The Business Rules

Author: Jo Haigh
Price: £12.99
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Pages: 237
ISBN: 0749927062

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Author Jo Haigh, who has 25 years’ experience in business, is well known as a lecturer at the Institute of Directors. She has put together a book intended to give the owners or managers of small businesses a guide to the risks they face – often without realising it.

The book is structured to allow ease of access to different topics, including company structure, funding, compliance, people and personal liabilities, through to management, tax and accounting, and ‘exiting’. The glossary is helpful, although in some places overly basic.

In the relatively small number of pages, a mighty challenge exists to identify 100 hidden pitfalls. Does it manage this? Yes – to an extent.

Most of the book is very readable and easy to assimilate, and Haigh’s early training in the legal profession is evident in this. How many of the pitfalls are really hidden is less clear. And any practitioner will know those within their own areas of expertise.

It shows the reader that, with the voluminous amounts of legislation in place, there will always be areas that could catch you out.

The concepts of ultra vires (acts attempted by a corporation that are beyond the scope of its power), vicarious liability and employer’s liability (both corporate and personal), are well covered. It is all very well learning what the hidden pitfalls are, but it would have been more useful to give clear and concise advice on how to avoid these in the first place. It covers some good ground, but it will not replace effective advice from a good practitioner.

Useful? 3 out of 5

Well-written? 4 out of 5

Practical? 2 out of 5

Inspirational? 2 out of 5

Value for money? 4 out of 5

Overall 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Ron Hancock, bursar and clerk,Bradford Grammar School

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