Review of Startup Success

Startup Success by Lesonsky and KeaneUp until now,  most of our weekend book reviews have been about traditional print books.  But ebooks play a key role in the information mix.

So today I am reviewing an ebook —  Startup Success: Boost Your Chances for Business Success With Web 2.0.

First of all, let’s get the definitions straight.  The kind of ebook I’m talking about is an electronic PDF file that you download to your computer.  You can read it on your computer — or you can print it out on your printer locally.

Ebooks are a better format than print books for certain types of information.  Examples:

  • information that has a short shelf life (because an ebook can be updated frequently)
  • Web-based information with lots of links (because it’s much easier to click through links from a PDF than hand-enter links from a print book)
  • narrow-niche information (because the information is valuable even if there’s not enough of it to justify the expense of publishing a traditional book)

Startup Success is such a PDF.  It fits into all 3 categories above.

Startup Success covers 50+ online tools and resources you can use to start and grow your business.  The PDF is 80 pages.  It summarizes each tool or resource, pointing out a few key benefits and what to use it for.  It also includes a  link so you can quickly jump to each tool.

As the book indicates, many of the tools are free or low cost. This is especially helpful for the early days of a business when you are keeping a hawk eye on expenses.

Startup Success organizes the tools into categories, based on the business challenge you are trying to solve:

  • What Business Should You Start?
  • Will Your Business Idea Work?
  • Planning for Business Success
  • Doing Market Research
  • Creating Your Marketing Tools
  • Designing Your Web Site
  • Communicating, Collaborating and Enhancing Productivity
  • Branding and Positioning Your Business
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Hiring People

What I Liked About This Book

You could say that today’s environment is like that line from Dickens’ “The Tale of Two Cities”:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

What I mean is …  we’re living in the best of times in the sense of having more free resources at our fingertips than ever before.  It’s a tremendous aid to startups and small businesses.

But it’s the worst of times … precisely because there is so much information available.  Who has time to review all the online software applications, sort out what they do, and decide which ones to use?

That’s where Startup Success comes in.  The authors have done the legwork to find the tools, try them out, and vet them for you.  That way, you don’t have to.

This time-saving convenience and the curated information you get is worth the small price tag (under $10), in my opinion.

About the Authors

The book is written by Rieva Lesonsky and Ronan Keane.  Rieva formerly was SVP/Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. (Rieva also writes here at Small Business Trends.) Ronan is president of Upclick Marketing, an online marketing and SEO firm in Northern Virginia.

Who This Book is For

This book is for anyone in a startup, or an aspiring entrepreneur trying to figure out how to start a business.  The book will point you to resources to get you on your way and make it easy for you.

But the book is also useful for existing small businesses.  If you feel behind the curve — confused by all the tools available online today, and wishing you could leverage them like other businesses do — then you will want to check out this book.

Do keep in mind, however, that the purpose of this book is to point you to tools and resources.  It’s not a “how to” book.  Don’t expect it to tell you step by step how to start a business, or how to market your business.  It assumes you have some knowledge for those tasks, but are looking for online tools to improve your processes, move quicker, drive out costs and get better results.  Sometimes, having the right tools is exactly the little boost you need.

Download the free chapter that the authors made available for readers of Small Business Trends. And then visit the Startup Success website.

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.