After Annette posted about the book I also received a review copy.
The book is very focused on the processes of opening up a chocolate shop. It does not cover any aspect of manufacturing chocolate (i.e., from beans) or making any type of chocolate product. It assumes that the person opening up the shop will be selling products manufactured by someone else.
Because it is an e-Book, it is more up to date than a dead-tree book can hope to be. Once the book is "done" to get it ready for distribution is a matter of hours not months. Also, making changes to correct factual errors is also easy to do. I know because I pointed them out and the publishers of the book assured me they will take steps to fix them.
That said, the book is intended to be evergreen and is meant to cover "timeless" issues, not trends. So there is no discussion (for example) of what hot flavors are or are going to be or whether or not selling origin chocolate bars is an absolute necessity. Instead the book focuses on basic business issues that many of us don't know we need to know about. For example, there's a discussion about different ways to calculate profit margins and how to think about that. But it doesn't tell you what mix of products you'll need to carry - that will depend a lot on the kind of store you want and where you're located.
Overall, especially for the price, this is a book that everyone who wants to open up a shop should very strongly consider buying. It will save you the cover price more or less immediately and may keep you from making some very expensive mistakes.
I am new to this great forum and learning the chocolate business by reading all the discussions that took place here some time ago. I do not know if you will read my message as I see the discussion about this book took place long time ago. Anyway, I want to have a question here? I have bought this book and I fount it was very helpful to me. But as you said here the book is not about the manufacturing process. So the question is can you suggest similar book that covers the process of manufacturing the chocolate? Thank you
Anyway, just wanted to comment on the fabguide. I have not completed it so take this with a grain of salt.
I am currently reading it and here's my two cents. If you are just a real beginner and have not yet written a business plan, or spent any amount of time Googling things like local distributors, packaging, rental rates/agreements and the like then it is great. I skimmed over the business plan and this would have been very helpful when writing mine. Also some good stats to fill it out. Its a good jumping off point. But simplistic. I would compare it to the Dummies Guides and say check out the Dummies Guide to Small Business Start-Up from the library. You can keep it overdue for a long time for $40.
If on the other hand you believe that they will give you links to things like the "right" equipment to buy specific to chocolate storage/display/, or a store layout plan (read- retail store not production facility), or Canada specific distributors of these items you may be disappointed. It seems to assume that Canada and the US are the same place in some instances, whereas if you've tried importing things like packaging or food to Canada you know ends up costing you double. This may be due to some things being unavailable in Canada and this is where Im struggling now.
I purchased it and it's OK. The sample biz plan is good if you haven't ever seen something like that. The information on profit margins is a good start, too. It does lack a bit of depth but is a good starting point.