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Startup Basics: a book for business owners

creating a business conceptThe Mobile Boardroom: Top Tips for Business Success by Nik Askaroff & Julian Clay is a compact, no-frills guide that covers the main commercial areas of business. You can read the book in one, or maybe two, sittings and get a full picture of the things you need to cover in setting up and running a business.

The book is one of the most down-to-earth and un-flashy guides I have come across. The simple model of how to create a business concept is a very good starting point for anyone without a masters degree in business–that’s most people who have a great business idea, but don’t know where to begin translating that idea into a real live business.

While the book is predicated on the basis of raising finance with the aim of an ultimate sale of the company, don’t let that put you off. The horse sense of what the authors say will repay your own investment in buying the book–many times over (under $25 for the paperback and under $10 for the ebook). Actually it will save many times that outlay, by ensuring that you don’t leave out one or more vital ingredients of success as you struggle with your priorities.

When I started my first business in 1982, I learned lots of these things by trial and error. That’s fine for testing products or services with customers, but it’s a costly learning process for things like financial management. The authors offer really sound advice on what numbers to collect and how to make sense of what they mean. They make the point that successful entrepreneurs are financially literate, but they do not need to be and probably will not be–accountants.

The Mobile Boardroom is written by two UK-based consultants, so for them the boardroom means something slightly different to what an American reader would understand. But do not let that deter you from this book. For instance, when they deal with the sales and marketing process, their advice is true throughout the world. The 15-page chapter gives you a solid set of steps to make sure that the system succeeds. Here, too, when we started out all bushy-tailed, we had to invent marketing and sales by blundering around to get to a point where our marketing hit the target and sales were optimized.

The other chapters on IT, HR and operations are equally effective. Your also get bonus information on mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs and selling your business, if those are routes to which you aspire. In the end, the book is a great ‘to-do’ list for startups and will help you to determine priorities.

PLEASE NOTE: There is tons of useful stuff on Startup Owl, a site that’s been going for a dozen years. So keep browsing, but know that the founder, Will, now devotes most of his time and energy to his new website that you should definitely visit:

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