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The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your Good Idea into a Great Business [Paperback]

Mike Southon , Chris West
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2008

Every business starts with a bright idea, and many a bright idea has been hatched in a pub – scribbled on a nearby discarded beermat. But how do you turn the moment of inspiration into a well oiled plan? who do you need to talk to? How do you find the cash to back the idea? How many people do you need to work with to get the idea off the ground? And how on earth do you find them?

This book tells you exactly how to convert your jotted notes into a big and successful business. It takes you step-by-step, with no jargon, no complex theory and no visits to arrogant pinstriped venture capitalists who aren't really interested in just 'an idea'.

This revised edition follows the same successful format of the previous editions with new up to the minute advice including: how to work with a bank to your greatest benefit, a new expanded section on growing your business and how to handle the 20-plus employee stage.

Using these tried and tested techniques, your beermat inspiration could become reality.

Frequently Bought Together

The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn Your Good Idea into a Great Business + Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship + Accounting for Business: An Integrated Print and Online Solution
Price For All Three: 90.90

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Business; 2 edition (4 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273720988
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273720980
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

You’ve got a bright idea. An idea that you think maybe, just maybe, could become a brilliant business. But what next? The Beermat Entrepreneur is the answer. It takes you through all the crucial stages between those first notes on a beermat and a business that is sound, lasting and profitable. It tells you what other books don’t – the lessons that most people have to learn by bitter experience; the tricks that all entrepreneurs wish somebody had told them before they set out.

‘This book, for me, says it all…It should become standard reading for all employees, managers and founders of start-up businesses.’
Professor Sir Christopher Evans OBE, Founder, Merlin Biosciences

‘Mike and Chris understand with unusual clarity what drives a start-up.’
Tim Smit, Founder, The Eden Project


For more information, visit our website at  

A royalty on the sale of this book will be paid to The Prince's Trust, Registered Charity No. 1079675, through its subsidiary trading company.


About the Author

Mike Southon is a highly successful serial entrepreneur. In the 1980s, he co-founded The Instruction Set and helped make it Europe’s leading open systems consultancy and training business, prior to selling the company to what is now Cap Gemini Ernst &Young in 1989. In the 1990s he worked with 17 start-ups, two of which, RiverSoft and Micromuse, subsequently went public.

Mike is now a leading speaker and mentor on entrepreneurship and sales, and has a weekly column, ‘My Business’ in the Weekend Financial Times. He is a Visiting Fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London South Bank University and has made frequent appearances on television and radio.

Chris West is a professional writer with a background in marketing and PR.  He has written novels and non-fiction, including the award-nominated Death of a Blue Lantern, Marketing on a Beermat and (as co-author) Think Like an Entrepreneur.  Chris also teaches writing and marketing skills.


Mike and Chris are co-founders of, which provides online resources for both practicing and aspirant entrepreneurs.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There are three essential stages that a business passes through on its way to maturity. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really accessible 3 Nov 2011
Straightforward and sensible advice for would-be entrepreneurs.

The main thing is the ideas are really accessible - only what can be written on a beermat.

And yet some of the ideas - like the cornerstones model - have stuck in my mind for many years.

Good stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Tangible Advice 1 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book although very short provides very useful and tangible advice on business start up. The advice on how to go about setting up a business, who to speak to and how to access relevant people is succinctly summarized in a very enjoyable read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD FOR ENTREPENEURS 29 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book was recommended to me, but is way out of my league. This book is directed to those personnel who intend to start up a company of sorts and expand, expand, expand. If you are a potential part time sole trader and want to stay that way, this is not the book really for you. However, definitely worth a read. I'm struggling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book. 1 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If your expecting business ideas this is not the book for you. However if you have your idea and want to build an infistructure to soundly support your already planted happy little seeds of business this will help you put in place the cornerstones of the foundation needed to grow and nurture your business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a few pints! 26 Dec 2012
By Alex
Depending on where you are in the country, this book costs about 3 pints. But it's worth a lot more because it's so insightful.

You'll get the most value from this book if you're working in small company, start-up or are an entrepreneur. It's succinct. Actionable. Realistic. It's how you get from A-to-B. From seed start-up, to sapling to mighty oak. It tells you how to start up, how to grow your business, and ultimately move on when it's finished.

The book is very honest. Very insightful. Owning this book is like having a screaming baby - you might hate it wailing, but at the end of the day you love it because of your parental love. For instance, the book becomes mightily depressing towards the end. It tells you how your business is likely to become a miserable bureaucracy, and how your staff are unlikely to care about it and you. But if your firm has got to that stage you'll have changed the world and have made wheelbarrows full of money. Which is what you wanted to do at the start, wasn't it?

Regardless of whether you've got a business idea, are working a start-up or are just curious about entrepreneurs, order this book before you go to the pub this evening. You'll enjoy it more than a few pints.
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