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Start Up/New Business Book Recommendations

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by BKRinvesting, 5th Apr, 2016.

  1. BKRinvesting

    BKRinvesting Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    As I have always known, working as a PAYE employee for life was never going to work for me. So after 5 years working for others - I am now in the position where I have an idea, and a concept of a viable solution to solve a genuine problem.

    I am still in the very early stages - so I am looking for recommendations from the successful people here on good books to read. In particular books regarding practical and useful ways to how to get this thing off the ground, or anything else you personally found useful.
    Thanks
     
  2. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    personally I think no amount of talking, reading, advice, or whatever you call it, will replace good timing, good product/service, good setup, trial and error, good ideas,
     
  3. BKRinvesting

    BKRinvesting Well-Known Member

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    I'm not looking to replace it.
    Just to make sure hard work is also smart work, and to encourage some out of the box thinking.
    After all - I thought I knew a bit about property investing until I signed up here. ;)
     
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  4. aussieshorter

    aussieshorter Well-Known Member

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    I just read the 5 Minute Business by Mark Middo and found it very useful.

    Lots of practical ideas to get a business off the ground very quickly.
     
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  5. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    I suggest 'secretes of an online entrepreneur'. Cheesy title but very well written, great content about branding and advertising. A real eye opener.
     
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  6. Mitesh Dedhia

    Mitesh Dedhia Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Not sure what line of business.. but try E Myth by Michael Gerber
     
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  7. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    For a startup idea, you can’t go past the “Lean Startup” by Eric Rees. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses eBook: Eric Ries: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store

    For getting an idea of the ground, the Lean Startup has a lot of stuff to help you out.

    I’d try to get into a coworking space. This serves not just as a place to go to work, but a place where you can meet a lot of other people who are doing similar things. Even better if the space is like mine, and has seminars and free talks to provide guidance, and mentorship. We even have an accountant who comes every fortnight to provide free advice. Our mentor built a web based business, and sold it 10 years later to Fairfax. His share was conservatively $20m. You also find out about grants and programs to help you grow.

    For the startup I’m working with, the really valuable idea was customer validation. That is, ways to test out your idea to see if it has legs, before you go on spending heaps of time and money to put a product out there. When you have the product validated, put out something to test its viability- a minimum viable product. Throw out everything which isn’t absolutely necessary to the product. That gives you a product built at minimum cost which can be tried out in the real world. (I’m talking about an IT product here, but similar concepts apply for other business types). Be prepared to throw out everything at this stage. We proved that our fundamental concept was good- some users are really excited about it. But it really needs the bells and whistles to give it traction.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. BKRinvesting

    BKRinvesting Well-Known Member

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    Awesome responses thanks guys!
    You are right in thinking the idea has an IT element, time to get into some reading!
    A co-working space sounds good - but I'm not in a position where I can drop my PAYE job just yet.
    I am already thinking of ways to ensure customer validation - so it's good to know I'm on the right track.
    I'm a business project manager by day so early and consistent stakeholder engagement is a common theme for success.
    Using the knowledge I have from my day job - I have a good idea on how to get the solution built and up - but I guess I need to conduct a knowledge gaps analysis to identify what else I need to know. It's areas like marketing, company structure, accounting, that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of.
     
  9. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Co working can be part time. Or there are events outside of normal hours. Check out
    Fishburners – Australia's Largest Startup Space - I'd certainly recommend at least some time there. You can go there on a casual basis for $40 a day, or they have a lot of events.

    There are programs to help out people starting up- but I'd suggest that you may need to develop your idea a little further. Many people have got ideas. Many of them take their ideas no further- and an idea in isolation doesn't have a great deal of traction. 95% of the value of a startup is in developing the idea- initially at least getting something past the customer validation concept. Does your idea have appeal? Will it sell? The startup I'm working with spent 3 months looking for a problem. They just performed market research for 3 months before finding a niche. That's when I came on board. It took 6 months to minimum viable product- but it could have been done more quickly if we had been aware of the concept and just aimed there. That's six months of two people working full time.

    Here's some companies that invest in startups:
    Startup Incubators and Accelerators in Australia

    I've heard that www.startmate.com.au is good. Last year you had to apply around about September for admission to the 2016 program- which included a trip to silicon valley. There's some good pointers from them at
    Business Angels / Angel Investor | Entrepreneur, Angel Investor Interview - Niki Scevak - Startmate | iPitch.com.au

    Have a think also about getting a co founder at some stage, somebody who complements your skills, probably somebody with good business and marketing skills.

    However, when you get to the point of marketing- you must do it yourself. At least initially. Nobody has the passion for your product that you do.

    Edit. There is a newsletter which has weekly alerts about upcoming events- The Fetch

    There's not much notice for this one, but it looks to have a lot of the sort of information you are looking for:
    Kick Start Smart | Collective Hub Event | Collective Hub
     
    Last edited: 6th Apr, 2016
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  10. aussieshorter

    aussieshorter Well-Known Member

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    It's not a book (although the presenter has just released a book along the same lines) but I find the Small Business Big Marketing podcast to be really useful.

    I'm in the early stages of setting up a couple of web-based businesses, and have picked up a lot of free or inexpensive ideas to help market the business in its early stages.
     
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  11. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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  12. aussieshorter

    aussieshorter Well-Known Member

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    I hope not ;)
     
  13. BKRinvesting

    BKRinvesting Well-Known Member

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    Thanks :) don't worry - plenty of time is being spent developing the idea further. I have a business background - but I'll definitely need to link up with some others in IT etc to get this off the ground.
    It's still very very early days - the idea was incubating in my head for a good 6 months until a about a month ago where I started to flesh it out.
    I have some direction and some good books to pick up. I'll be sure to touch base when I have more progress to report. Where are you based? Sydney?
     
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  14. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm based in Canberra. I work three days a week at Entry 29 | Canberra Coworking for Startups and two days at home.

    If you are ever down this way, you're welcome to have a look in.

    I have an extensive background in both IT and fast food (eight years a Subway franchisee).
     
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  15. BKRinvesting

    BKRinvesting Well-Known Member

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    Thanks mate, may well do that next time I'm down :)
    Do you know of any small business/start up forums similar to what property chat is for property? Iv done some initial searching but having signed up anywhere yet.
     
  16. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    The only one I know of is Small business forums. Come on in! - although it is aimed more generally at small businesses than at IT startups. I haven't actively looked before though.

    A Google search shows Google グループ and a corresponding weekly Sydney meetup at Silicon Beach

    Edit: I'm not sure why the Japanese (?) text, it's just a Google group.
     
    Last edited: 6th Apr, 2016
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  17. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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    Haha, just fixed it now to the correct word.
     
  18. Leewei

    Leewei Well-Known Member

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    I have been working on a tech startup for the past 1 year. My company has been running since Sept 14. Flyingsolo is a great place to get some insights on the tech front of your startup, especially if you need help regarding SEO or Marketing.

    I would recommend reading: Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg . He's the guy who started the search engine DuckDuckGo.

    Also, there are a ton of websites that you can approach to pitch your startup to. Some that come to my mind immediately are startupdaily, startupsmart, lifehacker, anthill, mashable, smartcompany (only reports businesses that are already making a decent amount of revenue). These sites can give your business that user boost.
     
    Last edited: 11th Apr, 2016
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  19. GoldCoastBound

    GoldCoastBound Member

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    Hey you have one of the best online business builders in the world right on your doorstep in Sydney...James Schramko ....search him online, get into his paid forum and get this biz started the right way...theres a lot of people making a lot of money in that forum...
     
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  20. Spiderman

    Spiderman Well-Known Member

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    My total business experience comprises the writing and marketing of one specialist book that is available only in electronic form. However I am approaching it as a business and sales have been excellent (similar to the gross rent on a modest IP with zero costs). Marketing in its first six months has been free/word of mouth but I'm now experimenting with paid online advertising (business page at VK3YE Radio Books ).

    Anyway, as a spare time sideline alongside my regular full-time job, I've focused on making the business model as simple as possible. I accept I can't be all things to all people. I'd rather do a few things well than many things poorly.

    In my context this means the book is available in electronic form rather than a paper edition. I've had less than 10 requests for the latter as opposed to nearly 2000 sales for the electronic edition, so I think sticking to the latter is good business sense.

    Another thing I was reflecting on last night was the market. It's a very specialised market and not necessarily one with much growth. But it also means there's little competition. And I already have a high profile in the area (free marketing on established YouTube channel etc). So it's possible to get worthwhile sales from an area that most would pass over as too niche. Whereas although a topic like romantic novels might be much more widely read the presence of competition would make a best seller a high risk/low probability (but potentially high return) game that's not for me.

    Have you looked at your business and identified what market areas you wish to serve and those you wish to leave for others?
     
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