The Truth About Starting a Business by Bruce BarringerThe Truth About Starting a Business by Bruce Barringer

The Truth About Starting a Business

byBruce Barringer

Paperback | December 16, 2008

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“This book should be on the seasoned entrepreneur’s list of ‘what I should have read before I started my business.’”

JOE KEELEY, President & CEO, College Nannies & Tutors Development


“This is one of the best entrepreneurship books I’ve read...I wish I had this book when I first started out.”

RYAN O’DONNELL, Cofounder and CEO, BullEx Digital Safety


Your own business: Take the leap, make it happen, and make it succeed!


·   The truth about choosing the right business for you and maintaining a healthy personal life

·   The truth about planning, funding, hiring, and successful launches

·   The truth about financial management, marketing, and growth


This book reveals 53 bite-size, easy-to-use techniques for choosing, planning, launching, and growing your winning business.


You’ll learn how to generate and test business ideas, and pick the one that’s best for the right entry and locate your business...raise your team and get expert advice...protect your business secrets and intellectual property...effectively brand your business and market its offerings...handle pricing, distribution, and sales...manage your finances to specific objectives...prepare for growth...and even maintain your work/life balance as an entrepreneur. This isn't “someone's opinion”: it's a definitive, evidence-based guide to building your own successful enterprise--a set of bedrock principles you can rely on whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever business you choose to launch.



Bruce R. Barringer, a renowned expert on entrepreneurship, is a professor of management at the University of Central Florida. His books include Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures, 2nd Edition, Preparing Effective Business Plans: An Entrepreneurial Approach, and What's Stopping You?: Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths K...
Title:The Truth About Starting a BusinessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.2 × 5.4 × 0.6 inPublished:December 16, 2008Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0137144504

ISBN - 13:9780137144501


Read from the Book

Preface Think quickly. Should you buy this book? You have to make a decision. Every minute of every day, you are making a series of small decisions that could change the course of your career and your life. Our lives are the sum of our decisions. Your success is largely a result of the quality of your decisions. Have you given any thought to how you make decisions? This book won’t keep you from making stupid decisions. Alas, it won’t offer you a life without regret or buyer’s remorse. It will help you step back from the heat of decision making and think about how you approach decision making. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the leading researchers in the field of decision making, including Paul Schoemaker, author of Decision Traps and Winning Decisions, Howard Kunreuther, co-director of the Wharton School’s Risk and Decision Processes Center, and Jerry Wind and Colin Crook, authors of The Power of Impossible Thinking. I have learned a great deal from them about making decisions. I wish I could say that all this good schooling has kept me from making absolutely disastrous decisions, but I’d be lying. I’ve walked away from a stable job to start a business (turned out to be a pretty good decision). I’ve moved 2,000 miles from Pennsylvania to Colorado with a St. Bernard and three kids and back again in one year (a disaster but a fascinating adventure as well). It is a decision I’d make again in a heartbeat because it was for the sake of family. So the little knowledge I have hasn’t kept my tail out of the fire. But the way I think about and approach decisions has changed. There is no simple formula for decisions, but we can become better at making them. No decision is perfect, but often doing nothing is worse. The time to act is now. On the following pages are a series of sharp insights that will give you new ways of thinking about your decisions. There are no shortcuts or machines to make decisions for you. You just need to dig in, open your eyes and get to work. I hope the following truths about decision making can help you in making your own tough decisions. But some decisions are not all that tough. I mean, buy the book already. —Robert Gunther Praise for The Truth About Starting a Business “When thinking about starting a business, have you ever felt discouraged because you did not know somebody or some thing? If that is the case, Barringer can be your wise uncle. In this insightful new book, he shares common-sense advice, based on research that can help to get you started and going in the right direction to launch your own venture.” James Fiet, Ph.D., Brown Forman Chair in Entrepreneurship, University of Louisville “Relevant and easily accessible advice on how to start your own business. Barringer’s great primer covers it all, from naming your company to handling legalities, from publicity to the psychology of being an entrepreneur.” Matt Hedges, Founder and President, Vino de Sol “This book is a must read! Barringer has developed an easy-to-follow blueprint on how to start a new business. He takes the complexity of entrepreneurship and streamlines it, providing insight and expertise that is invaluable to those venturing out on their own.” Christopher Jones, CAGS, Licensed Educational Psychologies, NCSP, President & CEO, Dynamic Interventions, Inc. “I found myself smiling as I read some of the truths because I found it talking about myself and peers who have started numerous companies. This book should be on the seasoned entrepreneur’s list of ‘what I should have read before I started my business.’” Joe Keeley, President & CEO, College Nannies & Tutors Development “This book is the ultimate handbook for starting a business: from coming up with an idea to implementing it with success and vigor. It walks a potential business owner through the steps of writing a business plan, creating an identity, financing a business, hiring personnel, marketing, and creating a work-life balance. It is a tool that no new business owner should be without.” Dr. Emily Levy, Founder & CEO, EBL Coaching “Barringer cuts to the chase with his simple, relevant, and hard-hitting truths. In practical language and with significant insight about the realities of venture start-up, he speaks on very personal level to the prospective entrepreneur.” Michael H. Morris, PhD, Chris J. Witting Chair and Professor, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University “This is one of the best entrepreneurship books I’ve read. If you’re an entrepreneur or are thinking about starting a business, this book is a must read! I wish I had this book when I first started out.” Ryan O’Donnell, Co-Founder and CEO, BullEx Digital Safety “Barringer reveals many realities about being an entrepreneur and starting a business. Beyond just loving what you do, it is obviously critical to understand as many of the components that go into running your business as possible.” Evan Shapiro, Co-Founder, Blue Maze Entertainment © Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Part I   The Truth About What It Takes to Be a Business Owner

Truth 1    Why people start businesses  1

Truth 2    The right business for you  5

Truth 3    Questions to ask before you quit your job  9

Truth 4    Key characteristics of successful business owners  13

Truth 5    You may not need “prior business experience”  17


Part II   The Truth About Generating and Testing Business Ideas

Truth 6    The most common sources of new business ideas  21

Truth 7    Want several alternatives? Techniques for generating new business ideas  25

Truth 8    A make-it or break-it issue: Selecting an idea that can be sold into a niche market  29

Truth 9    Screening and testing business ideas  33

Truth 10   Writing a business plan: Still as important as ever  37


Part III  The Truth About Entry Strategies

Truth 11   Starting from scratch: Developing your own product or service  41

Truth 12   Franchising: Buying into someone else’s formula for success  45

Truth 13   Believe it or not: There are legitimate opportunities in direct sales  49

Truth 14   Buying a business  54

Truth 15   Internet businesses: The sky does seem to be the limit  58


Part IV   The Truth About Getting Up and Running

Truth 16   Choosing a location for your business  61

Truth 17   Something you’ll say a million times: Your business’s name  65

Truth 18   The paper chase: Obtaining business licenses and permits  69

Truth 19   Choosing a form of business ownership  73

Truth 20   Creating a Web site: An absolute necessity  79


Part V    The Truth About Raising Money

Truth 21   How to think about money as it relates to starting a business  83

Truth 22   Calculating your initial start-up costs  87

Truth 23   Personal funds, loans from friends and family, and bootstrapping  91

Truth 24   Debt financing  95

Truth 25   Equity funding  99

Truth 26   Grants: It takes the right fit  103

Truth 27   Persistence pays off: Finding alternative sources of startup funds  107


Part VI   The Truth About Building a New Business Team

Truth 28   How to approach the task of building a “new business” team  111

Truth 29   Starting a business as a team rather than an individual  115

Truth 30   Recruiting and hiring employees  119

Truth 31    Board of directors  123

Truth 32   Board of advisors  127


Part VII   The Truth About Intellectual Property

Truth 33   Intellectual property: What is it, and how is it protected?  131

Truth 34   To patent or not to patent?  135

Truth 35   Trademarks: An essential form of protection  139

Truth 36   Copyright laws: A surprising breadth of protection  143

Truth 37   Trade secrets: Guard them carefully  147


Part VIII  The Truth About Marketing

Truth 38   How to approach marketing in a new business  151

Truth 39   Segmenting the market and selecting a target market  155

Truth 40   Establishing a brand  159

Truth 41   Selling benefits rather than features  163

Truth 42   Pricing: The most dicey element of the marketing mix  165

Truth 43   It’s okay to advertise, but think through your choices carefully  169

Truth 44   Public relations: More important than ever  173

Truth 45   Distribution and sales: More choices than ever  177


Part IX   The Truth About Financial Management

Truth 46   Managing a business’s finances  181

Truth 47   Financial objectives of a business  185

Truth 48   The nitty-gritty: Forecasts, budgets, and financial statements  189


Part X    The Truth About Growing a Business

Truth 49   Preparing for growth  193

Truth 50   Stages of growth: More opportunities, more challenges  197

Truth 51   Strategies for growth 201


Part XI   The Truth About Starting a Business and Maintaining a Healthy Personal Life

Truth 52   Work life balance: Practical tips  205

Truth 53   Starting a business as a means of achieving a healthy personal life  209


References  213

About the Author  221