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Business Start-Ups

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The full title of this book by Eric Ries is

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 5 Stars rating. This means it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

An essential essential book for start-up entrepreneurs

I read this book years ago but never got around to reviewing it. I’ve just read it two more times in the last year. It is that good.

I see it as an essential book for start-up entrepreneurs. It is packed with important truths. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Start-Ups

The Golden Rule For Start Ups by Bafs Folarni

The full title of this book by Bafs Folarni is

The Golden Rule For Start Ups: A Guide For Emerging Business Owner

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it One Star.

Don’t bother with this one, the clue is in the careless way its on Amazon without any capital letters

It takes effort to write a book, even an extremely short book like this and I don’t like to be too critical.

However this isn’t close to the standard that you’d expect from a book selling for close to £7. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

Business Model Canvas 10 Minute Video

Here is a video that’s just under 10 minutes long which explains the Business Model Canvas in a reasonable level of detail. It’s been produced by The Business Channel.

The Business Model Canvas was explained in the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. (I gave it a Four Star rating.)

It brings together nine components of a business in a one page form:

  1. Key Activities
  2. Key Resources
  3. Partner Network
  4. Value Propositions
  5. Customer Segments
  6. Channel
  7. Customer Relationships
  8. Cost Structure
  9. Revenue Streams

Why I Like This Video

  1. The business model canvas is a very useful way to think about the logic of a business. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new start-up or whether it’s an established business which has got stuck and needs a turnaround in performance.
  2. It gives you more details than the 2 Minute Business Model Canvas Video without overwhelming you or requiring too much investment of your time before you decide to dig in deeper.

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK and you feel stuck, get a Business SOS consultation (please click) with me to get you unstuck.

Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).
in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Business Start-Ups

Here is a short video from the developers of the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas. It’s less than 5 minutes long.

I’ve always felt that the value proposition is at the core of a business and often a great place to focus if the business needs to get unstuck or have a performance turnaround.

What is a value proposition? There are lots of definitions but, at the moment, let’s go with…

How you meet customers needs and differentiate your business away from competitors with an advantage that’s better, cheaper or different.

The logic behind the Business Model Canvas was introduced in the book Business Model Generation. The authors followed it up with a more detailed look at the connection between two of the nine elements in the Business Model Canvas in a book called Value Proposition Design. The two segments were the Products & Services and the Customer Segments.

I’ve been critical of the books for having more style than substance. They look great but they don’t provide enough information and guidance. The underlying concepts are sound, even if they use slightly different language than I prefer.

I also worry that the exercise can be reduced to form filling rather than deep thinking. It’s the old analogy that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” You can provide a useful framework but you can’t make business managers and owners consider all the implications. Too many are intellectually lazy but hopefully you’re different.

Why I Like The Video

  1. Value Propositions are poorly understood at the strategic/marketing levels. The Value Proposition Canvas can help you to focus on important issues.
  2. The video is very short so it gives you a chance to watch it and decide for yourself whether you like the approach.

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK and you feel stuck, get a Business SOS consultation (please click) with me to get you unstuck.

Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).
in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Business Start-Ups

Business Model Canvas 2 Minute Video

Here is a two minute video quickly explaining the Business Model Canvas from Strategyzer, the consulting firm of the creators.

The Business Model Canvas has gained great popularity after it was introduced to me in the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. (Click on the link to read my thoughts about why I gave it a Four Star rating.)

Its purpose is to help a business owner/senior manager to design their business model to satisfy customers and make a profit. It requires you to be specific about nine elements in the business.

Why I Like This Video

  1. It is super quick.
  2. It’s a good introduction of how the 9 elements fit together logically.
  3. It’s useful to get you enthusiastic about the Business Model Canvas before asking you to watch a longer video.

Who Is The Business Model Canvas For?

The canvas can be applied to business start-ups as part of the initial planning and design stage of the business.

It can also be used by an established business that is looking to either:

  • Go from being stuck and under-performing to identifying what needs to change for the business to be turned around.
  • Enter a new market or niche. Even if the new market is closely related to the existing market, using the canvas helps you to identify the thi

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK and you feel stuck, get a Business SOS consultation (please click) with me to get you unstuck.

Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).
in 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Business Start-Ups

Loan Sharp by Rob Warlow – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Rob Warlow is

Loan Sharp: Get the business finance you deserve“.

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

Here is my book review.

The key to your banker’s mind

Loan Sharp is an excellent book from Rob Warlow packed with practical tips on how you can get the business finance you need.

What makes the book so special is that the author takes you into the world of the small business banker so you can see how and why they make the decisions they do. [continue reading…]

in 1 – Your KPI, Best Business Books, Business Start-Ups

Dreaming On The Job: The Start To Being Your Own Boss

In a survey by Barclays Bank, nearly half (44%) of today’s business owners admit to planning their entrepreneurial future while at work as an employee.

Remarkably this compares to 8% who came up with their great idea on holiday and 6% between pints at the pub. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

Most Entrepreneurs Could Never Be Employees

I have been my own boss for more than 12 years now (since 1995) and it’s got to the stage where I suspect that I am unemployable.

It’s lucky that I love what I do and that I’m good at it.

I just couldn’t imagine working to someone else’s rules.

Interestingly Abbey has done a survey of small business owners and despite the long hours and stress, 77% of entrepreneurs said that they never want to work for someone else ever again.

So if you are thinking about starting a business, perhaps this is just the news that you need to hear to encourage you to take the plunge. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

Michael Gerber’s Dreaming Room® Experience

I was talking to one of my Guerrilla Marketing coaching buddies the other day and I was explaining how pleased I was with the email feedback I was receiving from this blog.

Tina clicked over to this blog and said “I see that you are a fan of Michael Gerber. Would you like to go to one of his Dreaming Rooms?”

“But Tina, I’ve already been. I went to to the Dreaming Room® at London Heathrow in October 2006.”

Let me start to tell you what I told her. [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups

How To Prepare For The Dragons’ Den: The Three Big Risks

In this blog I will explain how to prepare for the Dragon’s Den by looking at the three big risks any new business faces.

Dragons’ Den is a TV show in the UK where entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their ideas to five multi-millionaires who will choose whether to invest in the business opportunity, and if they do decide to invest, how big a share they want.

The show has proven to be very popular although the ideas and the performances of the entrepreneurs have varied from excellent to woeful.

The new series starts on the BBC this week so I thought that it would be a great idea to give the entrepreneurs a few pointers before they start.

What Are The Three Big Risks Of A New Business?

When new business start-ups contact me, I apply a simple way of looking at their business that focuses on three areas: [continue reading…]

in Business Start-Ups