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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 2011
I leafed through this book in the airport and decided to purchase it on Amazon as I thought it made interesting reading. The book is easy to read and makes very interesting reading for both the seasoned business owner ( should they be a sole trader or owner of an SME) and the budding entrepreneur. Duncan sites good examples to the failures and fixes drawing on both his own pesonal experiences and that which he has learned from the Dragons Den.

Would definitely recommend this book especiallly for anyone thinking of starting their own business.
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VINE VOICEon 23 July 2011
Duncan Bannatyne 43 Mistakes Business make and how to avoid them
I have read all of Duncan Bannatynes books. I am sure he does not write them but he has a very good ghost writer who knows how to tap into what Bannatyne is good at which is giving advice on businesses.
It is an easy book to read at 225 pages.The best one is mistake 2 failure to take responsibility
I have been in business a few years and I have made every mistake in the book but it has always been my fault fir the wrong decisions. I have colleagues who confidently tell me the reasons why they are doing so badly is because of the competition. It is never because they are disorganised or lazy it is always someone's else fault.
The other main mistake is not understanding cashflow ( Mistake 20) It happens all the time n Dragons Den they talk in huge figures of what they might earn but not when the money might turn up. Without cashflow you are dead whether or not you have big contracts or not.
Mistake 39 Thinking markets will never change. I watch restaurant inspector and usually they have had a god business but it goes away because the market has changed. You should be thinking about your market on a daily basis and trying to evolve to survive
If your business is failing there are a range or reasons and a range tactics will get you out of it. This book is a great starting point all the answers are in it.
Dragons Den starts again this week and I will be watching all the episodes. It amazes me how many people are so fundamentally deludes into thinking that just because they have invested something that the world will beat a path to their door and all they need is the Dragons money to build it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 December 2015
In my opinion, this book is very much targeted at the business start-up market as a guide of what to look out for or what to think about before you start out. Most people who have already started a business get rapid feedback if things aren't right - potential customers don't buy, staff don't do things right and the bank balance shoots downwards at an alarming rate.

If you haven't run your own business yet, then I can promise you there is nothing like it. Adapting can be just as big a shock if you've come out of a senior management position in a corporate business as it can if you've been a skilled technician who got tired of his boss making the big money. There is so much to learn.

Everything depends on you which is why the first two mistakes are important.
1 - Not taking good advice - it can be tough but sometimes those who have done it before or seen it done before do know best.
2 - Failure to take responsibility - when you're the owner of the business, everything depends on you and it doesn't get done unless you do it or organise for it to be done.

The book goes on to list plenty of other big mistakes but there are plenty of other mistakes which could have been included. The big one is failing to differentiate your business and your products. These might be covered in his other books.
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on 23 September 2013
I have been in business many years and it can be a rather lonely business with few good sources of inspiration - this is most definitely one good source, concise and to the point indicators of common mistakes we so easily make, if you are in business and only one point is applicable to you its worth the money, if you are going to start a business for the first time just buy it, you need it!
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on 10 June 2011
I own a business and I also work on the side as a business consultant. This book comes as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise overcrowded market of business books written by academics and other charlatans, most of whom would end up getting a nose-bleed if they tried to run so much as a whelk stall!

For every field of human endeavour, there are gurus and in the field of business management, gurus seem to be being hatched, a six-pack at a time. To become such a creature, you have to write a book, outlining some method or system. This could be a fashionable Japanese thing, such as `Kaizen' or `Keiretsu' or one of the `Management by Something' schools of thought, such as `Management by Walking About' `Management by Mojo' or `Matrix Management.' Despite there being hundreds of such gurus, each with his or her own pet theory, none of them seems to have actually managed anything.

It is as if all the books on fly-fishing were written by people who had never seen a river! To be hailed as a management guru, you do not actually have to know what you are talking about.

Bannatyne does!

His book speaks directly from the world of experience. It is the words of common sense that cut through all the babble of sillier management-speak spouted by others. I can honestly state that, if you are starting out in business, this is the first book you need to read. (The second will have to be 'Ogilvy on Advertising.')

When I started out in business, some 30+ years ago, this book did not exist and so I can state, with hand on heart, that at some time or other, I have made most of the mistakes listed here (except listening to my mum, I have always studiously ignored her advice, but that is another story). Today, this book does exist, so there are no more excuses!

He lists 43 mistakes - and that is my main criticism, there are so many more! In particular, I have to deal with too many businesses that just do not have the slightest idea how to sell their goods or services: how to find the customers and find out how many there really are, how to reach the customers and tell them that you even exist and how to structure a sale. There are dozens of mistakes in sales and marketing and Bannatyne does touch on this subject in a hand-full of sections, such as research, making a good first impression and not putting any real effort into marketing. I see brilliant companies, providing first-class products at fantastic prices that have no website, no marketing budget, not even a few flyers and some cards, and are desperate for trade!

Bannatyne could have dealt in greater depth with mistakes of advertising and marketing. It will be read largely by owners of small and medium-sized enterprises and these are the people who make this type of mistake the most.

He also devotes just three pages to 'sensitivity analysis' and this could be expanded greatly and cover the general field of assessing risk and a company's susceptibility to risk. Altogether, the word risk does not even appear in the index (it is mentioned just once, when dealing with the banking crisis) and the misjudging of risk is one of the big pitfalls of business. Here, as in all sections, I kept wanting more!

A few people starting out in business are wildly deluded. They have an idea that is so silly or left-field, that normal people can only shake their heads, wondering about their sanity. Bannatyne gives us a few of the nuttier ones - the man who invented a condom for cucumbers, the one glove to remind you to drive on the right when outside the UK and the seaside furniture made of cardboard that turns to mush if it gets wet.

These are just a small section of some would-be entrepreneurs that came to the TV programme `Dragons Den' but in the real world, the nutters are far nuttier! (I once had to deal with a man who raised his start capital by robbing bank. On being released from prison, he came to me to ask where he had gone wrong!)

But nearly all the mistakes that are outlined in this book are simple mistakes of common sense. Cash flow, marketing, debt, product quality, bad business plan and so on. It would be easy to criticise that Bannatyne states the obvious, but it is the obvious mistakes that are also the commonest.

I have to deal on an almost daily basis, with people who defy common sense and refuse to accept reality or a change of circumstances. And before you think it is just the sole-trader and the small businessman who acts stupid, remember that most record companies refused to believe that the CD was dead as a mass market product. Just 12 years ago, I told an international manufacturer that digital video-tape had no long term future. They refused to believe me and lost nearly all their market share.

It is a short book, that you can read in an afternoon. Yes, it is 225 pages, but half the space is taken up with over-sized titles and blank space, so it could have been twice as long and dealt with the various subjects more fully - and as I stated above, listed more mistakes and in greater depth!

In an ideal world, Mr Bannatyne would sit down with his writer (Jo Monroe - who has done an excellent job BTW) and write the rest of this book, going into such subjects as structuring a sale and assessing risk.

Despite that, I give this book five stars, simply because it does what every good product should do.

It uniquely fulfils a need.
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on 1 October 2012
Let me start by saying that this is a great book. I've read it three times now and it's a book that you can keep digging into and getting more from. Duncan's usual style is to say it as he sees it and that comes through in the book. It's not exactly a shoot from the hips thing but more of encouraging you to take a step back and really look at the business with fresh eyes and from a business not personal point of view. The book has lots of personal comments from Duncan's history and he talks about the mistakes we all make and what to do about them. I love it, it's a great book and well worth the few quid it costs.
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on 6 July 2011
If you are starting a business this is a very good book for you, if like me you have a little experiance
running a business I felt it to be a bit basic stating the ovious.
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on 4 January 2015
I took this book on holiday (a gift from my wife) and thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but more importantly, on my return I gave it to two managers in my business with instructions for them to read it also, because it sets out everything that should be right, but may be wrong with a business. Most of it is common sense, or would be for a business with good customer relations and service in mind, however, it is easy to forget or miss the obvious when your head is in all the problems.

I thought it excellent; easy to read and down to earth, without any boastfulness from a man who's made millions from his own advice. I liked that particularly, because that presented the book as a manual for putting things right, not to massage the authors ego. From memory (I read it four years ago) each point Duncan makes is illustrated with practical examples of how to get it wrong, and I could see my own business reflected in those examples. It isn't a road map for making your fortune - that takes business acumen you may or may not have - but it lays down the foundation stones by which you might just achieve it. Good luck to you and good health to Mr Bannatyne.
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on 14 July 2016
This book was delivered on time and in perfect condition. I have just finished reading it and noticed that the seller corrected spelling mistakes in it which made it even better. The advice in the book was so good that I have to read it again with a pen in hand and a piece of paper to take down notes on it. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to start a business, has a business or studies business.
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on 30 November 2011
As far as business advice books go, this book seems to be aimed at the novice. I think anyone with any degree of business experience, beyond a couple of years, would find less than 20% of the book useful. The back of the book boasts that it is invaluable whether or not you're a sole trader or a bond trader in the city. I would suggest only a start-up sole trader would find the book 'invaluable'.

The book is clearly ghost written and has the feel of being hastily cobbled together to provide a vehicle for a number of Dragon's Den anecdotes. There are a couple of real world case studies related to 'proper' businesses however they actually seem out of place in a book of this type. What input Mr Bannatyne has had into the writing of the book I don't know but I would imagine it was brief. Advice within the book ranges from 'make a good first impression' to 'keep an eye on your costs'. There's even a reminder to manage your staff. This is not groundbreaking.

Interestingly in the section 'Mistake - being flattered by turnover' Mr Bannatyne states in bold letters 'if you don't know the difference between revenue and profit, the scale of your ignorance is enormous'. A few pages later however, when illustrating cash flow and comparing two companies each with revenues of £120K and profits of £36K he says 'Company A and Company B both produce an annual turnover of £36K'. Shouldn't that be profit? Like a wise man once said, if you don't know the difference between revenue and profit.......
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