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Calling all entrepreneurs

Over 5,000,000 new businesses are launched each year. Of these start-ups, millions fail, often for the same sets of reasons. These include choosing the wrong business opportunity, selling the wrong product, or charging the wrong price.

In So You Want to Start a Business? 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap, Charles Goetz, distinguished lecturer in entrepreneurship at Goizueta, and Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, guide entrepreneurs through the daily challenges that start-ups face.

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Utilizing their combined 50 years of experience in building, financing, and teaching others how to build successful businesses, Goetz and Hess provide a step-by-step guide on avoiding the common mistakes many start-ups make. In addition to drawing up a sound business plan, would-be entrepreneurs need to answer what the authors call the “Seven Ws.” These include: What can I sell? To whom can I sell? Why will customers buy from me? At what price? What are my costs? When will the customers buy? And lastly, what will the competition do?

For those who’ve already started a business, both hiring the right people and focusing on employee retention are crucial to a company’s competitive advantage. The authors also warn entrepreneurs that counting their money before getting their business off and running can be counterproductive. “Success in business is like running a marathon,” says Goetz. “You might be ahead in the beginning, but it’s the end that matters.”

Using practical sidebars and summarizing ‘lessons learned’ after each chapter, Goetz and Hess show entrepreneurs how to turn their entrepreneurial ventures into successful, sustainable companies.

Carol Gee

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