SCORES of entrepreneurs regaling tales of success in magazines these days make it more enticing for restless people, young and old, to fantasize about building their own business. In the end, however, only a determined few would actually jump the plan, with the rest often discouraged by the tedious steps involved in setting up a new firm.
For those who’ve always wanted to start a venture but don’t know how to begin, GoNegosyo’s latest book can be a step-by-step guide. Written by Entrepreneurs School of Asia Dean Pax Lapid and motivational speaker Ping Sotto, 21 Steps on How to Start your Own Business is a practical workbook for aspiring entrepreneurs and a convenient way to brush-up on long-forgotten management concepts.
After chronicling business grand slams in its first three books — 5O Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories, 50 Inspiring Stories of Entrepreneurs (celebrity edition) and 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs — GoNegosyo has published a tome that tackles entrepreneurship before it begins.
The authors say the book, patterned after the Asian Institute of Management’s course framework, was written to be an easy-read. Indeed, with 156 pages divided into three quick chapters, each with its own A to Gs, aspiring entrepreneurs can flip through the "normal hiccups" of launching a business and find themselves better prepared for such bumps without having to pore over pages of lengthy instructions.
Each chapter concludes with review points on the preceding lesson, and every once in a while, reminders from previous sections are thrown to help readers tie the concepts together.
Anecdotes from accomplished entrepreneurs and from GoNegosyo mentors, which are printed on the margins, make for interesting "intermissions" from the workbook exercises. Aside from practical tips, the book lists common business setup mistakes and tries to debunk a few myths that may be keeping aspirants from finally putting up their own enterprise.
The book, peppered with allusions to the author’s students, could have been lifted off a class syllabus. And with jokes and narratives thrown here and there, readers could easily imagine themselves being in a formal entrepreneurship course.
While 21 Steps coaxes readers to come up with their original business concepts, it also cautions them that somebody may have already beat them to the idea. Still, it prods risk takers to stand out through differentiation, loosely defined as copying (a successful format) with a slight difference. After all, didn’t retail magnate Henry Sy just tweak the "big box" concept he saw in the US in building his local malls?
While the book’s layout could have been more organized — the varying bold and all capital typeface at times looked like a series of printed Powerpoint slides — this shortcoming is made up for by the abundance of entrepreneurial lessons that will inspire potential entrepreneurs to finally take that leap of faith. While the book doesn’t guarantee business success, it does give readers a better chance at it.
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