- Identifies and provides remedies for many of the hurdles a new entrepreneur or small business owner may face
- Provides a new definition of the SMART acronym as a technique for success specifically for entrepreneurs and small business owners
1 Reason This Book May Not Be Right For You:
- Book is broad in its coverage of topics, so you’ll need other books to get more depth if you’re interested in specific areas
Chinmai Swamy, from Brighton in the UK, is the author of Run Before You Walk. He wrote this book based on his experience working for large corporations, small businesses, and having started his own PC solutions business when he was still at college. His most recent experience is as CEO and Founder of The Unique Smart Analysis group. The author says that the book is targeted specifically to three types of people or organizations: 1) Entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business, 2) Startups that are less than one year-old, and 3) Small businesses established just 2-3 years-ago.
What You’ll Gain
Here is the definition of the Unique SMART Analysis™ acronym:
The Unique SMART Analysis™
The book is structured to cover these main topics:
S – How to provide quality SERVICES
M – Advice on choosing a specific targeted MARKET. Not everyone can be your customer.
A – Having AGILITY to adapt to constantly changing trends.
R – REWARDing your team for growth and being a RESPONSIBLE owner.
T – How to spend your TIME on only the important parts of your business and outsource the rest.
Here are some of the things I gained from this book that I haven’t readily found in other books:
- Excellent list of changes to make to your thought processes and habits when going solo as an entrepreneur
- Good advice on how to find a business partner and how to talk about your arrangement in terms or work and compensation
- A well-thought out process for how to successfully outsource tasks so you can free up your time
I believe that Chinmai Swamy had the goal of writing a simple and practical reference book that addressed five fundamental aspects of one’s business, so one could hit the ground running not walking. The book does an overall good job of being simple, practical, and easy to begin using with the included checklists for quick reference.
One flaw with the book is that it is obviously not going to be in-depth on each topic because it covers many topics in a short book meant for quick reference. While I agree with most of the advice from my own experiences, the author doesn’t provide research to back up his opinions, but rather, uses short anecdotes or quotes from other businesspeople.
My favorite aspect of the book is the inclusion of several great analogies that helped me to visualize important business concepts. For example, Chinmai describes you the entrepreneur as a king and the company as your land, which is useful for thinking about how others will see your company’s culture and brand. When employees or owners from other companies visit from “far away lands”, will they go back to their “lands” and talk about how great your “kingdom” is—a kingdom and land governed and protected by you? Another analogy I enjoyed was the one describing how choosing what to wear for a particular event is similar to marketing one’s services. When you are talking to a group of people about your services, you need to understand which segment of customers this is so you can pick and choose the right messaging. Trying to pitch all customers with the same messaging is like wearing a tuxedo over a sweater over a football jersey, according to Chinmai. Just as one dresses to emphasize certain body features depending on the event one is attending, one needs to approach their messaging in the same way. Lastly, and maybe my favorite analogy, is that of the mentor. Chinmai suggests that you get yourself a mentor, like a star athlete has a coach. I found this interesting because it is true that no star athlete has ever gotten to where they are now without a coach, yet many entrepreneurs believe they are not in need of a business mentor.
I enjoyed this book because it helps bring a business owner back to some fundamentals of what is required for success. The checklists provide a nice launching pad of activities to perform to help you hit the ground running so you’re not stuck walking and getting no where fast. My opinion is that the book can get you started thinking about several important areas of one’s business that can trip you up, so you can follow the advice in the book to get started on remedying your situation and then seek other books for further in-depth advice on a topic if need be. Click the link below to read more about the book on Amazon.com.
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