So, You Want to Start a Business? 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap

ISBN-10: 0137126670
ISBN-13: 9780137126675
Edition: 2009
Description: More than 60% of American adults say they want to own their own business, and more than 5,000,000 new businesses are started every year. Unfortunately, 50-70% of new businesses fail. In this book, two of the world's leading experts on  More...
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List Price: $21.99
Copyright Year: 2009
Publisher: FT Press
Publication Date: 8/20/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 7.75" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.616
Language: English

More than 60% of American adults say they want to own their own business, and more than 5,000,000 new businesses are started every year. Unfortunately, 50-70% of new businesses fail. In this book, two of the world's leading experts on entrepreneurship identify the 8 'killer mistakes'that cause most of these business failures and give entrepreneurs all the knowledge, tools, templates, strategies, and hands-on how-to advice they need to avoid these errors. Unlike other books that focus on topics like writing business plans and finding investors, this book focuses on the crucial operational issues that make the difference between consistent profitability and costly failure. You'll learn how to identify the right opportunities and customers; effectively design your products and services; set the right price; overcome customer inertia; avoid common day-to-day management mistakes; find and keep good employees; and finally, smoothly manage growth. Throughout, the authors draw on real life entrepreneurial experiences, case studies, and leading-edge research. But there's nothing theoretical here: from start to finish, this book delivers fast-paced, 100% practical advice you can begin using right this minute!

Edward D. Hess, J.D., LL.M.,is Professor and Batten Executive in Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He founded and led the Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Growth and The Values Based Leadership Institute at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University. His books includeThe Successful Family Business, The Search For Organic Growth, andThe Road To Organic Growth.Charles F. Goetz, MBA, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Emory's Goizueta Business School, has built nine businesses in six industries. He serves on the boards of several entrepreneurial ventures and not-for-profits.

Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Introduction
Who Should Buy This Book?
Why Is This Book Important?
What Topics Are Covered?
Why Are We Qualified to Write This Book?
How to Use This Book
Can You Be a Successful Entrepreneur?
What Do Successful Entrepreneurs Do?
Who Are Successful Entrepreneurs?
Key Definitions
Two Common Paths to Entrepreneurial Success
Lessons Learned
Basic Rules of Business Success
The 8 Common Start-Up Mistakes
Choosing a Bad Business Opportunity
Choosing the Wrong Customers
The Wrong Product
Pricing Products or Services Improperly
Not Selling to Enough Customers Fast Enough
Not Executing Well
People Problems
Mismanaging Growth
Basic Rules of Business Success
Lessons Learned
What Is a Good Business Opportunity?
Pencil It
The Best Sandwich Shop
What Is the Average Price You Can Sell Your Sandwiches For?
Competitors
Back to the Math
Children's Clothing Shop
Customer Conversion Ratio
Customer Conversion Rates
Two Different Types of Businesses
Estimating Your Costs
What Does Net Profit Margin Tell You About Costs?
Why Do You Need to Know Your Costs?
7 Ws
Lessons Learned
How Do You Choose the Right Customers?
The Right Customers
Who Is a Prospect?
Example Survey Questions
The Competition
Lessons Learned
How Do You Design Your Product or Service?
Give Customers Only What They Truly Need
Features or Benefits
What Is Value?
Example: Enhancing Your Product/Service Value
Your "Reason for Being"
Low Innovation
It's Now Time to Build Your Product/Service
Can You Build or Produce It?
The Prototype-The Test
What Is a Prototype and How Does It Work?
Other Tips
3 Ws
Lessons Learned
What Is the Right Price for Your Product or Service?
Competitive Pricing
Break-even Formula
Number of Products Required to Be Sold to Break Even
Additional Pricing Factors
Lessons Learned
How Can You Overcome Customer Inertia?
Obstacles to a Sale
The Risks of Buying from You
Making Sales Takes Practice
The Psychology of Sales
The Customer Buying Timeline
Time Is Your Enemy-Your Money Is Burning
Selling Is Like Fishing
Customer Referral Programs and Customer Loyalty Programs
Start with a Customer
Lessons Learned
How to Manage Your Business
Start-Up Overload
Your Value Chain
Your Supply Chain
Your Manufacturing (Assembling) Chain
Why Do You Flow Chart Your Business?
Management by Objectives
Management by Exceptions
The Power of Simplicity
Rule of 3s
Rule of 7s
Measurements and Rewards
Stay on the Front Lines
Iteration
Make Work Fun
Lessons Learned
How Do You Find and Keep Good Employees?
This People Stuff Is Hard
What Do Employees Want?
Why Is High Employee Turnover Bad?
Hire for Fit
Hiring Tools
Probationary Hiring
Buy-In
The Rules of the Game
Best Practices of Managing Employees
Promote from Within
The Meaning of Work
Mental Rehearsal
Mental Replay
Lessons Learned
How Do You Manage Growth?
Growth Can Be Good or Bad
The Two Absolutes
Process
Financing Growth
Financial Controls
Managing the Unexpected
People
Small Business Services
Check-Off
Legal
Legal Structure
Small Business Networks
Upgrading People
Customer Diversification
Growth Changes Your Job
Lessons Learned
Conclusion
Business Rules
Lessons Learned
Bibliography and Resources
Books
"Building a Company" Books
Business Strategy Books
Entrepreneurship Books
Family Business Books
Finance, Accounting, and Measurement Books
Leadership Books
Books on Lessons to Learn from Bad Leadership
Management Books
Marketing and Sales Books
Articles
Information Portals
Author's Commentaries
Index

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