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The Beermat Entrepreneur: What You Really Need to Know to Turn a Good Idea into a Great Business Paperback – 7 Mar 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (7 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273659294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273659297
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

Amazon Review

The Beermat Entrepreneur captures that Archimedes moment when the idea suddenly hits you--out of the blue, no warning--the great business idea that's going to make your fortune and change people's lives. It's a defining moment for the would-be entrepreneur and channelling the concept from random notes on a beermat, bus ticket or whatever writing material you managed to grab at the time into a profitable business is Mike Southon and Chris West's goal. With refreshing clarity they reinvent the start-up around an entrepreneurial team immersed in a well-conceived business package.

The Beermat Entrepreneur puts three elements at the heart of the start-up; an elevator pitch endorsing the business concept, an experienced mentor to advise, consult and guide and four cornerstone individuals from technical, delivery, finance and sales backgrounds to complete the entrepreneur's team. "Business has already ceased to be about spreadsheets and software, and has entered the world of personal judgement and emotions", Southon and West argue. The connections and intuition a mentor can bring will repay the start-up a thousand times over while the cornerstones' specialist knowledge will form the core of the management team and drive the business forward. Taking in leadership, management, recruitment, PR, sales, marketing and finance along the route from Seedling Enterprise to Mighty Oak, Southon and West cover every issue the potential entrepreneur needs to understand about the challenges ahead. The Beermat Entrepreneur is an opinionated, inspiring and practical companion for new business adventurers. --Iain Campbell

Review

'What I really liked about this book was that it was easy to read. There are too many half-finished books by my bed that would have helped get me there years ago if I had just finished them.   Yet I read Beermat in just one sitting; I enjoyed the book and related to it. I came out liking the authors and wishing they hadn't retired so they could come and run one of my companies.'                           Simon Woodroffe, Founder of Yo Sushi! in Management Today

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

‘Refreshing and very readable.’ Richard Donkin, Financial Times

‘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

‘Provocative, down-to-earth and witty, too – if you’re looking for an antidote to the smoke and mirrors of the dotcom era, this is it!’  Nayyer Hussain, Co-founder, McGeoch Techonolgy

 'The Beermat Entrepreneur is honest and practical, and it works.’  Steve Packard, original publisher of Trivial Pursuit and founder of whereonearth.com‘An embarrassingly accurate picture of entrepreneurs – I went round the office reading out sections, and people laughed out loud.’  Peter Hall, Founder, The Wadenhoe Consultancy

 ‘I recommend this book to any aspiring entrepreneur.’  Charles Dunstone, Founder, Carphone Warehouse

‘It’s all here!’ Phil Tee, Founder, RiverSoft PLC

'At times provocative but unpretentious, the author challenges the conventional wisdom of other business books on this subject. Passionate about his beliefs, the book is witty and amusing. For example, having discussed the pros and cons of various sources of finance, Southon asks: "Are there any other sources of cash?" and responds: "There's always organised crime, I suppose, but the debt collection methods are a bit radical."

This is a book not just for entrepreneurs. Based on the author's real life experiences at the sharp end and packed full of wisdom and wit, there is much in this book for managers of whatever ilk and their employees to learn and enjoy.'

Ian MacEacheran FCMI

"...you can only benefit from reading this book. You'll gain valuable advice and knowledge from people who have seen it, done it and bought the T-shirt."

Evening Standard

"The Beermat Entrepeneur has become a bestseller because it sets out the key stages of a business' growth clearly and describes exactly what needs to be done for it to flourish. Such plain speaking in business books is unfortunately rare."

EN, Manchester

 

"Among the many excellent qualities of the Beermat Entrepeneur is its thoroughly practical, no-nonsense, anecdote-free approach...jam packed with solid advice you seldom see in other books."

Training Journal

 

"...a modern thinking manual full of smart media concepts."  Word Magazine, June 2005

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this book is suited for a particular type of entrepeneur. It is ideal for someone who wants to SHARE their idea, their vision, their dream and definitely NOT for the go-it-alone types. This second type of person would never get past the first couple of chapters and would certainly never understand anything he read after this anyway.
This book is for turning good ideas into good businesses using a simple formula of building the business and sharing the workload (and the profits) along the way. If you are planning this type of business, definitely read this book at some point.
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Format: Paperback
Read This Book if you are thinking about turning one of those ideas into something more than an idea! Mike and Chris have written a book that is very readable. Well written and contains great ideas such as how to structure your company, whom to involve, where to network, how to network. What Foundation Stones or 'cornerstones' as Mike refers to them are required.
The Key Learning Point for me was to getting a Finance Cornerstone and Sales Cornerstone involved. Why is this Key? Because without 'sales' your dead in the water. And without 'Cashflow' and 'Cashflow' management your Dead in the Water too! Debt is not good!
Enjoy this book, and join us at a BeerMat Monthly Event in UK and who knows maybe into Europe and the wider world soon.
Take Care,
Ian
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Format: Paperback
Best thing I liked about this book was that it is so easy to read and it did not bore me as it lacked the repetition that many other books of this ilk suffer from. I dipped in and out of it over a period of 4 weeks and each time found new ideas that inspired me. The book covers all aspects of what to do when you have a great business idea and what to look for in a mentor, the team, pitching for sales, pricing, what to do when you become a larger organisation and finally an established mighty oak. It was basically a great read and very easy to relate too in all aspects.
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After living in and doing management research in Silicon Valley for the past 20 years, my first reaction to this book was: How can Americans possibly learn anything about entrepreneurship from authors based in the United Kingdom? I was wrong. This is the most concise, complete, and engaging book you can read about how to grow a company. It is also might be the only charming book on entrepreneurship ever written. The Beermat Entrepreneur trumps the competition. Southon and West dispense with the annoying hype that fills so many management books. Instead, they give sound and useable advice about what every founder can and should do to build a great company. Not only that, this concise book is a joy to read. I teach management and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, and if I were to advise an aspiring company founder in any part of the world to read just one book, this would be it.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, written in a flowing, easy to read and digest style. It's very good at getting its message across and I found it hard to put down. In fact I liked it so much I've just bought Mike Southon and Chris Wests's latest book Sales on a Beermat.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very helpful book if you want to grow your company to several million pound turnover. It will help you visualise what its like to run a business that grows to that size. This in turn will help you decide if you want to go that route.
He helps you understand why you need a start-up team of five heavyweights if you want to be big. Without that team, your business will stay small. But that's not necessarily the end of the world. If you find it impossible to give up control, or if your business idea is not big enough to support 20+ employees, or finding five heavyweights seems like too much of a commitment before you know if the business works - then stay content with a micro business.
That's what I'm doing. So on the theory espoused in the book, my new businesses won't be multi-million pound turnover. But that still means they can have a turnover of several hundred thousand pounds, and that'll do. I'm very glad I read the book, because it helped me make that decision.
Plus it was a great read. The most enjoyable aspect of the book is it has the authentic voice of experience. That means some of the tips are unexpected, which could throw you out of a rut and make you rethink your approach. For example, he advises employing friends, rather than trying to evaluate strangers (however you must accept that your friendship will suffer!). He also emphasises the importance of getting a sale very early on to establish that your idea is a runner. It seems obvious but I don't remember another business book putting the same emphasis on that.
The Beermat Entrepreneur has stuff you won't find elsewhere. You should read it even if you decide not to go for this approach.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very helpful book if you want to grow your company to several million pound turnover. It will help you visualise what its like to run a business that grows to that size. This in turn will help you decide if you want to go that route.
He helps you understand why you need a start-up team of five heavyweights if you want to be big. Without that team, your business will stay small. But that's not necessarily the end of the world. If you find it impossible to give up control, or if your business idea is not big enough to support 20+ employees, or finding five heavyweights seems like too much of a commitment before you know if the business works - then stay content with a micro business.
That's what I'm doing. So on the theory espoused in the book, my new businesses will only ever grow to maybe 6 - 9 staff. But a business of that size will keep me happy. I'm still very glad I read the book, because it helped me make that decision.
Plus it was a great read. The most enjoyable aspect of the book is it has the authentic voice of experience. That means some of the tips are unexpected, which could throw you out of a rut and make you rethink your approach. For example, he advises employing friends, rather than trying to evaluate strangers (however you must accept that your friendship will suffer!). He also emphasises the importance of getting a sale very early on to establish that your idea is a runner. It seems obvious but I don't remember another business book putting the same emphasis on that.
The Beermat Entrepreneur has stuff you won't find elsewhere. You should read it even if you decide not to go for this approach.
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