Author Q&A: "School for Startups"

Does the idea of starting your own business scare you? It did for the authors of this book until they took simple steps to turn their ideas into businesses. This book is a result of the lessons learned starting these businesses. Jim Beach, one of the authors of School for Startups: The Breakthrough Course for Guaranteeing Small Business Success in 90 Days or Less ," stopped by the Secrets of Success blog to answer some questions about his new book.

Jim started working as a research assistant at the Japanese External Trade Organization in Atlanta. He attended graduate school in Hawaii before working for Coca-Cola in Japan. At age 26, he founded American Computer Experience, which provided technology training for young people. He sold the company in 2001 and started teaching at Georgia State University. He now teaches at the University of Tennessee/Chattanooga. He has worked extensively with United Parcel Service to promote exports.


Deborah Bailey: What prompted you to write this book? 

Jim Beach: I started a series of businesses while I was teaching MBA classes.  Each semester I would bet the class I could start a business THAT semester, earning ALL startup funds back before the end of the term, and the class got to pick the country and industry I did it in.  Never lost the bet, and a reporter heard the story and encouraged me to write a book about it.  First one was Timelesschair.com from Pakistan.

DB: What is your book about?

JB:
Our belief that entrepreneurship does not have to be about risk or creativity.  Start with less than $5k and copy someone else's idea.  Just execute the idea better.  People wait to become business owners, waiting on creativity or money.  You cannot wait on either.  Copy a good idea and start as cheaply as possible to reduce risk.


DB: Who do you think will benefit from reading your book?

JB:
Anyone who wants to own their own business, but doesn't know how to start.


DB: How can people find business ideas?

JB:
Our appendix lists 25 or so businesses you can start for under $500 and in under 3 months!


DB: Do you have recommendations for how people can raise capital for their businesses?

JB:
DON'T!  Sell a product instead.  I wasted years raising money when I should have been selling product.  If the business really requires so much money, change the model.  Bars can be started for $5 million or $5,000.


DB: You have a chapter on Marketing. Any tips you'd like to share?

JB:
The entrepreneur must make the first sale.  Must be the person to get the first customer.  Only that way will the pitch be perfected.  Hiring someone to do marketing for you is a kiss of death.


DB: What can people find in your book?

JB:
Encouragement!  Stories of success, real people that succeeded because they decided to!  You can do it too!


DB: What do you feel makes your book different from others in your category?

JB:
We are not academics, just people that started lots of businesses.  Our belief that entrepreneurship doesn't have to be about risk or creativity runs counter to most people's views.  We tell lots of fun stories to encourage the reader.  The book is very simple and easy to read.


DB:. What do you want readers to come away with?

JB:
The desire to start a business and the knowledge of what to do next.


DB: What inspires you to do the work you do?

JB:
I love seeing people succeed.  I love changing lives, reducing risk, and having fun with business growth.

Find out how to get your copy of "School for Startups" and learn more about it at these sites:


http://www.schoolforstartups.com/

http://theentrepreneurschool.com/

http://internationalentrepreneurship.com/

2 comments

Zsa Zsa said...

Sounds like a great book. I think it's great that rather than telling you what to do, this book gives encouragement based on lessons learned. :)

Deb Bailey said...

So true, ZsaZsa. Encouragement is extremely important. We have to believe before we can do! Thanks for your comments!

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