The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham
From Publishers Weekly
Brodsky and Burlingham, both Inc. magazine columnists, offer a host of advice to budding businesspeople in this thoughtful guide. Having seen businesses fail and succeed, the authors have served as mentors to a wide variety of self-starters and use their experiences as object lessons. The book focuses mainly on big-picture practicalities—the protection of startup capital and the necessity of focusing on high–profit-margin sales—but also expounds on overcoming the sales mindset in favor of the entrepreneurial mentality and facing mistakes with grace and an eye to learning. With a clear, conversational style, the authors give advice on raising capital, maintaining relationships with banks and lenders, customer relations, dealing with unexpected roadblocks and hiring good management. But in the end, they contend that entrepreneurship is not only a passion but a way to achieve a happier, richer, fuller life for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren—and with the right mental habits and skills, anyone can achieve entrepreneurial success. Encouraging, succinct and informative, this is an excellent guide for anyone looking to dive into a new business or expand an existing one. (Oct.)
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Brodsky and Burlingham offer an excellent handbook for entrepreneurs, stressing the thinking necessary to deal with many different situations and to identify and capture opportunities as they arise. Brodsky is an entrepreneur and mentor for numerous other entrepreneurs, and the authors use the experiences of one small business as an example of the challenges and growing pains common to all new ventures and what the owners learned along the way to their success. Excellent attention to detail is provided, including the basics of accounting, establishing a goal, determining the viability of a business, and the importance of gross profit. Each chapter, which concludes with important summary points, covers a critical step in a start-up journey including the “right stuff,“ handling inevitable mistakes; why start-ups fail; finding investors; how to lose customers; and what it takes to be the boss. This road map for success should be required reading for those planning a new venture, and will appeal to a wide range of library patrons. Excellent book. --Mary Whaley