Saturday, March 22, 2008

Book Review — The Entrepreneurial Itch

• Author: David Trahair
• ISBN-13: 978-1-55180-735-5
• ISBN-10: 1-55180-753-1
• Publisher: Self-Counsel Press
• 153 pages, soft-cover
• $13.95 US / $17.95 CDN

Small business owner, Chartered Accountant, and writer of books on personal finance and small business, David Trahair, offers an honest look at what to expect when starting a new business.

A quick read and written in terms that anyone can understand, this 153-page book plainly tells you what off-ramps, pit stops and potholes to expect on the road to creating a business. Not one to sugarcoat it, Trahair recommends a self-effacing “Attributes of a Successful Entrepreneur” test that might leave a sour taste in your mouth but will cut straight to the core — do you have the right personality to be an entrepreneur. He asks questions like: Are you able to sell yourself, meet people, research your market and competition, push yourself to work long hours for the first 3-5 years while the business gets its footing, delegate work where appropriate, listen to the advice of your customers, etc., etc.? If you pass, proceed to Go. If not, consider a safer, more palatable career path.

He likens owning a business to owning a 3-legged stool. All three legs of your business — Operations, Sales, and Administration — must be sturdy enough to keep that stool upright. A flaw in one leg could tip the entire… you get the metaphor.

The book includes keys to marketing/selling yourself on a start-up’s budget, easing the cash-flow crunch, bookkeeping basics, integrating your business with your life, and buying a franchise.

Although a little too quick to promote other Self-Counsel Press publications, Entrepreneurial Itch, at under $20, is a super starting point for anyone considering striking out on their own. It will help you determine if your skills, your drive and your ideas are strong enough to turn that burning desire into a full-fledged business venture or to apply ointment to keep you from scratching.

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