Cheryl Rickman Interview

Cheryl has been a freelance writer for the past nine years, writing on business issues for Better Business and Internet Works magazine, and interviewing business leaders and music celebrities. As well as writing The Small Business Start-Up Workbook, which has a foreword by Dame Anita Roddick, Cheryl is author of booklets, 111 winning ways to promote your website successfully and 127 insider ideas on creating a winning website and hase been a Judge at Hampshire’s Awards of Web Excellence for the past two years.


The Interview

DS: What inspired you to follow an entreprenerial path and in particular what inspired you to write the Small Business Handbook?

CR: Well, I was never the ‘selling packets of sweets’ kind of playground budding entrepreneur at school, and my main dream was to become a freelance writer, but somewhere at the back of my mind I liked the idea of running my own business, something small and (dare-I-say-it) manageable. (I now know that smaller businesses are often harder to manage due to the lack of people to delegate tasks to).

However, it was mainly circumstance that led me to start-up, and the support and encouragement of my partner, James. And I think it is that circumstance – which creates entrepreneurs. The majority of self-made types are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.


Also, I guess some of my ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ came from my mum. She passed away in 1991 when I was just 17. And, to cope with the trauma and loss, I began to fill my time with trying to further my writing career. Years after her death, one of my mother’s best friends told me that mum always believed that I would someday run my own business. I had no idea that she thought that until a few years into my first business, but that gave me the inspiration I needed to think about writing my book. Having succeeded in business through a combination of determination and my own trial and error, I longed to write a book that would offer insight and encouragement to young entrepreneurs like me who dreamt of running their own business, but didn’t have the faintest idea where to start. Ultimately, The Small Business Start-Up Workbook is the culmination of that dream.

DS: Did you have any help setting up WebCritique your first company or were you going it alone?

CR: In terms of advice I received help and guidance from my Local Enterprise Agency, but got most of the information I needed from the web. In terms of finance my personal bank turned me down for a business loan, so I set up a new account – great while it was free, but not so