Thursday, February 11, 2010

Great Reviews on Amazon!

A Blueprint to Small Business Success, January 30, 2010


Edgar Ortiz "President & CEO - Strategic Analalytics, Atlanta, GA, USA) -

A 'must read' book for anyone thinking about starting a small business

Ralph Blanchard has written a comprehensive, clear and pragmatic book in "Creating Wealth with a Small Business".

It is a must read book filled with practical information and numerous case studies on what aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners need to know to run a profitable business. In a direct style, the author reminds the reader not to confuse the excitement and enthusiasm of starting a business and being a business owner with the skills required to be successful and avoid becoming one of the 80% of businesses that will eventually fail.

The book is targeted at two major audiences:

* The aspiring entrepreneur, and
* Current business owners

The book provides a comprehensive introduction to Pricing and reminds business owners of the many pitfalls from leveraging price as a competitive weapon. The author reiterates the importance of deploying a balanced and flexible 'value-driven' pricing strategy to successfully compete in the market place.

A major contribution of this book is its continuous emphasis on the importance of having a Business Model as a critical requirement to start and manage a profitable business. Unfortunately, as the author reminds us, the concept of Business Model is foreign to most aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners who rely mostly on `enthusiasm' and the generally unverified assumptions in the typical Business Plan.

A hidden bonus in this book is its appendix that provides one of the most comprehensive and detailed tutorials on cash flow management and accounting for small business owners. This section alone justifies buying this book.

I highly recommend it to anyone planning on starting a business or current business owners who can benefit by avoiding the many pitfalls and mistakes described in the numerous case studies.

A How-To Guide For Small Businesses, November 18, 2009


K. Carey

This very readable book is a how-to guide for anyone interested in starting a business, or anyone interested in general business practices. With a focus on the small business in particular, the book drills down to the basics and, as Mr. Blanchard explains, attempts to fill an information void in a world of business literature that tends to focus on large firms.

Pushing back against what seems to be conventional wisdom from so-called business gurus, Mr. Blanchard explains that merely possessing a positive, can-do attitude is insufficient for success, and a substantial portion of the early part of the book is spent discussing the psychological profile common, and perhaps necessary, to successful business owners. The book also contains some discussions that were surprising for their seemingly counterintuitive nature, such as why an entrepreneur should enter the market in a low-profile manner that may cause competitors to ignore the new business. Mr. Blanchard also explains why an innovative product idea may actually hinder one's ability to build a successful business and attract customers while an innovative service idea could be the difference between success and failure. While this argument seems, on its face, to be misplaced in an age of rapid-fire innovation and high-profile celebration of new inventions, his argument is compelling.

Mr. Blanchard includes a thorough discussion of pricing, explaining the basic how-tos, and describing why competing on the basis of price may be a mistake, while regularly increasing prices, particularly in advance of an economic downturn, is a good idea. There also is a thorough sample business valuation process that is very detailed and has a "you are there" feel to it.

One of the stronger aspects of the book is that it doesn't sugar-coat the hard work needed to be an entrepreneur. While reading the book, I frequently found myself marveling that anyone could have enough energy, or even the level of awareness required, to stay on top of the many issues that invariably crop up while running a small business. This book doesn't gloss over the tough stuff; the good and the difficult are included.

This book is rich in detail and chock full of anecdotes. Its length prevents it from being a quick read, but it is an enjoyable and informative one, and I recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in small business ownership.

Improve Your Small Business Success, August 16, 2009


James W. Pearce Jr. "James Pearce" (Columbia, Maryland) -

You can tell right away that this author really enjoys small businesses with all their challenges and uncertainty. He writes with the authority of someone who has taken the daunting step of becoming an entrepreneur and the understanding brought to bear by an enquiring mind.

The chapter on Business Models explains the value and importnce of developing a clear written Business Model which can help explain the business to outsiders but mere importantly forces the new entrepreneur to understand the key elements he will need for success. As a smal business consultant for over 10 years, I wish my clients had been required to read that chapter and follow Blanchard's advice before they started their businesses. The author provides a process to follow to help his readers develop a concise model of their own.

If you have ever thought about starting a small business or if you have been running a small business for many years, you will find this book extremely useful. I followed that author's advice in the Preface and went directly to the chapters I was most interested in. Then I went back and started from page one.

Small Business Guide, October 2, 2009


R. Schaub (Tampa, FL) -

Having owned a couple businesses over the last 20 years, I can really appreciate the insight presented in this book. The chapters on Business Models and Pricing Strategies are excellent. Every existing and potential business owner should read these two chapters to really evaluate their business model. The remainder of the book is also very good, although I am inclined to value my business a little differently when it is time to sell.

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