October 1, 2014

Do You Have Creative Confidence?

Content
Freshness
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Summary


An educational and entertaining books that uses real cases studies from around the country.

roadside mba

Well, this is refreshing!

Usually I’m reviewing books that take examples from big business and teach them as case studies or stories for small business.  But, this time, dear reader, the tables are turned.

I just received a review copy of Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners by Michael Mazzeo, Paul Oyer, and Scott Schaeffer and I have to say that I’m really enjoying these real-life small business case studies and I think you will, too.

The authors are a group of business professors who teach MBA students; Paul Oyer,  a professor at Stanford, Scott Schaefer, a professor at the University of Utah and Mike Mazzeo, a professor at Northwestern University.  These guys met at a conference in Boston.  But their book writing future was sealed on a trip to a shoe store while killing time before a flight.

They have taken a unique approach by going around the country and interviewing a variety of small business owners, collecting their stories and lessons, and pulling them together into this informative book.

10 Business Lessons From 45 Small Businesses

Roadside MBA is divided into ten chapters with each focused on a common business theme.

Chapter 1: Scaling A Business

Chapter 2: Establishing Barriers To Entry

Chapter 3: Product Differentiation

Chapter 4: Setting Prices

Chapter 5: Managing Your Brand

Chapter 6: Negotiating Affectively

Chapter 7: Hiring

Chapter 8: Incentives for Employees

Chapter 9: Delegation

Chapter 10: Battling The Big Boys

Inside each theme they’ve pulled together stories from the more than forty small businesses they visited on their road trip.

Here are just a few of the lessons that you’ll find inside Roadside MBA:

  • How to negotiate: The Deadhead owners of Eko Compost in the hippie town of Missoula, Montana who don’t negotiate recycling contracts until they know what the city’s next best options are.
  • How to hire:  A windsock manufacturer who uses a reverse hiring strategy that focuses on discouraging the wrong applications and not just attracting the right ones.
  • How to compete: See how a small bookstore succeeded against big box stores by focusing on what the big guys couldn’t do.

Because the businesses featured in Roadside MBA are small, you’ll find the way they create, implement and manage a variety of business strategies is inspiring and surprisingly doable.

Roadside MBA is a fun book to read and an even more practical book to put into practice.  As the authors say in the introduction:

“We learned far more about business strategy from our trip to the shoe store than we did at the conference.”

I think you might find yourself saying the same thing – you’ll get an MBAs worth of knowledge from Roadside MBA.

6 Comments ▼

Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is Book Editor for Small Business Trends and publisher of DIYMarketers , where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is the President of Third Force, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in getting your ideal customer to choose you. Ivana is the book editor for Small Business Trends and co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions

  1. Hello there,

    Where can I get more information about this?

    Thank you.

  2. Hi Ariff – this book will be released soon – I’ll bet you can buy a copy on Amazon

  3. This looks great! Thanks for the review! I will definitely be checking this book out!

  4. Hi Cory – it’s really interesting. I’m really glad someone decided to use real small businesses as case studies of sorts — after all, there are so many more of them than there are big brands and corporations. Honestly, it’s a lot harder than it needs to be to compare a company with a multi-billion dollar marketing budget to a small business.

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