With the advent of the internet, the cost of starting your own business has dropped precipitously. An upswell in services provided by third parties has also made it far easier. Combined, these factors have made being their own boss a much more accessible, desirable career path for many people.
But while those people dream of all the perks of owning their own business, they might not know what becoming an entrepreneur actually means. This especially applies to young people who have no business background or knowledge. After watching a couple YouTube videos on how some online “gurus” made millions by selling products online, they become convinced that getting rich is yes.
It’s true that starting your own business can be tremendously rewarding – both psychologically and financially. But just as with anything else in life, there is no substitute for hard work. The hard work of an entrepreneur begins with education; not necessarily formal education, although that may help in some cases, but definitely self-education.
If you dream of starting your own business and creating a life that can be lived on your own terms, then a great resource to start with is the “Starting a Business QuickStart Guide” by Ken Colwell. This book will inject a healthy dose of reality into the startup hype, while giving you a simple overview of the knowledge you need to start a solid business.
About The Author
The book is sourced from more than twenty years of firsthand experience that author Ken Colwell, who has his MBA and PhD, has in working with high-growth startups, first-time entrepreneurs, and veteran company founders. In the book, Ken reveals the fundamentals every new entrepreneur needs to know to start a business, grow it to success, and live the life they’ve always wanted.
Who is this book for?
- Have an idea for a great service or product, but are not sure where to get started with launching it.
- Currently own a business, but are struggling to identify who their customers are and to deliver world-class value to them.
- Want to turn a side business into a full venture that will allow them to live the life they want.
Even if you are a complete beginner without a moment’s background in business, this is the comprehensive guide for you.
What’s Inside The Book
The book is divided into 5 parts:
Part I – Thinking Like An Entrepreneur
The first chapter, “Your Big Idea,” talks about how opportunities work and where to find them. Not all ideas have the same value, and this chapter will help you learn how to discern the difference between an “idea” and a true “opportunity.” It’s a vital distinction to make as you begin your entrepeneurial journey.
While starting your own business has become easier, it still requires you to take on no small amount of risk, and to work hard for a prolonged period of time. Chapter 2, “What Are You Afraid Of?” helps you overcome the mental obstacles that might be holding you back. It reveals why the fears you have are unfounded, and helps you learn how to short-circuit your fears as you start your business.
While hard work, a great opportunity, and a vision for that opportunity are necessary to be an entrepreneur, they are insufficient. The intangible aspects of starting a business are often much better indicators of success than the tangible aspects, as you’ll learn in Chapter 3, “What You Really Need to Succeed as an Entrepreneur.”
Part II – Getting Started
Chapter 4, “Your Company – The First Steps,” shifts gears to the very practical aspects of starting your business, such as the legal forms you’ll have to fill out, and how you should structure your company.
The following chapter, “What Are You Selling?” outlines how to develop your product or service, and how to determine optimal pricing for your market.
Part III – Your Value Proposition
Chapters 6 and 7 – “Markets and Customers” and “Industries and Competitors” – investigate the two main entities you will interact with: the people to whom you will be selling and the companies with whom you will be competing.
Having covered creating your company and service and who you’ll be selling it to, it’s time for arguably the most pivotal piece, which is outlined in Chapter 8: “Your Value Proposition.” This chapter introduces you to what a value proposition is, why it is invaluable, and how you can create one for your own product or service.
Part IV – Your Business Model
The “Operations” chapter is an MBA unto itself, teaching you how to structure your business, what to consider when determining whether to outsource or keep a process in-house, and how to identify and use efficiencies in your value chain.
Chapter 10 – “Marketing” – explores how to make sure your product or service is seen and purchased by people within the target demographic. The chapter discusses creating the optimal promotional mix, identifying distribution channels and how to shorten the sales cycle. No matter where your business is in its life cycle, you will find value in this chapter.
Starting your own business necessarily means wholeheartedly embracing change. In Chapter 11, “Planning for Growth and Change,” you’ll read about the factors that affect the growth of your new startup. This chapter has two purposes: to help you understand what it will take to grow your business, and to help you learn to appreciate the role change will play in that growth.
Ask a seasoned company founder, and they will tell you what is the most important factor in any startup: people. Chapter 12, “Management, Staffing, and the Founding Team,” reinforces how important it is to find the right people from the very beginning.
Chapter 13, “Where Does the Money Come From?” might not be necessary reading for awhile yet. But when the time comes to raise funding for your business, this chapter is a must-read. This chapter opens up the various types of funding that can be raise, and tells you the straight truth about venture capitalists and angel investors.
Part V – Writing Your Business Plan
You might think you can skate on by without creating a business plan for your startup – especially if you’re not even going to raise funding. Chapter 14, “Do You Really Need a Business Plan?” unequivocally debunks this myth for you, discussing some of the myriad benefits of creating a business plan early on.
The final three chapters of the book, “Introducing Your Venture,” “Your Value Proposition” (again – see how important it is!), and “Your Business Model,” take a closer look at each of the important elements to include in your business plan. Each section tells you what you must include, what you can leave out, and how to take all of the information you have and turn it into a business plan that will help you succeed?
Published by ClydeBank Media, the “Starting a Business QuickStart Guide” is a treasure for anyone who is new to entrepreneurship and want to build a startup. From conceptualizing your idea to bringing it to life, from defining your core value proposition to deliver it to your dream customers, this book will give you the blueprint you need to build entrepreneurial success.
Colwell packages his years of experience in an easy-to-understand presentation to make this book a vital entrepreneurial resource in your library.