I have been curious about Chris Guillebeau's book $100 Startup since I first saw it on the Nook months ago, so when I saw it was available through my library's eBook lending program, I decided to check it out. $100 Startup is all about how entrepreneurs make business ideas successful, without having to invest a lot of money.
One of the main things the book does that I really like is to simplify the business plan: Basically, if you have a product and a customer base, you have a business. Otherwise, you don't. It sounds so much easier than writing an elaborate business plan with many sections, doesn't it? It puts everything into perspective, and shows you how to quickly assess the viability of any business idea.
The book also helps you to make a decision on which business (or businesses) to pursue if you have more than one idea. The author lays out a system for rating each business idea using factors such as a business's potential for success versus how much work it will involve.
After showing you how to establish whether a business idea is viable or not, he explains how to make it successful via marketing. For instance, he lays out a plan for a successful launch, with lots of marketing leading up to the launch. He also promotes the "fire sale" idea, where something is sold for a limited amount of time in order to encourage buyers to get it while they still can.
Peppered throughout the book are anecdotes about wildly successful business owners. They range from people who have published eBook guides, to owners of more traditional businesses such as a bridal accessories shop. Obviously not every small business, no matter how good it is, will enjoy the five and six figure income that many of these success stories illustrate, but it is encouraging to read about other entrepreneurs' success stories.
Finally, don't feel that if you are already making it as a small business owner, you don't need to read this book. As a freelance writer, I consider myself an entrepreneur, and I still found plenty to take away from it. Part of continuing to grow professionally is continuing to learn from the books you read, the classes you take and the people you meet -- knowing what to take away from each encounter in order to get a little closer to the success you want to ultimately achieve!