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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Writing a book about setting up a digital business must be almost as difficult as writing one about the Internet - it's such a moving target, literally evolving every day, that by the time your book hits the shelves half the information in it could be redundant. This book does better than most by sticking with some tried and tested business principles, which never go out of fashion, and applying them to the digital realm as best it can. Some elements seem a bit dated, or are given too little emphasis - for example the section on creating a mobile app for your business is 6 pages long when these days mobile commerce is probably the biggest growing sector and the one that needs very active attention.

Choosing to present the book in a workbook format is a smart decision because it gives a structure you can follow as you try to finesse and then develop your business ideas, rather than throwing a bunch of concepts and strategies at you and leaving you to order them yourself. However it did feel like the book is aimed very much at high-ambition entrepreneurs who dream of being the 'next-big-thing' rather than a more modest home or niche business. That's slightly disappointing since one of the things online business allows is for smaller, more focussed companies to find a market big enough to support their niche products or services. Not everyone wants or needs to become lastminute.com to make a living, but there are some worthwhile lessons for all in this book, especially in the way it encourages you to really focus in on your ideas.
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VINE VOICEon 30 July 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you're interested in the idea of starting your own digital business then this step-by-step guide can provide you with many of the answers to a quite perplexing venture, but a helpful starting point is about all it is. However it should be noted that this book is aimed at those who intend to build a SME online business with staff, not those who wish to work on their own to create a small venture.

Each chapter broadly covers many areas which you would then need, in turn, to research more thouroughly somewhere else. Ideas such as building your own apps, building your website, funding your venture do little to explain the details of each but rather give you a basic idea of what you should be aiming for. In truth many people would be able to have a guess at many of the tips and pointers on offer. It sadly doesn't give you enough on the real key areas or even where to look to get more information. For example, designing a website, particularly a retail one, to a high standard involves a lot of work and expertise. Many people don't have that expertise and would need to outsource the work, it would have been benificial to include what to ask for from website companies, how to find the best one etc. App creation is another area that would likely to outsouced.

Once you get onto the chapter on 'building your team' you realise just how brisk the steps in this guide are. From getting a website made to hiring a team of workers from India!? This gives you an idea of just how broadly this book speaks, we're not talking week-by-week here.

Important areas such as marketing aren't given nearly enough information. This side of a business is most crucial to get right but again the amount of specific information on a given topic (like SEO) is not nearly enough.

It's a good book to get started with but frankly you're going to need a lot more information to feel you're on the right track.
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a practical book covering a lot of useful subject for anyone interested in start-ups. Topics range from: "How do I know if my idea will work? How do I decide on the business model? How do I find my audience?" to "practical guides to starting up a digital business". The book covers the full journey from idea to exit, with easy-to-implement strategies to make your online venture an ongoing success.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Digital Business Start Up workbook

I use online services all the time and will always be looking for ways of developing and fine tuning the services I provide in my Design business.

This book is a good starting point for those with or looking for an entry into the digital business market. It covers converting existing ideas and generating new ones ready for a digital audience.
The chapters are logical with examples and reflective exercises to do on your own business or business idea, this is great as it makes you think about what you are trying to achieve and importantly why. The book is punctuated with lots of quotes from famous and not so famous business people which you might find inspiring or just plain annoying, depends on your point of view and what you are looking for really. I have heard most of them before so nothing new for me here.

What this book does teach you is to be aware of the logic of business and how it works so that you can turn your own idea into a process and achieve goals, it's very good for that. Where I find it lacking is in detail especially on software. The concepts are covered well but there are no suggestions of how to port your business onto the web. Perhaps I am asking far too much of one book ? but what it does do is show the potential and offer analysis of the idea you have and how to present it to a digital World. Other books show you how to implement it. Don't expect this book to explain search engine optimisation or how to take credit cards online but it does make you aware of these issue that are so important to an online/digital business.

A good book trying to achieve everything and largely does so except in the detail. However, anyone not familiar with porting a business online could do worse than read this first. Recommended
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Digital Business Start-up is a practical and methodical work-book to take you through the on-line and off-line aspects of setting up an online business. Much of the substance of it is similar to Start Your Own Business 2012, but there is enough extra focused on online and digital issues to make this a better choice for the digital start-up. Although it is well supported with case studies, such as Naked Wines, the book is not as fun to read as some. The choice of American spelling is slightly annoying, especially since this is a UK-centric book with an introduction by the UK digital czar Martha Lane Fox.

The assumption behind this book is that you have a firm handle on part of your digital business idea, but are not necessarily as aware of the other aspects. For this reason, whichever bit happens to coincide with your expertise will seem ridiculously simplistic. However, the rest will be crucial information without which your business will not thrive. For the most part this is bread and butter stuff about business plans, marketing, accounting, and so on, but given the number of start-ups which go to the wall despite a promising idea because of failures in these areas, this book may make all the difference. It is especially aimed at the more ambitious kind of start-ups that really expect to become quite significant quite quickly, and the case studies and examples are largely drawn from these kind of businesses. If your aspirations are more modest, you may found this a little overwhelming.

Now five months into a business start-up, I can't get as excited about this book as I did about Start Your Own Business 2012, which told me what I needed to know at the moment I most needed it. I'm sure, though, that if I had found this book rather than that book at that point, I would now be raving about it. As a comparison, The Digital Business Start-Up Workbook covers more material because it has sections specifically relevant to its sector, but Start Your Own Business 2012 is an easier read and is better laid out.

Nonetheless, if you are thinking of starting up in digital, this is a good book to get.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Digital Business Start-Up Workbook: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Succeeding Online from Start-Up to Exit

If you have the inspiration for a digital business and are ready to get your hands dirty with some hard graft, this is the book for you. This is, as it says, a workbook and the clue is in the name: it's not a reference book to dip into, but one packed with tasks for you to work through in a methodical and structured way.

As well as timeless business principles needed for any business - on-line or off-line - the book also covers areas specific to the digital world. Of course any book that's printed in the ever-changing online world will be out of date in one respect or another before it hits the shelves, but this book is still very good.

The book contains worthwhile lessons for all entrepreneurs, whether you've recently started a digital business or have a burning ambition to do so. Depending on your background and experience, some aspects covered in the book will be familiar - and will therefore validate what you've already done or give you a shove to tweak what you're already doing - whilst others will give insights into what still needs to be done.

If you're at the point where you need to focus on your business idea in order to bring it to market, or you've already done so but are looking for guidance, this workbook will help you take a comprehensive approach.
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on 13 August 2014
Covers all aspects of digital business generation. From conception to exit strategy, it covers the life cycle of a digital business. It provides a good grounding, though more detailed knowledge can be found elsewhere on the web.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in setting up an online business, but who has no previous experience in the IT sector.
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on 26 June 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great litle book that takes you from the inception stage of a digital business through to the actual running and promotion of it as it grows.

Although there are particular areas covered by other books like this just as well- the website and brand building section for example is pretty standard stuff- where for me this book takes a step forward is in it's business model development advice, and later in the book on how to effectively keep your business running and vital. Cheryl Rickman goes into a bit more depth than some other 'self-help' books in this regard, moving into 'hard business' territory but without ever slipping into impenetrable business-speak.

So an accessible but far from dumbed-down take on the continually evolving world of digital business. It's also actually readable from cover-to-cover, rather than just being a dip-in reference book, which to me is always an effective indicator of a 'reference' book you will successfully absorb, and keep going back to.
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VINE VOICEon 20 August 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this workbook to be very well written, inspirational, informative and difficult to put down. It covers every conceivable aspect for anyone considering a digital business, and the major sections are self-explanatory;

Part 1. Starting up your own digital business - with specific minor sections devoted to providing advice on to how to "create and evolve your concept", "choosing your business model", "creating a business plan" and "how to fund your venture".

Part 2. Building your business - providing information/sections on how to build your website, your team and your own brand.

Part 3. Running and growing your business - dealing with "effective online marketing", how to measure/improve your marketing and ultimately "selling up" (selling, or passing on your business at the appropriate time, to the right buyer at the right price).

Having covered all these areas in considerable detail, while providing a wealth of knowledge and information based upon obvious experience, the workbook culminates in what is described as the "definitive online business success checklist". This is an essential factor by which the reader can easily measure if they have dealt with all the relevant sectors pertinent to their prospective enterprise.

While illustrating a number of appropriate examples, this workbook provides advice in what it calls the "journey of an idea", the "stepping stones" of dealing with your chosen business model, and the presentation to the customer/audience etc.. However, it soon becomes apparent that there is one factor missing from the study - that is the "idea" itself.

The "idea" is something that the individual themselves must provide, and something to which they must be prepared to devote the relevant energy. If only the "idea" could be provided for us, we would all be potential millionaires. But it is the "idea" that is clearly the factor which separates those who embark upon this journey, and those who just dream of doing so. If you can provide the "idea", this workbook will be of immense assistance to the individual as they embark upon their journey. It is that good.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
`I woke up one morning and decided to start up an online business'.

The book is readable, has lashings of pretty meaningless quotations from various CEO's that are used to try and back the authors' points and a number of exercises with questions such as `what values would you teach your children' to `where is the pulse of the industry?'

This book has a split personality, on one side it talks about creating an idea, choosing a business model assessing its viability and funding your venture and it feels as though it is aimed at the small business start-up, but then seconds later it is all about your business being a major Corporation start-up. I began to question who the book is primarily aimed at.

Most start-ups develop over time; they don't suddenly start with masses of staff, big premises, team building, brand building, venture capitalists investments and the like, yet this book assumes this is what you will be doing. If you are already looking at venture capital to fund your business I doubt if this book will be relevant to your needs.

The website building chapter talks at you and tells you what to do, but does not give enough information on how to go about it. I recently reviewed Kevin Partners `How to set up an online business' and found it far superior, it is a much more practical guide to small online business start-ups.

The SEO and Marketing section said nothing of real substance other than point you in the direction of PR firms, Google and SEO businesses that you could use. I wonder whether the author understands it fully herself?

If I could strip out the superfluous prose, meaningless quotations and weak sections, keeping the top tips, and some of the exercises it would be a decent publication but with less pages.

It is definitely not the `ultimate' guide for small business start-ups, but instead it is more for the maturing small business. As a practical guide to getting an online business going on a shoe string by yourself, without any help I found Kevin Partners publication far more practical and is what I used myself.
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