Meet the team

Meet the team

Working together: meet the people behind Essential Business

Julie Stanford

Publishing Consultant, Essential Business publications

Julie StanfordJulie is the founder and creator of the Essential Business range of guides, workbooks and courses. She not only had the original idea, but also designed The Essential Business Guide, as well as our other publications. Julie has run her own businesses since 1981 when she built her own successful graphic design company. She founded Essential Business in 2002.

An Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Julie is also past Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Brighton and past President of the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 she was awarded an Honorary MA by the University of Brighton Business School for her work with businesses in Brighton & Hove and with the university.

Now that Essential Business is part of Enterprise Exchange, Julie manages the publishing and production aspects of Essential Business. For more information about bespoke design and publishing, please contact Phil Ashford directly on 07740 022797.


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Other important contributors to Essential Business

Marianne Whitfield

Essential Business consultant

marianne_teamMarianne was involved with Essential Business for many years and was involved in various publications, including Understanding Your Business Finances. She has worked with hundreds of corporate, public sector and professional clients to create and develop bespoke information solutions for their small and micro-business customers. She has a keen understanding the realities, pitfalls and day-to-day frustrations of running a business, but is also aware of the pride, fun and satisfaction of getting things right.

James Pike


jamespike_teamJames was chosen to provide the photographs for The Essential Business Guide due to his rare ability to make ordinary people look extraordinary. The majority of images in the book are by James – great photos of real business people. You can also see some of his photography on this website (see below).

Talking of photography…
The majority of the photographs used throughout this website are taken by James and feature real businesses. Our thanks to Alexanders Uphosterers, Beads Unlimited, Cellular Solutions, FDM Group, The Home Catery, Hugo Morris Bespoke, Rise Sales Development, Vine Resources and Zippy Engineering for allowing us to use these pictures of them going about their daily business.

Jane Priddis

Marketing Consultant

janepriddis_teamJane wrote the Marketing section of The Essential Business Guide and a large part of Planning and Starting Your Business. She is a marketing consultant expert and consultant and runs her own consultancy business, PlusOne. She is also a Senior Lecturer the University of Brighton, teaching retail management, consumer psychology, international marketing and strategy to MBA and final year students.

Anna McGrail

Editorial Consultant

annemcgrail_teamAnna is responsible for shaping the content of The Essential Business Guide. Anna has many years of editorial experience in publishing, both as a freelance and a managing editor, she has started and run a highly successful company, and is the author of several books.

Paul Williams

Graphic Designer

paulwilliams_teamPaul is a freelance graphic designer who works mainly in the design for print field, undertaking anything from advertising to complete corporate identity solutions. Paul worked with Julie on the original Essential Business brand as well as the look and feel of the publications.