I've got shelves of business books on just about every aspect of the start-up process, and culture. I've only got about five that I regularly refer to. This little book is one of the newcomers and in fact it also references to the other five. None of the ideas presented are particularly new but they're brought together in a clear way, concepts are explained clearly and in the right order and all with a good dose of pragmatism and common sense. You can dip into this book as and when required, although I'd recommend a reading from start to finish for any would-be business owner/entrepreneur. This is an easily readable run through of all the issues that need to be considered. Subjects that elsewhere become bogged down in too much theory and over complication are here given clear treatment by someone who has been through the hoops and knows what they're talking about.
This is the book I wished I'd had before setting out on my first start-up. It would have saved a lot of time, money and pain. The hardest thing I found when starting-out was to figure out how to handle the financial planning and modelling for the business, and integrate that into all the other things that needed to be considered. I really like the section in this book that provides a very useful financial template and walks you through how to use it. I regularly use the template with a couple of customisations. I also particularly like the section on marketing and selling. As a technologist/engineer in the early days non-technology issues like "selling" held a distinct confusion. What you need is a way to think about selling and how that integrates into the business planning process, and also the issues that need to be considered and the decisions that need to be taken. Okay, in the end, you've got to go out there in the real world and do your stuff but it helps a lot if you and the team have an overall idea of where you're going, what you want to do, and how you're going to do it. Over planning can kill the entrepreneurial spirit, but the truth is that every second spent working some of the basics out together beforehand will save time and money later, and will also ensure a much better chance of success. My main reason for giving this book a five star rating is that a start-up is about achieving a co-ordinated set of actions and a whole view of the world and this book provides a means to an integrated view and the models and ideas chosen aid also the integrative process.
And the pain? Yes, that's when you've got the business, your little baby, up and running you think you've cracked it and will be able to start paying off some of the loans you've accumulated, and then find out you've slipped up on the legal stuff, or the company structure, or forgotten to protect the idea in the right way. If nothing else buy this little book as start-up check list and as a source of some important references. And remember to have fun!
A really useful book for those launching a business to make and sell a new product. Packed full of helpful and encouraging advice, written by someone who's been through the pain and pleasure, and in a highly readable style, without waffle, legal or financial jargon.
The chapters on analysing the market opportunity, financing a business and creating a financial model are particularly strong. The simple and easy to follow steps to creating your financial model are worth the price of the book alone.
The book covers all the vital items you need to consider when starting out on the exciting adventure of begining a business. This book is exactly what every participant in TV's Dragon's Den needs to read before appearing on the show.
A fantastic overview of the key elements of business-start-up- particularly good for students as it gives real hands-on, straightforward advice to getting your business off the ground.
University of Reading