The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits (Agora Series) (英語) ハードカバー – 2012/6/26
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Intelligent strategies for starting and growing a small business with minimal personal financial risk
A comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs from one of the most successful business creators in recent years, The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Turning Dreams into Profits addresses the fears and misconceptions that many people have about starting their own businesses, walking prospective owners through the necessary decisions they need to make before even putting a business plan in place.
Presenting solid, reliable strategies based on author Michael Masterson's own successful practices, and debunking some common illusions entrepreneurs have about their businesses, the book is a vital resource for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls that threaten fledgling companies.
- Packed with insights from an entrepreneur who has launched and sold dozens of business, presented in a lively and conversational style
- Some 600,000 new businesses are launched each year and with an uncertain economy, more and more people are looking for a stream of income separate from their 9 to 5 job
- Filled with highly applicable advice that budding and professional entrepreneurs can start using immediately
Essential reading for small business owners and both first time and established entrepreneurs, The Reluctant Entrepreneur presents the smart strategies on starting and growing a small business that can make launching your own company a cinch.
Michael Masterson is not your typical businessman. An exPeace Corps volunteer, he never took a class in business, doesn't read the business press, and hates to talk business. He spends his spare time writing poetry, collecting fine art, and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His neighbors call him a bohemian. But he's also an entrepreneur. He started his first business when he was eleven years old, and in the forty-five years that have elapsed since then, he has started or co-started dozens of successful businesses. The author of numerous business books, several of them New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, Masterson consults for private clients and writes the Palm Beach Letter, a newsletter for individual investors.
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Overall there is not much eye opening things in the book. Quotes such as
"Test as cheaply and harmlessly as you can"
"devote 80 percent of ... initial resources to making the first sale. Forget about buying business cards and copy machines"
"Don't even think about quitting your day job until your business idea is proven and profitable"
"The difference between successful entrepreneurs and those who fail is usually a question of which ones figure out the way the business works before the money runs out"
"Pick an industry you know"
"You should have superstars in every facet of your business"
can be seen in several startup books.
New to me was chapter about making friends in high places. Interesting ideas about partnership "If one partner wants to stop working, no problem. Just cut his salary (for working) and use it to hire his replacement", but sure not for the first years of startup when founders work almost without salary. Also interesting "Short-term marketing results don't necessarily determine long-term profits".
Also the author has very pessimistic view of workers: "The moment you let up on the pressure to produce, sell, save, and improve, your bottom line will begin to shrink", "If the pressure to preserve profits doesn't come from you, it may not come at all", "It's a fact of life that customer service will slowly but surely go to pot if it is not monitored", "There are two things that you should never delegate: the ultimate responsibility for sales and the ultimate responsibility for product quality".
Interesting view on the law of attraction and such: "The courage and confidence I have today was not achieved by mantras or mediation or self-imaging. It was all achieved by the persistent application of hard work and imitation. If you work hard and smart at anything long enough, you will know success."
I try to take away one big idea...this seems elementary, but most of us miss it when it comes to our own business.
Here it is!
USP - Best promotional copy focuses on one Big Idea and One Big Promise
Entire Process Looks Like This:
Make a list of every feature of your product you can think of
You make a separate list of every possible benefit those features can provide
Identify a rising trend in your market- a trend that is just beginning
Ask yourself "Which of my product benefits could tie into that trend?" Turn those benefits into potential USP's
Pick the strongest ones-the USPs that are most likely to resonate with prospects
For each of those USPs you come up with a Big Idea
For each of those Big Ideas, create one or several headlines that express a Big Promise
Make a list of all the possible specific claims you can make that are related to the Big Promise
For every claim, you make sure you have proof to back it up.
Write at least 2 versions of your promotion-each version expressing a different Big Idea and you test them
Take the version that works best and roll it out
Once you have a profitable promotion going, you immediately get started on your next test. There is always something to tweak to get better response.
Direct Response Selling:
You make promises
Make specific claims and prove those claims
Make an irresistible offer
Anything else is completely unnecessary.