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on 26 September 2009
It is very comprehensive in business start up. It will put you off if you are thinking of main stream business. The business I have needs only £200 start up, no stock, no staff, no premises and plenty of good income, so this book was a bit over the top for my business. The testimonies are excellent.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2015
This book provides the inspiration for you to move from thinking and talking about starting your own business to actually making the commitment to literally change your life.

It's a no nonsense guide to getting your idea developed and your business started.

There's no doubt that Duncan Bannatyne has had an interesting life and done remarkably well from it and while this isn't an autobiography, he does share some of his own story. He wasn't born with the normal advantages which you may think you need to be a hugely successful entrepreneur. His family wasn't rich, he left school without any qualifications, he was dishonourably discharged from the Royal Navy and he admits that he bummed around for ten years before he showed any entrepreneurial flair.

The message is that if he can do it, then so can you.

Chapter 1 focuses on Removing the Barriers - whatever is stopping you from starting a business.
Chapter 2 is about The Idea for your business and how you can find it and check that it's a good one. He lists the ten reasons why some new businesses fail and the seven myths about starting a new business.
Chapter 3 looks at You to make sure that you're made of the right stuff to be a business owner.
Chapter 4 looks at your business plan and why you should do it and not pass it on to someone else. I thought some of his comments about the Profit & Loss account and cash flow were confusing.
Chapter 5 on Raising Finance is excellent. It starts with finding the funds needed from your own resources, moves on to bank finance, other sources of funds and then to business angels and finally venture capitalists.
Chapter 6 is Running Your Business which is a wide ranging chapter covering the business name, branding, the legal form of the business, premises, hiring staff and VAT. There are some useful tips here but the book starts to feel a little superficial in its coverage.
Chapter 7 is Growing Your Business which is about marketing and building your team. Again there are some interesting tips but it's a brief summary of huge topics.
Chapter 8 is called Millionaire and looks at how you turn your successful business into big money by selling it, floating it on the stock market or stepping back and retaining ownership but passing the management over to someone else.

The main strength of this book is in the first five chapters which make it an ideal primer for anyone thinking about starting a business. While it's an interesting read, it is much less relevant for business owners who already have their businesses up and running and want to improve performance.

The book is recommended for anybody who is thinking about starting a business and especially for those who love the Dragons Den TV programme.

About my book reviews - I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 4 stars means this is a good to very good book.

Paul Simister, business coach
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2008
Removing the barriers

Although all the reviews so far have been five star It is not as good as his first book. There are plenty of how to books on the market and I am sure if anyone knows how to it is Duncan Bannatyne

The first book had the excitement and edge of describing how he made it form nothing with no discernible talents and as he quite rightly said if he can do it anyone can do it.

This book has sold nowhere near as well as his first book and is obviously written with a view to following up on the earlier success. Unfortunately this is no Godfather 2..

If it had not been written by Duncan Bannantyne I doubt it would have got anywhere near a publisher. I agree that if you are prepared to work at it anyone can maker a million. A lot of people baulk at that statement but he is right .It is not like say running a marathon, there are many ways to make money and most of them do not require intelligence skill or brain power . They just require application and hard work.

Unfortunately we like to believe that those who are better off than us are just lucky or have inherited the money. We don't want to believe it was just hard work and application

The chapters set out what is required. The biggest problem which he starts with is removing the barriers. The best is I don't have time
The is the most common complaint but those who make it at anything seem to be able to use their time wisely.

He then goes on to tell you the number of small businesses that can be started on under a thousand pounds as that is the next objection.

The idea is the next most important as again people think you need a new idea. They are ten a penny and you can copy any one and apply yourself to it and succeed. There are not original ideas just spins on old ones

Most people think the idea and raising finance are the two most difficult area. This is demonstrated by Dragons Den. But what is obvious on Dragons den is that it is execution of the plan and th people concerned are the most important.

Sometimes they say I don't like our idea but I will back you.

Even the Dragons don't get it right every time as they have missed opportunities so any book will only take you so far. You can generalise who and what will make a good business but it is no substitute for reality.

I would agree that this is a superior buiness book as Duncan Bannatyne obviously knows his business but it only gives guidelines and need to be put into practice.

Like all self help books the ideas have to be put into practice whereas it is every easy to just go th bookshop or library and get out another self help book.

A good read but not as outstanding as his first so I will only give him a four star. If you haven't read his first book start there.
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on 12 January 2016
I bought this second hand from The Book Depository on Amazon, in very good condition and well delivered. Although the technical and financial advice and information at long out of date in some instances, the information still gives some very good leads to raising backing and ideas on where and how to look.

More importantly and unaffected by how long ago the book was written or not is the actual business and mind-set information and guidance Duncan Bannatyne gives. He is incredibly inspiring and has the knack of putting matters into clear perspective and taking out any and all of the unnerving ideas about starting your own business and building it up.

He keeps his information clear, simple, real and "on earth" and helps a person understand that this kind of thing is done everyday and is worth going for, on your own behalf. Why slog your life away for someone else and making them rich, when you could be slogging your life away for yourself - and possibly enjoying the fullest benefits of it? Lol. But he is right. The more people are doing this for themselves, the more say and control of all types they get over their days and earnings.

Very inspiring and very helpful. I have passed this to my sister, who has been teetering on the edge of starting her own "thing" for several years now, but it now out there looking for the right premises; and to my daughter, who is currently studying Business at A-level and now wants to pursue it at University.

Just to strengthen you inside, to help you see the mysterious "starting a business" for what it is, and to inspire you to try for yourself at last, this book is very worth reading.
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 October 2011
I'm a fan of Duncan Bannatyne and his whole "just get on with it and do it" ethos, but for all it's drive this book is very disconnected from day-to-day life, to the point where I suspect it's 100% ghost written with Duncan just contributing a handful of comments and his name to the cover.

The ethos of the book is "if you want to do it, you'll do it" , with the ongoing advice of work full-time to bring in an income to fund your second full-time job as an entrepreneur, but it repeatedly fails to consider the real world implications this scenario.

The clearest example of this is his story about someone wanting to write a book. He argues disparagingly against a would-be writer's decision to give up her job to focus on writing and her house move to a location where bills are cheaper in order to make her meagre income go further, with the fact she should have just bought a pencil. Work a full-time job. Write a book in the evening. With a pencil. Whoever wrote that has never written a book, or worked a 9 - 5 job - evidence alone that Mr Bannatyne didn't write this book himself.

Fine for a motivation boost, but for a more realistic discussion of how to move forward in practical terms How To Be Smart With Your Time: Expert Advice from the Star of Dragons' Den is a lot more helpful.
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on 15 June 2017
Duncan Bannatyne, What can you say about him that hasn't been already said!!! he like Marmite you either love him or you hate him, but you cannot ignore him. Self Made Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur (i.e or SMEMS an acroynym he uses to descrbe himself and fellow entrepreneurs) Ex-Dragons Den Investor,Speaker,Author and Founder of 4 successful multi-million businesses ranging from Ice Cream Vans to Care Homes,Childrens Nurseries and his current venture Gyms and Health Clubs and he also owns a Hotel as well. Despite his current troubles (i.e. His last book was "Riding the Storm" also another fantastic book and hes still worth £200 Million!!). This book even though written back in 2008 is I still feel is even more relevant today and Duncan gives you a step by step plan and makes you aware that forget "Get Rich Quick" and that you will have "Work Harder then you ever did as an Employee!!" However you can "Work Smart as well as Working Hard!!"
I still recommend you buy,study and act and implement on his advice!!!
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on 7 May 2013
Duncan Bannatyne is one of those people you either love or hate. A harsh, hard nosed businessman that doesn't suffer fools gladly, but when you delve deeper, you realise he is a self made man that has spotted opportunities and acted on them.

Without spoiling the read for anyone, Duncan's 'career' started off with him being dishonourably discharged from the Navy at an early age. From there he goes to eventually becoming a multi millionaire. This book isn't a guide to 'get rich quick' schemes, it isn't a high powered motivational bible, nor is it pure autobiography. What it does teach, is that spotting opportunities and acting on them can be a very rewarding experience.

The book is full of contributions from other well known business people and is a relaxed, easy going guide to delving into the world of business and becoming an entrepreneur. I wouldn't say this book on its own will change your life, as that takes effort on your own part, but is shows how Duncan with little money, not much education and with not much help from the financial institutions overcame those constraints to become one of the countries best known businessmen.
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on 6 July 2013
Sometimes when you read a book about getting rich, changing your life etc. you get the impression that the writer's only goal is to get rich himself by selling the book, or to change his life through the book... Well this book is such a copy.
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on 9 January 2011
I read this only because I got a signed set on a great offer.

I expected a fairly lukewarm standard business start up book.
Idea...blah blah ..plan blah blah... funding blah blah

It was so much more than that, and as a serial business owner, I found of a lot of interesting stuff in all departments, not just how he views a business, but issues like motivation of staff, and even why he does not outsource., and some of these insights are real golddust

Good and well worth the read, including the anecdotal stuff.

If it has weaknesses they are partly because no book can cover it all, and also because much of his business career has been focussed on such as subscription model businesses with a property capital asset. So did not identify some other risks for example , for newcomers I would have liked to have seen serious healthwarnings leasing property commercially, since the contracts lock you in to a cage, and can be the thing that bankrupts a new entrepreneur if the business fails, also that even if you sell the business unless you are careful with lease drafting you can be responsible for new owner debts.

All in all a great book - and if Duncan wants to improve it , I would have liked to see an anecdoatal chapter about getting out of a potentially terminal scrape, and crisis management, which all entrepreneurs face from time to time.

Looking forward to reading the next one.
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on 28 May 2013
Well the author gives plently of advice and I really liked the way he put it, but obviously I expected miracle to happen at the end of my reading. Immediately. Well it didn't :) . However it put my mind in some sort of new direction, so I judge my ideas, new information , etc through the ideas and advices from this book. To me it really does help to shape your mindset in a way that you start to understand what is 'right' and 'wrong' about starting up your business . What's more important it helps to get rid of potentially useless or even rubbish ideas which would otherwise cost lots of time, money and efforts.
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