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Business Growth Books

How Small Companies Get Big by Bob Oros

The full title of this book by Bob Oros is

How Small Companies Get Big: A Simple Technique That Could Double Your Business

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 2 Stars.

Here is my review.

Not focused, more about sales tips

The book starts by talking about the need to have a GPS system to guide you in your business, which starts by making sure you have a clear destination in mind. [continue reading…]

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The P-Plan for Business by Shirley Mansfield

The full title of this book by Shirley Mansfield is

The P-Plan for Business: How to achieve faster, better business growth

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

Here is my book review.

How many business words beginning with P can you name?

I immediately found a warning sign with “My P-Plan for Business is a taster of how I can help you”.

The book goes through 30 words beginning with the letter P. Things like planning, planet, proposition etc. [continue reading…]

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101 Ways to Grow Your Business by Hugh Williams

In my review of

101 Ways to Grow your Business

by Hugh Williams,posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars. This means it is Worthwhile.

Here is my book review.

A book about the little things to do right, wide ranging in scope around customer/client service

Some books present big concepts of a few key success factors that must be done correctly. Others, like this one, believe success is a series of small steps to greatness.

When you start reading this book, you might find it easy to dismiss the ideas. You and your employees don’t need to be told to “be polite” and “don’t swear”,. Well not in theory but what about in practice? Could you imagine being shocked if you were shown a video of staff members being rude to customers and swearing at them? [continue reading…]

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The full title of this book by Scott Hallman is

The 7 Success Drivers to HyperGrowth: How America’s Fastest Growing Entrepreneurial Companies Achieve Greatness“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the FIVE Stars level, this means that I consider it excellent.

Here is what I posted.

Packed with important lessons

Many years ago, I bought an excellent audio training product by the author that provided detailed implementation advice for Jay Abraham style marketing and profit building strategies. Since then he’s been one of my favourite experts and I’ve been looking forward to the time when he publishes his first book. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game, 3 – Your Strategic Positioning, Best Business Books

Breakpoints by Larry Kesslin, Chris Winter and Susan Caba

The full title of this book by Larry Kesslin, Chris Winter and Susan Caba is

Breakpoints: Where Businesses Get Stuck. and How They Get Unstuck!

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Three Stars.

Here is my review.

An interesting book about the growing pains as companies get bigger

While this book has the subtitle “where businesses get stuck. .. and how they get unstuck”, it’s really about the growing pains from startup through to building a business of 100+ people. [continue reading…]

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The Small Business Life Cycle by Charlie Gilkey

The full title of this book by Charlie Gilkey is

The Small Business Life Cycle: The No-Fluff Guide to Navigating the Five Stages of Small Business Growth

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars. This means Worthwhile.

The business life cycle from the entrepreneurial idea through to mature businesses is taught in theoretical studies of entrepreneurship and business. It also has real world implications because the challenges facing the entrepreneur change as the business grows and becomes more established.

This short book gives an overview of the stages which is useful for aspiring entrepreneurs. The challenging work is only starting when the business is formed and there will continue to be plenty to do. In fact, there is always more than could be done.

I think it’s less useful for business owners with businesses. They have problems that need to be solved and real life doesn’t fit neatly into a theoretical model. As the owner tends to work with a short term detailed focus, wherever the business is currently, the book doesn’t have much to say that’s relevant. This is inevitably the weakness of a book that looks along the life cycle and the shorter the book is, the less it can say that’s helpful to navigate away from any one stage.

I much prefer a book like The E-Myth Revisited which is packed with light bulb moments. Owners can relate to the frustrations, recognise themselves in why they started and then accept they need to change.

Perhaps it’s caught me on a bad day but I thought the book was quite dull and uninspiring.

Recognising that businesses differ with age and maturity is important to understand. There is an adrenalin rush at the start and then a series of frustrating problems. Some businesses stay very small and don’t experience many of the growing pains. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on “scaling up” which can be thought of as an optional stage or perhaps a series of optional stages. There are a huge number of books telling you about the startup phase and an increasing number of books that look at the issues around scaling up.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes 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).

 

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Scale Up by Colin Mills

The full title of the book by Colin Mills is

Scale Up: How to Take Your Business to the Next Level Without Losing Control and Running Out of Cash

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 3 Stars.

Here is my review.

A long promotion for the role of part time finance director

It’s promoting the role of the part time finance director (FD) or chief financial officer (CFO) in general and the FD Centre / CFO Centre in particular. It’s so promotional in fact that I feel it’s cheeky to ask potential customers to pay for it.

Fast growing businesses face challenges in terms of 1) keeping control of what’s happening in the business as the founder/owner has to delegate and 2) managing the strain on cash flow that is caused by growth. [continue reading…]

in Other Business Books

The full title of this book by Jimmy Akela is

10 Tips for Scaling Up Your Business When Life Gets Crazy: Use These Tips and Get Your Business Ready to Scale Up and Get Growing!

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Three Stars. This means it is Worthwhile.

Here is my review.

Short and sensible but nothing special

This book is very short but it’s hard to argue against the ten tips which mainly look at issues of finance, team and the entrepreneur’s mindset.

It’s the kind of report that is normally given away for free as part of a lead generation process. If you’re facing the problems of scaling-up, you’ll want a much more substantial book. If you can read it for free because you have a kindle unlimited subscription, it’s worth looking at.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes 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 Other Business Books

Marketing for Your Small Business by V.F. Joseph

The full title of this book by V.F. Joseph is

Marketing for Your Small Business: What an Advisor Would Tell You How to Attract Customers to Scale Up Your Business for Growth

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Two Stars.

Here is my review.

A very short book about marketing

This book says it contains everything a business advisor will tell you about getting customers. If true, you’re talking to the wrong business advisor.

It is a very short book which rushes through the following topics:

Marketing strategy
Market research
Understanding customers
Pricing
Advertising & promotion
Social media

I have three issues with the book

1- it is too short to be valuable. There are benefits in being concise but this goes too far.
2- some of the writing is clunky.
3- the subtitle indicates the book is for business owners who are in the process of scaling up (well beyond start up) but the book doesn’t tackle those issues. It can apply just as well to start ups.

There are some excellent marketing books for just a few pounds more if you’re after a general marketing book. I recommend Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch.

However, there’s a lot in favour of finding a book focused on your particular trade or profession. Just do an extra search on the author because there are some who churn out the same book and use the find and replace function in Microsoft Word to switch trades. These promise far more than they deliver in my experience.

Alternatively, dig deeper into the subjects you want extra help with because I recommend you master one technique and get it working consistently well before adding another technique for reaching out to customers.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes 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 Other Business Books

Beyond The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

The full title of this book by Michael Gerber is

Beyond The E-Myth: The Evolution of an Enterprise: From a Company of One to a Company of 1,000!

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a kind Three Stars.

Here is my review.

Sorry but it’s a non-essential follow-up to The E-Myth Revisited. Small business owners are different to entrepreneurs.

I have recently written a blog article about the 12 best books to give business owners a great business education.

The very first book on that list was The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber. However I gave a big warning about the writing style and admit that the Summary: The E-Myth Revisited: Review and Analysis of Gerber’s Book has the advantage of giving you the big ideas without the drivel.

If you ignore the first half, E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company has also got plenty to recommend it.

In this book, Gerber refers to bad reviews from haters so I want to make it clear that I don’t hate Michael Gerber and nor do I wish to undermine his contribution to small businesses around the world.

In 2016, Michael Gerber has a new book and The Rolling Stones have released a new studio album.

If you’re a Stones fan, you’ll believe from repeated experiences that it’s unlikely the band have returned to the glory days of Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street. Keen fans will try it and may delight in having something new from their heroes but they’ll know it’s not worthy of comparison to those 40+ year old classics.

I felt the same when I was offered the chance to review Michael Gerber’s new book before it was released. I was regularly disappointed with his new books and I ignored the emails. When you get something for free, it’s hard to write a critical review. Then I had an email to say that it was available as a Kindle book for a very low price so I thought I’d give the author another chance to impress me.

It hasn’t happened although I’m pleased to tell you that the slushy, sentimental writing that ruined the first half of E-Myth Mastery and all of Awakening the Entrepreneur Within has been avoided.

The writing style is still irritating. I was getting so irritated by the never-ending sentences, I counted one. 62 words and I don’t think I picked the longest. It’s also repetitive as he’s trying to brainwash you into seeing the world his way.

The problem is that Gerber is frustrated. The subtitle of The E-Myth Revisited is Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It and by and large, that’s what he did through the E-Myth coaching programme. Businesses that were shaky were made sound.

He didn’t fix the business owners. Creating a good small business isn’t good enough for Gerber, he wants his followers to create great big businesses. The next Apple or Google or Walmart.

That’s a terrific objective if that’s what you want to do but I think it’s a mistake to disparage the ambitions of the small business owners around the world who don’t want to do anything close to creating a giant organisation.

In fact, I feel it’s a sell-out to one of the ideas that I liked most about The E-Myth Revisited. In that book he talks about living your life intentionally and getting clear on your Primary Aim (for your personal life). He even suggests drafting your own eulogy looking back at your life so that you are clear on the mark you want to leave on the world. Your business becomes a means to creating that end because you design your business to give you the life you want.

The problem is that true entrepreneurs are a totally different breed of person to the normal small business owner. I’m not at all sure it’s a good idea to try to convert one to the other and certainly not by making the business owner feel bad and unworthy.

Read this book as a treatise on entrepreneurship.

Much of what he says is more relevant if you are starting out wanting to create a big business of a 1,000 or more people. Entrepreneurs love the process of creation and proving the concept in the marketplace but are not necessarily the right people to take a company through the growth stage into maturity.

It makes sense to think about selling the business from the start and who might want to buy it. I’m sure there are plenty of tech start-ups who are dreaming about being bought out by Google, Facebook or Microsoft.

The E-Myth Revisited book has been criticised by some for wanting to follow the McDonald’s path. For many, its consistently mediocre product is not something to aspire to. That’s misunderstanding what Gerber means. The franchise prototype which guarantees consistency across different locations is something to aspire to for businesses that want to grow that way. The downside is that it makes change much harder as bulk reduces agility in the face of changing market wants and needs.

Even as a book for entrepreneurs, this is clumsy and I don’t think it’s particularly inspiring either. He admits that he’s going to tell the reader what to do and why but not how to do it. If you want fast growth when you’re well beyond the start-up phase, look for books about “scaling up”.

I’m surprised that he says this is a trilogy to be read with The E-Myth Revisited and What to Do About It and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within. It feels like a rewrite of the Awakening book with little bits of The E-Myth and Power Point (aka The E-Myth Enterprise), a bit like a dodgy greatest hits CD when the hit songs belong to another record label and have been re-recorded when the band are tired and uninspired.

Just like The Rolling Stones, Michael Gerber is finding it hard to capture the glories of his early years when he had something new and important to say. This isn’t a 5 or 4 stars book as far as I’m concerned.

Is it worth 2 or 3 stars? I’ve given in 3 but I feel I’ve been generous. I don’t hate Gerber and I don’t hate The Stones. I just feel that their most important works were decades ago.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

Get To Know Me

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes 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 Other Business Books