Today’s Saturday book review is about an enjoyable little book called “Start Up: 100 Tips to Get Your Business Going” by GL Hoffman.
I say “little” book, because it truly is, at least in size. It’s a small spiral bound compilation of 100 tips for startup entrepreneurs, about 4 inches by 5.5 inches in size. It’s perfect for slipping into a pocket, briefcase or purse, and taking it with you when you travel.
Each page in the book contains one tip that entrepreneurs can run their businesses by. Each tip is an easily digestible bite of insight.
Here’s an example:
40. Incremental improvements almost always win.
Too often we think we must improve in a dramatic fashion. All it really takes is consistent, small, incremental improvements in your new, developing business. Try to do one thing better each day.
I’m a big believer in incremental improvements, so that tip really hit home. Just try to keep taking small steps forward (and not take steps back if you can avoid it).
Here’s another tip from the book that startup entrepreneurs should be working toward as we develop our internal operations and business models:
88. Be thinking about barriers to entry, not products.
Every product can be designed better: Fact. Just because you have the best product today, does not mean you will have it tomorrow. Someone will make it look better, work faster or cost less. If you are in software, this might take just weeks. You can create a significant varrier to others who want to enter your niche or space, by thinking of every part of the business process as something that can be improved. In JobDig, for example, we can create our weekly newspapers, each unique with dozens and dozens of graphically perfect display ads, in a few hours. The problem we solved was how to scale the graphic design function without having dozens of graphic designers on the payroll waiting for Friday afternoon closings. This ability is a significant barrier.
So that gives you an idea of the sorts of tips you’ll find in this book. At the end, you’ll find a very short section with “10 Things You Can Do Now.”
The book features original illustrations by illustrator Leo Posillico.
This is the kind of book that you can pull out and read a few pages of, whenever you have a few spare moments. You can also read it from cover to cover in about an hour. But you’ll probably want to thumb through it again and again for inspiration and to help you stay on track as you grow your business.
GL Hoffman, the author, describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. He writes that his “parents didn’t love him enough to give him a whole name…” — and that should give you a clue as to the author’s sense of humor and informality. Those qualities come out in this book. He has taken two companies “from garage to IPO.”
He sent me 4 copies of his book, so I am giving away 3 of the copies to readers here. If you’d like a copy, please leave a comment below. I’ll mail them at my own expense anywhere in the world. First come, first served until the 3 copies are claimed. UPDATE: all 3 copies I had are spoken for. But the good news is that GL says he will give you a copy if you email him: gl – at – linkup.com.