Helpful Books becoming Employee Owned

Handing over the keys…

Exciting news – The Helpful Book Company is becoming employee owned. Here’s a link to a copy of Tim’s email announcing it and what it means.

In case you’re wondering a bit more about what it all means, here are some questions and answers:

  • What about the weekly emails? Will they stop? No – don’t worry, they’ll carry on. Julie will take over writing them – she’s been involved in many of our most popular books (and the Life and health email series a few years back) so she’s the ideal person to carry on with them.
  • What about the books – who’ll keep them up to date and write new ones? Well, if you look inside the cover of most of our existing books, you’ll see I’ve had a lot of help from Julie, Claire, Ellen amongst others. They’ll still be here, updating the existing books and no doubt writing new ones.
  • So who’ll be actually running the company? Laura. She joined back in 2006 so she knows how it all works inside out. In fact she’s been running it day to day for a good while now, so it’s not that big a change for her to step into Tim’s shoes!
  • So what does being “Employee owned” actually mean? In a nutshell, we set up a trust that technically owns the company and operates it – and that trust is there to run it on behalf of the employees. It means if anyone new joins, they automatically start getting the benefit of being an owner (and if anyone leaves, they stop). There’s more about this kind of Employee owned company on the Employee Ownership Association website.
  • Does that mean you’re just giving the business away? Not quite – I like to think I’m generous, but not quite that generous. But instead of having to dip their hands in their pockets, the employees can pay me out of future profits. It’s not quite giving it away free, but it’s a bit like it.
  • But without you, Tim, who’ll eat all the biscuits and drink all the tea? (ahem)  Well, it’s hard to replace me in one person. But Claire is a dedicated tea drinker, surpassing even me… and Mike is a dab hand at eating biscuits.  So I think they’ll get by!

And for any media types reading, here’s a link to the official press release.