Product Description
Like many business owners, Susan-Urquhart Brown never expected to end up as an entrepreneur. Launching her own business spoke to her passions, but she soon realized there was much more to being a successful owner than she ever expected. In The Accidental Entrepreneur, she takes all the mystery out of going solo. For those who are just beginning to consider starting a venture as well as those who want to take their organization to the next level, she offers ad­vice … More >>

The Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting Business

  1. Jeff Lippincott

    I liked this book. It is full of content and it is well-written. It seems to be an updated version of a smiliarly titled book the author wrote back in 2004. See "The Accidental Entrepreneur" with ISBN: 0975977806. The 2008 version has a new chapter added - the 7th in the following list of chapter titles:

    1. Introduction
    2. What is an entrepreneur, anyway?
    3. Ready, set, go!
    4. Taking care of business
    5. What do you bring to the party?
    6. Market and sell your socks off
    7. Get connected to the Web for profit
    8. Making room for more business

    The author is a self-employed business coach and mentor to wanta-be entrepreneurs. Basically she does for pay what I do for free as a SCORE volunteer. Most of what she discusses in her book is what I discuss with my SCORE clients. About the only thing we differ on is the extent to which a person should put effort into preparing a business plan. The author suggests that the entrepreneur should not go overboard on preparing a plan. Whereas I believe great time and effort should be put into dreaming, consolidating, researching, writing, proofing, and editing the 25-35 page written business plan for a startup. Maybe we differ because the author seems to separate a business plan from a marketing plan? And she seems to emphasize in her book how important a marketing plan is to a small business. In fact, she devotes all of Chapter 6 to it. And now that she has added Chapter 7, she has TWO chapters devoted to small business marketing. I, on the other hand, consider marketing plans to be a subset of a business plan.

    The book gets its name from the fact that the author at one point in her life sought career counseling and almost overnight she became an "accidental entrepreneur" by starting her own business coach and mentor firm. In this book we are told what many wanta-be entrepreneurs need to hear about the realities of starting a small business. By reading this book the wanta-be entrepreneur will be able to avoid making mistakes in starting their venture, and do many things correctly.

    I would have liked the book better if the "Target Your Market" section at page 58 had been a little more developed. I found the coverage to be kind of weak frankly. I particularly liked the coverage of "Which business structure is best for you" at page 40. And my favorite parts or chapters of the book were 6 and 7 regarding marketing and self-promotion. I also enjoyed reading the section on "Minding your Ps and Qs" which stressed the importance of planning. Poor planning is one of the most common causes of business failure. And without good planning it is difficult to be persistent in a meaningful way. So mind your Ps and Qs. 5 stars! Rating: 5 / 5
  2. Daniel B. Beaulieu
    I really like this book and as an entrepreneur cannot stress enough how helpful this book would have been to me when I started my business many years ago
    This book is for those of us who woke up one morning and found ourselves owning our own business. Funny as it sounds isn't that what happens? I know that many of you in the rep business for example were sales people with real jobs for many years and then for a number of reasons: company cut backs, a principal who offered to set us up in business if we would agree to represent him or we went to work for a large rep firm and ended up either running it or splitting off to start our own firm. Others of us got an idea that we were passionate enough about to go out on that limb and risk everything to "follow the dream" Whatever the reason we became entrepreneurs...accidentally. So here we are, what do we do now?
    We pick up and read Susan Urquhart- Brown's book The Accidental Entrepreneur that's what we do if were smart. This book is filled with as she says 50 things I wish someone had told me about starting a business. Fifty very valuable things I might add. Here are some examples:
    * Eight questions to ask before you start a business. This is an excellent chapter on defining yourself, your business and your goals.
    * Avoid seven common pitfalls in business. Basically this is:
    o Know what you sell before you sell it
    o Know what it will take to succeed
    o How to use connections and so on.
    As well as a number of other chapters presenting a real meat and potatoes approach to starting and running your own business.
    What I enjoy are the examples the author uses to make her point and demonstrate how others have succeeded using her experience and direction. These include the story of Mary Foley and Cheryl Thompson who started [...] (great name!) an online club for business women who want to be "outrageously in charge" of their lives.
    David Riklan the owner of Self-Improvement online Inc. talks about his " Crossroads in business" which is the books term for the time when he knew he was ready to leave the safety of his corporate job and strike out on his own. By the way this was after five years of working evenings and weekends to start his business.
    This book is just filled with stories about people just like you and me who struck out on their own and started their own business.
    Reading The Accidental Entrepreneur provides us with not only great examples and guidelines of how to be a successful entrepreneur but it also provides something even more valuable. It provides through us with passion and inspiration to strike out and succeed in our own businesses. I like that. I like that a lot.
    This is the best $[...] you'll ever spend on your business. Hit the business section and pick it up right now.
    Rating: 5 / 5
  3. Richard S. Gallagher
    I had a big smile on my face as I read through this book. I am a very *purposeful* entrepreneur, with ten years and counting of supporting my household as a writer and seminar leader, and this book for "accidental" entrepreneurs is a solid guide for anyone who wants to go into business for themselves.

    When you go to networking events with other self-employed people, you notice something fundamentally different about the people who truly make a go of it - the ones who are comfortable in their own skin about their skills, their value to customers, and their own long-term prospects. Susan Urquhart-Brown has broken down the specifics of these successful people into actionable advice, ranging from defining your value proposition to growing your business.

    This book is more timely than ever, in a world where jobs aren't always secure, but knowing how to sell what people buy is a timeless skill, and a roadmap to spending your life doing what you love. We need more accidental entrepreneurs, and this book helps lead the way. -Rich Gallagher, author Great Customer Connections and What to Say to a Porcupine. Rating: 5 / 5
  4. Fred Stephen
    if u b starting a bussiness get this book to avoid some mistakes starting a bussiness Rating: 5 / 5
  5. Laurie J. Plemons
    The info is a little basic but does provide more than I thought I needed to know. I have only just begun reading it but have been very pleased with the information provided just in the first few pages! Rating: 4 / 5

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