4 out of 4 stars
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Are you self-driven with a competitive streak? Do you want to start your own business but aren’t sure how to start? Then John Vinturella’s 8 Steps to Starting a Business: How to Quickly Gain the Skills You Need is for you.
The allure of self-employment is undeniable. Consider these statistics from Vinturella’s book: over 50% of the working population works in a small business, small businesses have created over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995, and 543,000 new businesses are started each month. Unfortunately, launching a business can seem complicated even to graduates with MBAs, let alone a random Joe/Jane on the street.
That’s why John Vinturella, entrepreneur and teacher, wrote the how-to book 8 Steps to Starting a Business. Using the eight steps mentioned in the title, this textbook guides readers through everything from identifying a profitable business to surviving until the cash begins to flow. Vinturella explores many useful resources while breaking down the process, including the Small Business Association and Kickstarter. He also utilizes mini-cases, study questions, and graphs to explain each concept and encourage readers to practice these ideas before using them in the real world. This book is not a passive read, making it perfect for the hands-on learner.
As a freelancer, I understand the struggle of starting a business, and I wish I had discovered Vinturella’s book sooner. It’s informative and easier to follow than I had expected. I majored in English; I’m not exactly savvy to business terminology. However, Vinturella takes the time to explain each term and concept with real-life examples that turned on the light bulb in my head immediately. This thoroughness can be repetitive to someone more familiar with the material. Regardless, I don’t think anyone should skip any sections. As Vinturella demonstrates, entrepreneurs with business experience can still overlook essential parts of the planning process if they aren’t careful.
I found two aspects of the book very refreshing: it does not read like a textbook and it offers alternatives to starting a business from scratch. Most textbooks, no matter what the subject, are dry and formal. Vinturella’s writing is more conversational and engaging. It sometimes slips into a formal style, including referring to himself as “the writer,” but overall I felt as though he were speaking right to me.
Many books like this one only stay focused on one way to achieve the reader’s goal. Vinturella, though, discusses other methods to becoming an entrepreneur besides start-ups. I think his information on franchising was particularly helpful. So many franchises thrive that opening one seems like a viable option, and I am glad that Vinturella discusses both the gains and costs of this path.
I have few qualms with this book. One of these tiny qualms is that Vinturella does not discuss one major resource on the Internet: freelance websites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Vinturella focuses more on product-based enterprises than service-based ones, but with the depth of his research, I was surprised that he did not mention these networks alongside social media outlets. My other issue is that I noticed minor proofreading errors such as missing spaces and misplaced punctuation. Some of these may be explained by technological issues (I was reading the PDF on my Kindle, which can cause formatting issues) but others cannot. However, the errors were not glaring and I think that the book underwent professional editing.
Everything considered, I give 8 Steps to Starting a Business by John Vinturella 4 out of 4 stars. It’s thorough but easy to understand, making it perfect for novice and experienced entrepreneurs. Some readers might not like the math involved in the activities, but there is really no way to avoid calculations while planning a business. I would mostly suggest it for people just starting to entertain the thought of starting a business. However, I think that entrepreneurs with struggling or failed businesses would benefit from it as well. Whether you’re a business student or a self-starter striving for independence, Vinturella’s work will speak to you.
8 Steps to Starting a Business
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