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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic and to the point
I was pleasantly surprised by Freesourcing. I half expected it to be either full of magical thinking nonsense or totally impractical, but it turned out to be energetic, concise, and to the point about starting up a company or several companies with minimal or no resources other than your own time and dedication.

It's not going to turn you into an...
Published on 27 May 2010 by mr_ska

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point
Jonathan Yates has compiled a huge list of tips and pointers for how to start your business for next to nothing. Obviously not everything is included here and the practicalities of some of his suggestions will most likely vary wildly.

Where this book works best is as inspiration, suddenly everything seems much more doable. For evey doubt you have about you...
Published on 16 Jun. 2010 by Mr. T. Brandon


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic and to the point, 27 May 2010
By 
mr_ska (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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I was pleasantly surprised by Freesourcing. I half expected it to be either full of magical thinking nonsense or totally impractical, but it turned out to be energetic, concise, and to the point about starting up a company or several companies with minimal or no resources other than your own time and dedication.

It's not going to turn you into an entrepreneurial genius overnight, but it does lay out all the basic things you need to know and gives you a good 'shape' for your attitude towards getting things done. So if you think of it as a very well written and enjoyable start point you will be on the right track.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point, 16 Jun. 2010
By 
Mr. T. Brandon "timmy88" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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Jonathan Yates has compiled a huge list of tips and pointers for how to start your business for next to nothing. Obviously not everything is included here and the practicalities of some of his suggestions will most likely vary wildly.

Where this book works best is as inspiration, suddenly everything seems much more doable. For evey doubt you have about you potential business Yates has the freesourcing solution.

A perfect gift for that person in your life who is always dreaming of starting their own business but lets their doubts and fears get in the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Off to a good start, 21 Mar. 2010
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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Thankfully, I got this book through freesourcing, something the author will, justifiably, be proud of. If you're thinking of starting a business, then this book is filled with useful tips on, as the title states, how to get products and services for pretty much nothing at all. I particularly liked the free computer and software, for instance.

However, as we all know, starting a business is one thing, running it to prosperity is quite another, given that so many hundreds of thousands of them fail - usually within the first three years. As such this book should have a health warning attached.

Having a good idea, putting it into the commercial world and making a go of it is not something you'll learn from the pages of this book. Most entrepreneurs are not entrepreneurs, they are just individuals with thoughts of becoming a self-made man/woman, witness all those daft schemes we see on Dragon's Den. Having been there and done that, got the T-shirt for free (sample sent in the hope of a larger order) I see no mention of red tape, employment laws, only a brief mention of the Data Protection Act and a myriad of other snags and obstacles the innocent tyro will have to face on this long and hazardous journey.

Nonetheless, this book really does have some great suggestions and some excellent contact points. In the end, no book will ever create an entrepreneur; it's in the blood and it's certainly not for everybody. Where this book gains is that quite a lot of the content is for everybody, especially now that we are constantly exhorted to save money by recycling.You don't need to be running a business to use some of his suggestions. In my case, thanks to the author, I now know how to actively use my old mobile. Sorry, Tesco, I was going to get a few green points but have decided to obtain a free SIM card instead and use it for incoming calls only.

The irony, of course, is that if you do freesource, you'll need to get this book for nothing, something I expect the author would prefer didn't happen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No such thing as a free lunch, 21 Mar. 2010
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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I had my suspicions that this was going to be a wildly impractical book about ligging your way to the moment when you set up your own business (and after). The strap line "No Cash? No Problem" is being economical in more ways than one.

In fact the book contains a lot of useful information and some nice lateral thinking. There are certainly a lot of resources available for free to those starting out, certainly more than a decade ago, and using them can help you concentrate your resources on what was important - stock and production. Perhaps the most valuable advice is that about combatting the lonely life of the entrepreneur. The various blogs and fora now available are most valuable to the individual whose initial enthusiasm has just begun to flag. This is a key that I see frequently when doing pro bono work.

But all this useful advice aside unless you are in a narrow band of businesses or have demonstrable skills you are still going to need working capital and it will still come from that brave triumvirate; Friends, Fools and Family. The book enhances your resources but does not fill the Equity Gap.

Because of the ever changing nature of internet resources this book is going to need updating, but the author provides his own website links to assist.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tips but with a fundamental flaw, 18 Mar. 2010
By 
J. Baldwin "Reader" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
At first glance this is an interesting book full of tips for people setting up their own business, something many of my own students set out to do. Indeed, I give similar advice to them so may well recommend this book and save my voice!

But there is a bit of a flaw. The book contains several "freeq" tips that are designed to show how much someone can save by taking the "free" option. For example, an hour of intellectual property lawyer's time is priced at £150. A three page web site from a designer is £1000. And accountant's time for a year is £2500. Imagine how much you'll "save" if you skip all that!

Well, here's how much you'll save: nothing. Indeed it may well cost you.

If you have something that's worth protecting with intellectual property rights, it's worth spending money on getting it done properly. If you want a web site that attracts new business, use a professional. It will pay for itself. And the point of an accountant isn't simply that they do your accounts, it's that they save you time, and hopefully save you money.
Here's the fundamental flaw. Your time is money. If you're doing your own accounts you're using your time and that's time you're not earning money. Also if you make a mistake, or submit your accounts late, you'll be fined. In addition, you're not an accountant so you don't know what's deductible etc.
If you're doing your own web site, is it really going to be any good? How long will it take you? How much does your time cost?
And there's another fundamental flaw: imagine you want to set up a web design business and you buy this book, and you see that you're being dismissed as not worth spending money on... you see what I'm getting at?

All the advice here sort of assumes that everybody is either dispensable or out to rip you off by charging you money for something you could do yourself. Well if everyone took that attitude, there'd be no businesses at all! The economy, as the introduction rightly points out, depends on entrepreneurs. But only if those entrepreneurs not only make money, but spend money, seeing as most business is "business to business".

A much better book would be one showing how to spend money wisely: how to find a good accountant, a good designer, a good lawyer. I'm not convinced that doing it all yourself is the best way to spend the first vital months of your new venture...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good thought provoker, 25 Feb. 2010
By 
M. Bhangal "S" (Somewhere in Northern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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I'm always wary of business books that have a media friendly title, and this book is no exception. `Freesourcing' sounds like a budding internet movement. It isn't - the only place the term really comes up if you do a web search (as of this writing) is in relation to this book!

That is not a bad thing though.

It shows that the author is successfully following his own rules. By titling the book with such a media friendly term that makes itself sound far bigger than it actually is, the book becomes more saleable, and is much more likely to actually become big, or at least get some free PR.

Delving in the book, you will find similar other tricks. For example, for the single person work-from-home start-up, the book suggests playing a background CD with office noises so that when you ring people up, you sound bigger than you are. Apparently such CDs are available commercially, but of course the book states that you should record yours from a real office, because that way it is free!

Similarly, it suggests that rather than paying a market research company, just go out with a clipboard and ask people your most important couple of questions for a day, saving yourself a few grand in the process. In the same vein, rather than buying a PC with Windows and MSOffice on it, you should get your computer for free from the internet (the book provides URLS to sites where you can get a good - but old - computer for free), and load it up with one of the free open source operating systems, and the equally free OpenOffice.

As some other reviewers mention, the advice offered in this book is fairly obvious, but that is not really the point. The point is more about the mindset that the book is trying to put across - that you can get most things for free (or for much less) if you are prepared to put in a bit of time, accept slightly less quality, or use online networks, etc to flex your consumer muscle.

If you are thinking of starting up your own business, then this should not be the only book you will buy. I would recommend a more mainstream book or two as your primary sources... but as a cheap `what other options do we have for thinking out of the box' thought provoker, this book comes recommended. For less than five quid you can't really go wrong!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Free Business Start Up Sources, 6 April 2010
By 
wicket2005 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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This book is all about how to set up your prospective business without money. Listing ways to get help and resources for free.

It is divided into 7 chapters: Use What Your Have; Setting Up The Foundations of Your Business; IT and Communication; Help, Skills and Training; Research, Innovation and Prototypes; Customers, Brands, Marketing and Sales; Growth and the Next Steps.

All full of useful tips and of great value to someone trying to start their own business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's possible, and this could help, 21 Mar. 2010
By 
Mrs. R. "Polymath" (London, England, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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Since 1996 I've worked for a company that started with nothing and grew organically to £200M turnover in 2009. So... so I do know that it's possible to start a business with nothing but good ideas, skills and determination and become a millionaire. Would I want to do all that myself? Absolutely not, but it's interesting to have watched it happen. Back then, there were almost no websites; Sainsbury's had an embarrassingly naff one-page site that featured chocolates and flowers, and no website in the UK had made any money at all. The ability to reach everyone online around the globe has completely changed the way that small businesses can get started, but you still need the good ideas, skills and determination.
Freesourcing talks sense; when you're setting up on your own, you can feel isolated. When the cash doesn't flow, you can start to panic. That's when the ideas stop. This friendly little book can be your companion, the one that helps you to get started again.
It assumes that you've got an imagination, some skills you can develop and some drive of your own. Then it comes up with a dessert trolley full of suggestions. It's like having an experienced, approachable, jolly entrepreneurial chum who you can call at any moment when you've run out of steam.
You can dip in and out of it, when you've a moment to spare. Picking it up just now, I found myself wondering if I ought to advertise myself as a professional blogger, and I found that there is a government deparment that exists to help me grow my business.
Sometimes, the "hey, we can all be billionaires if we just work smart and network with pivotal partners" stuff can make you want to squirm. I like this book for its helpful but understated Britishness. It doesn't tell you to give it everything you've got and that you're destined for success; it tells you that if you give it a good go, you'll probably do quite nicely thankyou.
Put the kettle on and give it a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Starting a business on a shoestring., 18 Mar. 2010
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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Starting a business is tough. Mainly, that's because there's an inherent contradiction involved.

If you want your business to offer something nobody else can do, or at least something nobody else can copy, then you usually need a hellofava lot of money and equipment. If it's something you can get started with almost nothing, then you'll likely find that lots of other people are already doing it and that you'll have to use your own distinct personal talents to differentiate your version of the product/service from everyone else. Famously, there's no way around this. You just have to get started and get good, so that you can out-compete the others, or at least carve out a segment of the market for yourself.

Even if you're starting a business with "almost nothing" that still implies you need "something" to start. So if you truly have nothing to get you going, you're penniless, inexperienced and contactless, where do you begin? Well, this book is a good starting point. Get it out of your local library. It actually won't give you all the answers, but it will at least show you a direction.

Having started a business in the recent past myself (am I allowed to plug it here Mr Bezos? hmmmm no, I thought not!) I have to voice a little scepticism at the basic premise of this book, but I also have to say that I wish I had read it a year ago. Let's unpack that a little bit.

Even after reading this book, I still think you need some cash to get started - maybe not a lot. You need cash for the basics such as registration, credible web presence and so on. No, you don't need a lot of cash, in the UK context you'll probably get by with a couple of hundred pounds if your business is Internet friendly. But anyway, I don't quite believe the literal title of the book.

However, the bulk of the book is a really useful set of ideas and links as to how, having established your business, you can pull in all sorts of free advice, products, facilities and friends to give you a boost. I made use of the Business Link service, which was free and very good: It gives you a sanity check on your plans as well as solid advice about what you do and don't need at the outset. This book takes that onto a new plane, pointing out resources such as free software, free marketing ploys, contact resources and free sources of goods and services that you can enlist to help you in your endeavour.

It's not a long book, and (as the cover art suggests) it's a kind of notebook approach to the subject - but none the worse for that. A very valuable read for the wannabe entrepreneur and small business person alike.

Alan T
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3.0 out of 5 stars ENERGETIC GO GETTING FEEL BUT TOO SIMPLISTIC.., 4 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money (Paperback)
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Yes you can start a business for nothing - sell some stuff on ebay! So what is the secret then this book tries to convey to running a succesful business from scratch with nowt? Well, firstly it's a good read, it races through with a typical flair of an entrepeneur - "don't waste a second", and it does have a few good and original ideas, but... if you are looking to start a serious business with some growth potential to earn good money I don't think this book will teach you much, you don't know already to be honest.

The book is structured into some useful chapters so you can jump around in it to where you want to go easily enough,advising you and helping you to use what you have (free),setting up your business, it and comms, help, research, customers etc and growth -all good stuff you would think. Then, peel back the layers and let's go straight to...money "Ok what's the secret then, c'mon I am skint??" Ah you're advising me to borrow on credit cards, sell some household stuff on ebay, use savings and use my inheritance? Wow, that's orginal - you get my drift.

Maybe I am being a bit too mean, the aim of the book is to use what is free to at least get you off the ground, and for some businesses where the owner doesn't need to earn a living (students living at home, those whom have rich family that can write cheques etc) it is a good read with some good basic tips. The tone of the book does have a young feel about it as if the book is aimed at the < 25 year old's who have nothing to lose.

So, a few good tips here and there but if you are serious about your business, find something with more depth than this.
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Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money
Freesourcing: How to Start a Business with No Money by Jonathan Yates (Paperback - 20 Nov. 2009)
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