Some of the comments were……..

“Stayed up till 3.00 a.m. to finish it – marvellous stuff!”

“One idea alone has made me thousands of pounds!”

“I need the Vaughan Davies school of advertising and to learn from the master”

“The book is simply terrific.”

Reading it today I am conscious that some of it is out of date – the word ‘computer ‘is hardly used, for instance. Also the importance of ‘labels’ and designer names has overtaken some of the advice on buying stock, and these days small businesses are scarcer than they were.

Times have indeed moved on, but I have been encouraged by recent comments to offer it to anyone interested in the elementary principles involved in the noble art of doing one’s own thing against the big boys. A synopsis of chapter headings follows.

Chapter 1
Opening a shop of your own.
Facing the facts. Commitment. Luck. Finding Premises. Shop fitting.

Chapter 2
Accounts, book-keeping and cashflow.
Statutory books. Management accounts. Starting-up costs. Capital. Overheads.

Chapter 3
Buying your stock. Identifying your market.
Specialisation Finding suppliers. How to survive a trade show. Placing orders and controlling your stock. Placing the order. Size scales. Stock turn. Shrewd buying.

Chapter 4
How should you price your goods?
Mark-ups. Margins. Price points. Putting on a Sale.

Chapter 5
Staff and Customers.
Staff recruitment. Commission and incentive schemes. Selling skills. “Just looking, thank you!”. The Customer. Shoplifting,

Chapter 6
Advertising and Display.
The magic of Press advertising. Media. Below the line. Window dressing.

I Franchising
II Cash flow & Stock movement charts
III Profit and how it all works
IV Layout of an advert (example)

The book is now just £5 to anyone sending an A4 stamped addressed envelope to me at:

Richard Vaughan-Davies
Rock Cottage

Tel 01352 810880