Today’s author interview is with David Ashdown from DAA Consulting.  They have released a free ebook entitled “A Guide to Starting and RUnning a Small Business.   As writers we may find the tips and guidance within a we seek to find our markets and customers to sell our stories to.  Thanks to David for his time.


So the book “A Guide to Starting and Running a Small Business” is directed at those who may be interested in starting their own company. 

Good question Alan. I meet a lot of people who want to start a business but not sure what to do. I ask them, what is it you enjoy? What interests you most, and what do you know most about?


What would be the top 3 pieces of guidance you would suggest to anyone?

 Here’s my top  3 tips:

1- – Don’t start a business for the sake of starting one, (or just to get rich) start a business around what you know and enjoy most. This way you will do it with passion.

2- make sure there is a market. Don’t start a business because you believe there is a market, do your research – build a business around a need, don’t try and create a need for something that isn’t there.

3 – Follow your dreams and don’t give up easily but be careful that you are not flogging a dead horse. As long as you have established a market, there will be a need, so keep pursing it no matter how hard it is and do your best at all times.

To sum up:

  1. i.Do what you know best
  2. ii.Research your market
  3. iii.Don’t give up, so long as you have followed No.1 & 2 above!


Does the guide, give full instructions for those who are truly new to setting up a business? Or would I need to have some basic understanding?

A basic understanding of business is not essential as there is lots of free advice and mentoring out there. My guide is purely that, and is not exhaustive, but is derived from many years of being a business owner and learning what works and what doesn’t. Being a business guru is not key, being passionate and doing your job well is. My guide offers simple, yet effective tips.


So “A Guide to Starting and Running a Small Business” is a free ebook available now?  What other services do DAA Consulting provide?

DAA Consulting was borne out of recognising that by virtue of the nature of a start up, most entrepreneurs do not have the experience and knowledge that is involved in running a successful business. It is a sad fact that many businesses fail in their early years and when I started in business almost 40 years ago, there was hardly any help and advice available. As such, having managed to survive the helter skelter of the small business world, I realised that I could save people time and energy from making mistakes and help fast track them by learning from my experiences. As such DAA Consulting loves helping new businesses and is passionate about their success. We offer a whole stream of products and services, including free advice, mentoring and guidance. We can also help with marketing, promotion, start up loans and have access to a vast network of experts, all of whom have owned and run their own business.


What has been the most challenging and also the most rewarding experience you have encountered whilst establishing a business?

Another very good question and also a tough one as there have been so many. The most challenging experience is not necessarily one particular incident but rather the realisation that you have lots of what I call ‘the 3am moment’. This is when you wake up unexpectedly in the middle of the night worrying about a particular issue or event that needs dealing with and your not quite sure how you are going to over-come it. When I speak with established business owners and they say ‘everything is ok’, I ask them what it is they are thinking of when they wake up at 3am. They immediately recognise a common trait. The most rewarding aspect is a genuine ‘Thank you’. That is when you know you have done your job well.


Some of our members/readers have written their own books, and in many ways this can be like setting up a business.  They have to research their market, design their plot, characters and background, then they have to market their product. The marketing bit can sometimes be quite challenging, what would you recommend to a single person, with a book they want to sell?

I am not in the business of selling books and have written this book as a free guide, so as a product this is not my area of expertise but as anyone selling anything, it’s always very important to firstly ensure that there is a market. In this scenario, your book would need to be interesting and be able to engage with its readers so your market research would need to include knowing that there is a demand. If your book offers useful help and advice which is beneficial to your reader then there’s a demand. Make it interesting, easy to read and fun but with a serious nature.  


I read that this is only book 1 in a series, what other books are planned?

I have already started writing my second guide which focuses on the life and times of a newly established business. The plan is to write a series of books giving advice and help to business owners at various stages of their business development, culminating with a guide to selling/exiting your business.


Can you give us a bit of information about your background and that of DAA Consulting?

With the exception of a short period in my early working life, I have always been self employed and owned my own business. I have always found it fascinating and enjoy building and developing things. This is probably why one of my first major successes was in the property development business. Whilst I would always advocate doing what it is your know best, I am always looking at opportunities. I see opportunities every day in things all around me and when somebody tells me about various everyday issues, I often come up with a way of making a business out of them. I guess I’m really an ideas man at heart and that is another reason for starting DAA Consulting, so that I can share my ideas with others. I’m planning on opening a mobile business clinic amongst other things and expanding the business network in the near future.


What is the next venture, service offering or book on the table for DAA Consulting?

We have some exciting things planned for the future of DAA Consulting, including as mentioned, a mobile business clinic. Look out for our future free e-guides and we are teaming up with even more experts in various fields who can provide good, clear, valuable advice in a cost effective way. 


Where can readers find out more, or contact you or DAA Consulting?

The best way is to join our mailing list at http://www.daa.consultingand we will keep you up to date with all our exciting news as and when it happens or if you would like to talk to somebody straight away, fill out our contact form and we will get straight back to you.  


Any final words of guidance to leave our readers with?

Talk to your partner/family, their support is invaluable. Make sure your product is a must-have not a nice-have even though it doesn’t have to be new. Know your market better than your competitors and be honest about your weaknesses. Do not promise what you cannot deliver, always add value and remember It doesn’t matter if you mess up, get back on track and keep going.  Last but not least, getting a good advisor or mentor will help you cut through the fog and focus on the things that make a difference getting more done in less time. Good luck!


Get the Free eBook of A Guide to Starting and Running a Small Business