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Best Business Book Reviews By Paul Simister

The full title of this mind-blowing book by Martin Reeves, Knut Haanaes and Janmejaya Sinha is

Your Strategy Needs a Strategy: How to Choose and Execute the Right Approach“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book Five Stars. This means I think it is Excellent and it is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

A very helpful guide to making sense of the different ideas for how to “do strategy”

Kim Warren’s excellent book “The Trouble With Strategy” is a harsh criticism of how badly strategy has performed as an academic topic and as a professional service.

Too often new ideas have been introduced on the basis that older, more established ideas are wrong. Proper academic and real world subjects (like physics and engineering) build on what is accepted and only knock down and replace existing theory when there is strong evidence that old thoughts were wrong (e.g. the world is round). [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

Ask by Ryan Levesque

The full title of this book by Ryan Levesque is

Ask: The counterintuitive online formula to discover exactly what your customers want to buy…create a mass of raving fans…and take any business to the next level“.

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Very clever but…

I get suspicious when a book has many more five star reviews than anything else in case friends and family have been press-ganged or there’s been some kind of marketing campaign to drum up support.

The book splits into two parts – his story as part one and the Ask process as part two. [continue reading…]

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When I reviewed this book,  on Amazon.co.uk,

How to Create a Million Dollar Unique Selling Proposition” by Bill Bodri,

I gave it a Five Star rating.

This means that I think it is Excellent and is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

A terrific resource to help you to define your business in a short statement

When I read this book it was called How To Write A Million Dollar Unique Selling Proposition but, given the very minor change in title, I’m sure it’s the same book.

It is the most comprehensive look at the topic of Unique Selling Propositions that I’ve seen and the author deserves a lot of credit to compile such an outstanding review. [continue reading…]

in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, 4 – Lead Generation, Best Business Books

In my review of

7 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make, And How To Avoid Making Them” by Craig Garber,

on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a Four Star rating.

This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Looks and feels sleazy but the content is solid

I used to be on the author’s email list but he taught me to ignore his emails and eventually I unsubscribed. I saw this come up on a search I made for USPs (a subject I’m passionate about) and I thought I’d give him a second chance.

The book cover gives you the first clue.

You need a strong stomach to take this cheesy approach with its hyperbolic phrases and words/sections highlighted in bold or italics. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Visual Hammer by Laura Ries

The full title of this book by Laura Ries is

Visual Hammer: Nail your brand into the mind with the emotional power of a visual“.

In my review of the book on Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Well worth reading – makes effective marketing sound like common sense

This is one of those books that makes effective marketing sound like common sense but it’s rarely practised effectively in the real world.

The author accepts her father’s idea that the key role of a brand is to establish a unique or dominant position in the mind of its customers. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

In my review of

Emotional Copywriting Revealed by Timothy S Van Milligan

on Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A revealing look at emotions and how they can be used in copywriting

You’ve probably heard the maxim that people buy emotionally and then justify the purchase logically.

If you watch your own purchase decisions, you’ll see that there’s a lot of truth in it (although the thinking fast and slow issues also apply) so the issue becomes, how do you use emotion in your marketing to help encourage potential customers to buy? This book goes some of the way to answering that question. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The full title of this book by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers“.

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of Four Stars. This means that it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

More style than substance

This is a remarkable triumph of visual design. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book like it before.

I have some criticisms about how easy it is to read and the fact that the content is more style over substance. For one thing, to create space for all the funky images, the words are in a small font. I was OK but I know that some people will struggle.

I really like the idea of the one page Business Model Canvas which is described as “a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and changing business models.” It looks very useful to summarise your existing business model and for moving towards better ways to create, deliver and capture value. [continue reading…]

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Start at the End by David Lavinsky

The full title of this book by David Lavinsky is

Start at the End: How Companies Can Grow Bigger and Faster by Reversing Their Business Plan“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book as Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Recommended for inexperienced small business owners.

I have mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, it wasn’t the book that I expected to read about reversing planning from an end goal and how to overcome the obstacles and constraints that stand in the way.

On the other hand, I think it is a very good book to help the owners of new and growing small businesses to recommit to the business and it’s packed with practical management tips. [continue reading…]

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Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

The full title of this book by Mike Michalowicz is

Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

An interesting approach but you need to understand when it is and is not appropriate

I made a mistake and didn’t try the kindle sample before buying. I didn’t like the writing style.

The book argues that the way we look at profit is to look at it first.

It shouldn’t be revenue minus costs equals profit but revenue minus profit equals costs. You force costs based to be what they need to be. [continue reading…]

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In my review of

Competing for the Future” by Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave this famous strategy book a rating of Four Stars.

This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Still relevant for big companies

This book popularised the important insights and ideas that came out of resource based strategy in the early 1990s because it’s one of the few strategy books that crossed over into the mainstream management books.

It was written at a time when business process re-engineering and restructuring were the popular panaceas for business success but there was one fundamental problem…you can’t cut your way to growth. [continue reading…]

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