“Small business, Big vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-made Entrepreneurs who did it right” by Adam Toren and Matthew Toren (4.5 Stars)

Small Business, Big VisionThe Toren brothers are passionate about helping others achieve their professional dreams. Published shortly after their award-winning book “Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas!”, “Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who did it Right” provides an excellent guide for new entrepreneurs taking their first leap into business. Ok so yes, there are a ton of business development and management books out there, but this book is unique and offers a fresh perspective in a to-the-point manner with case studies of how entrepreneurs applied the techniques discussed throughout the book successfully.

After explaining the need for a big vision to provide the foundation for a “spark” to grow into a fully functioning business entity, we are taken through a number of business planning and development lessons in seven easy-to-read chapters. First they explain the danger in getting tied up with a lengthy, weighty business plan and suggest a one-page plan for self-reference. In Chapter 4 the Toren brothers turn their attention to the pros and cons of hiring employees and offer a convincing argument as to why outsourcing may be a better alternative for many small businesses.

Lauren Kress

Lauren Kress

First we are told that in the best-case scenarios “hiring the right employees can be the next best thing to cloning yourself”. Some sage advice on the need to consider the expense and risks associated with hiring in-house employees is provided soon after with an explanation on the required financial investment and the HR nightmares that can occur and could destroy a company. For resolution they suggest that outsourcing can be a great solution for many businesses enabling great advantages with reduced financial and managerial burden. They also give useful tips on how to avoid problems that can stem from the lack of control, ready availability and emotional buy-in that can occur from outsourcing work.

Another lesson provides an insightful overview of the world of social media and the four keys to utilising it successfully including strategic planning and the need to monitor measurements to adjust tactics accordingly. Lesson 5 focuses on achieving expert status by building an information “empire” whilst Lesson 6 encourages entrepreneurs to focus on their social responsibilities including ethics, sustainability and consideration to local and global community outreach. The final lesson provides sobering advice for when the going gets tough explaining the importance of embracing flexibility especially in a time of crisis in order to turn a business around, what to do before giving up and when to throw in the towel.

I challenge anyone to walk away from this book without greater drive, empowerment, understanding and appreciation for business in both real and ideal terms. Whilst this book risks romanticising the life of the entrepreneur the case studies featured as part of each chapter help to keep it grounded. The delicate balance between the big picture and the attention to planning and detail is maintained so that the reader is left feeling inspired and equipped with a nice juicy list of resources at the back.

Though this book is targeted at entrepreneurs, “Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who did it Right” carries lessons within its pages for employers, employees and freelancers with all sorts of role and responsibilities from front desk service to middle management to company director and CEO. This book is a great read and a great resource for help with how to approach, tackle and resolve many work-related problems. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who has a big vision in sight for their future and is interested in better understanding the psychological, social and economical aspects and motivations of business entities and other organizations.

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