Contrary to popular belief, most entrepreneurs don't like risk. While they are not afraid to take chances, the most successful entrepreneurs do what they can to anticipate, minimize, and offset risk at every opportunity, insists Bob Reiss, who in his own flourishing entrepreneurial career has managed to turn risk reduction into a science. Now this successful self-starter, whose exploits have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and have become case studies for Harvard Business School classes, shares the lessons of a lifetime.
By following his own prescription for managing risk, and using real-life success stories from experienced entrepreneurs, Reiss covers every obstacle the entrepreneur is likely to encounter. Where do ideas come from and how do you get started? Where can you find money and expert advice? How do you hire the best people and build credibility? How do you get orders and reorders? How do you develop and introduce successful products? Should you go public? Through every step in the process, Reiss emphasizes how risk can be anticipated, managed, and significantly reduced.
Full of practical suggestions and insights, this easy-to-read book is an indispensable guide for anyone thinking about starting a business and particularly for those would-be entrepreneurs without experience or much capital. It is equally valuable to entrepreneurs looking for ways to make their businesses more successful.
Reiss, an entrepreneur, does a competent job of covering all the ways to minimize the risk of starting a business--for example, through entering a franchise, partnering with an established company or finding financial backers. In particular, his discussion of the importance of numeracy (the financial equivalent of literacy) helps distinguish his effort from many similar books. But he misses other opportunities to make a unique contribution. For example, on the relatively few occasions when Reiss talks about his own experiences, he conveys a passion the book otherwise lacks; one wishes those sections were longer. Similarly, his insight into entrepreneurship as "a way of thinking, rather than a personality type" could have gone a long way toward adding dimension to his pointers had he expanded on it As it is, the book remains a solid if workmanlike checklist for would-be entrepreneurs.