Blog posts in the category Business Inspiration

10 Books to Read for Small Business Owners

Books, camera and artwork arranged on wooden bookshelves

Running a small business can be a challenge, but there are plenty of books out there to help you start a business, organise and set goals, understand budgeting, marketing and promotion and just be generally business savvy.

Business books don’t have to be tedious; there are a lot of engaging books out there to choose from, so why not relax, unwind and learn some valuable


How To Turn Your Hobby into an Online Business

jane Duke in her printmaking studio

Professional painter and printmaker and mum of two, Jane Duke shares the story of Stoneflower Studio, her home business in York.

After exploring several different career paths, Jane went back to the drawing board - literally - and turned her painting and printmaking hobby into a business.


10 Reasons Why Working For Yourself Is Awesome

Woman's hands writing in a notebook, coffee and croissant

Do you ever sit at your desk and daydream about working from home, choosing your own hours, and only having yourself to answer to?

Many people are becoming disenchanted with the tedium of a regular 9-5 job. Here are 10 reasons why self-employment is worth the risk.


6 Small Business Success Stories

A girl at her desk thinking

Are you laying in bed at night, thinking about that new idea and mapping out your future business plans, product launches and eventual world domination? Turn your dream into reality with the inspiration of real entrepreneurs! Read about these 6 successful female business owners who share their stories and top tips on starting out and becoming your own boss.


Turning Passion Into Profit: A Skincare Success Story

With passion, planning and dedication you can turn your idea into a thriving business, and natural skincare specialist Jessica has done just that. To run her business more productively and profitably, she turned to accounting service Angel Books. Read all about her story and how connecting her Create website with Angel Books has benefitted her growing company.


Interview With the Founder of Angel Books

Want to be more efficient and run your business productively? There's a great service available to manage your stock, make VAT returns easy and determine which of your products are the most profitable - now you can connect this service with your Create website for free! Perfect for any business, read all about Angel Books.


Top Tips For Starting Your Own Baking Business

Picture of a book, macaroons and wine on a table

Last night marked the penultimate episode of this year’s Great British Bake Off - and we’ve been hooked! There’s even baking fever in the office, and we’ve gone from the most delicious, gooey, chocolate-filled Guinness cake to another slightly boozy Gin and Tonic cake (recipes lie with your Account Manager).

So, if you’re a keen baker and have been inspired to turn your love of cake into a business, we got in touch with local Brighton baker "Buddy's Home Bakery" to find out how they did just that! Read on for their top tips on getting started in the baking industry.


Meet Rhodesian of Edinburgh, Leather Bag Makers

Rhodesian of Edinburgh logo with image of model and bags

What can we say about Rhodesian of Edinburgh? This Mother and Daughter team Katrina & Charlotte founded the company in early 2014 and have not looked back!

Their ethos is to make gorgeous leather goods that last a lifetime. The bags are crafted using traditional skills, and all start life as drawings which are then transferred to paper and stapled together. This detailed way of creating the designs ensures that they're functional as well as beautiful and ... we can't get enough of them!


Interview with the Founder of Thrasion

Pile of second hand skateboards next to logo

There's nothing better than seeing an innovative idea become a thriving business, and that's just what bespoke jewellers Thrashion have done. Offering unique and interesting pieces that are good for the environment, there isn't anything not to love. Read all about how Thrashion have flourished over the years and their top tips for success.


Meet the Crafty Calf, Papercutting Extraordinaire

The Craft Calf logo and papercut product form the website

It is really fantastic seeing what our customers are up to, we love seeing how their businesses evolve and grow online. The all new Customer Showcase is an inside look into the world of the Create customer and a brilliant excuse to pick their brains for their hints, tips and success stories! Starting a business online is both an exciting and nerve wracking time, so for all the Startups out there, read on for a bit of reassurance and a lot of inspiration.


Site of the Month: Rock Paper Sisters

RockPaperSisters website

September's Site of the Month is the super stylish, a UK-based, family run t-shirt design company established in 2013. From kids tees to gym vests, there's something for everyone so if you like unique, individual designs then RockPaperSisters is the site for you! I


Site of the Month: Simply Solids

Site Of The Month: Simply Solids is an online shop that sells a huge range of solid and plain fabrics plus pre-cuts of fresh modern designer prints. Their stunning website was built with Create's Web Designer's Kit allowing them to have a custom template that they can manage from their Create account.


Site of the Month: Cocoa & Heart

Cocoa and Heart logo

We spoke with 'Cocoa & Heart', a business that focuses on providing baking courses for a beautiful array of different delicacies, such as home-baked bread, chocolate truffles and lots more.

Eloquently quoted on their website 'Cocoa & Heart was born out of a real passion for all things handmade and it is the sole work of Magdalena Marsden' (pictured right).

We’ve caught up with Magdalena to talk about all things baking! We also learn about how she put the business together and some of the pleasant surprises she gathered along the way.


Site of the Month: Elizabeth Ackerley

Elizabeth Ackerley

June's Site of the Month is the fantastic Elizabeth Ackerley, which offers a range of bespoke personalised products, perfect for treasuring any memory.

From Gingerbread families to Tooth Fairy pillows, Forever Letters to bespoke Hearts, Elizabeth's products are perfect for all occasions and capture those moments you want to keep forever.

This month we spoke to Elizabeth about her inspiration for the business and her creations, as well as important design elements for her website and her top tips for other business owners.


Site of the Month: Red Cherry Prints

Site of the Month: Red Cherry Prints

This time around we've been speaking with Justine Gray, the founding owner of 'Red Cherry Prints' and this months 'Site Of The Month' titleholder!

Red Cherry Prints create unique typographic prints inspired by vintage/retro style and popular culture

We spoke with Justine about


Site of the Month: Thrashion

Thrashion Logo

In September's Site of the Month, we chat to Thrashion founder and skateboarder Nat Rigby about her fantastic online shop, her unique business idea, how she achieved press recognition and worldwide stockists and the work she does with professional skateboarders and charities.

Taking a look at the number of film remakes on at the cinema and how many cover versions and remixes you hear in TV ads these days, it's clear to all that we're now firmly in the age of recycling.

Online business and Create shop Thrashion knows this better than most; but instead of turning broken skateboards (or "thrashed decks", to use the vernacular) into soulless rehashes, this company reincarnates each scrap of wood into stylish and unique homewares and fashion accessories for men and women.


Gifts For Kids By Create Customers

Gifts For Kids banner

Today the nation celebrates another reason to enjoy a tipple in the sunshine with the birth of a royal baby! Congratulations Wills and Kate from the Create team!


Site of the Month: Downhead Manor Farm

Downhead Manor Farm logo

What sets Downhead Manor Farm's online presence apart from many others is the multitude of ways in which it's used - from showcasing accomodation opportunities for holidaymakers to offering information on its flora and fauna and farm-reared meats.

In this month's Site of the Month, we're talking to Caroline Clark, owner of, about the family business she helps and what makes a good farming website.


How You Could Use a Create Shop to Improve Your Business

Innovative Create Checkouts Worth Checking Out

Selling online can provide a lucrative income, but perhaps you feel you are not a traditional ecommerce trader?

In this blog we'll be looking at innovative ways in which the Create Community have used Create's shop checkout to boost their business and give you some ideas for how you could apply this to your own.

Summer might only just have arrived but for many online retailers Christmas is already on its way. Why not start a new adventure and get your Create online shop up and running now? Below are some great examples of Create members who have used their shop in new and exciting ways:


Site of the Month: LucyLovesThis

Lucy Loves This

A picture may speak a thousands words, but with May's Create Site of the Month the reverse is true! LucyLovesThis, set up by book cover designer Lucy Stephens and based in Brixton, London, designs and sells typographic prints inspired by things we all love; food, travel, music and more.

The brand is best known for its gastronomy maps of Europe and North America and also for the London Letters series which brings together intricate illustrations of iconic landmarks from across the capital.


Optimise Energy Interview

Optimise Energy

We at Create pride ourselves on running an ecologically sound company (operating in an office powered by its own wind turbine, among other things), which is why we're so happy to provide our services to people like Matt Hardiman at Optimise Energy, who make saving energy their business.

Hi Matt, tell us what you do at Optimise Energy

Optimise Energy provides installation, service and maintenance to electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. We are passionate about saving energy with an 'every watt counts' attitude.


LK Pilates Interview

LK Pilates

Today we're happy to invite Lara-Kate Jones from LK Pilates to talk about her work and her website. It's the fourth in a series of customer stories that showcase the range of businesses that choose to build and host their websites with Create.

Hi Lara-Kate, tell us a bit about your work.

I am a Pilates teacher and run my own business, LK Pilates. Before I had my son, I was a trained dancer and dance teacher, teaching in Secondary schools in and around London. I presumed after I had my son that I would regain my pre-pregnancy fitness level fairly easily and quickly, but this was not the case! It was Pilates that really helped me get back into shape quickly and safely.


Top 3 Uses Of Drop-Down Menus

Feature Focus Drop-Down Menus

We know how important it is for people to get around your site with ease. This is especially true if you have hundreds or products in many categories in your online shop. (We even posted


Site of the Month: Little Joy Designs

Little Joy Logo

Every month we pick a great Create website to be our Site of the Month. They are carefully-designed websites backed by fantastic stories of people putting their hearts and souls into their businesses.

Little Joy Designs uses minimal, yet colourful design elements to give a wonderful sense of space that really allows the quirky and cute products on sale to shine.


Business Mums' Spotlight - The Little Lilypad


The Little Lilypad Company is a website built by parents for parents. Donna has two daughters, one 6 years old and the other only a month old! At the heart of the Lilypad is family, and this is the foundations that the business has been built upon.

Donna, how did you come up for the idea for The Little Lilypad Co.?

The business was started in early 2010 through my


Business Mums' Spotlight - The Organic Toy Company

Organic Toys

The Organic Toy Company is a family run business, founded by Natalie Southgate, to provide parents with a wide choice of Organic, natural toys and gifts for babies and children.


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