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Be the Elephant: Build a Bigger, Better Business Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2007

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Kaplan’s] elephant strategy is right on the money.”—Daniel M. Snyder, Owner & Chairman of the Board, the Washington Redskins

Book Description

Get big! A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Business Week bestseller, Steve Kaplan’s 2005 book Bag the Elephant helped smart businesspeople win and keep those all-important elephants—the big, make-or-break customers. Now Be the Elephant shows businesspeople how to grow their businesses and become bigger. Steve Kaplan has owned 35 businesses, sold 30 of them, and has consulted with more than 100 companies, helping them to grow. Be the Elephant combines dynamic advice, deep real-life experience, and a friendly, no-nonsense writing style to take the mystery and fear out of achieving significant business growth. Kaplan gets readers to understand, without blinkers or delusion, the exact nature of their business. He then shows how to define objectives, identify risks, and get the operation on solid footing in preparation for growth. There are tips on creating the right strategy; how to avoid the Scylla and Charybdis of business growth—grow too slow and wither, or grow too fast and lose control; how to create a timeline; develop the all-important USP—unique selling proposition; and avoid the Five Killer Mistakes that can ruin your company. The book is illustrated throughout, including, of course, the many faces of Nellie the elephant.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0641937105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0641937101
  • ASIN: B0017OFVW0
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,402,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Burgmicester VINE VOICE on August 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading the other reviews, I must wholeheartedly disagree with the consensus. I own a small business and this book is just so elementary and without substance, that I could never recommend it to anyone that is already running a decent sized small business. Kaplan's use of examples is extremely limited and hardly worth the effort. While I'm sure that Kaplan is a very good businessman and knows his stuff, his ability to focus anyone into a thought provoking analysis is woefully inept.

I think that the book goes wrong in trying to be everything to all business owners. This is clearly a book for the beginner that has absolutely zero business experience. It would be a nice introduction to what can go wrong for an individual that is "thinking" of going into business for themselves. He mentions that you need to learn how to read the "numbers" of your business, but then there is absolutely zero explanation of what they mean. One could never look at a balance sheet and determine the next step for that business. Kaplan is all at the 50,000 foot level with no breakdown into any detail whatsoever.

However, this is not what the jacket or back cover portray. They give the impression that the statement (whether) "you run a $5 million consulting business or a three person bakery" then this book will help you. It will not. If you are running a $5 million business, you are so far past what this book has to offer that it is a waste of your time. I would not be so negative if the target market for the book would not have been portrayed as just about everyone with a small business.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Benson on March 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
f I were in a bookstore, I never would have bought this book. It's coated thick with superlatives and overpromises of success like:

A foolproof road map to success. Don't grow your business without it.

Nothing is a foolproof road map to success. That statement would have made me distrust the book from the outset.

As it was, I ordered the book from Amazon which meant I read the Amazon recommendations before the cover of the book. As you can see, I gave this a 4 star rating - so I obviously enjoyed it.

My 4 stars came from three qualities of this book.

1. It's concise - business books love to over-explain or try to micromanage their readers. Be the Elephant is less than 220 pages.

2. It provides tools - There are more than a few very helpful, simple tools for business analysis that I began using before finishing the book.

3. Website - the book is backed up by a website that has templates for the tools.

All in all, the book is built to quickly give people necessary tools to avoid failure. The tools don't guarantee success, but they go a long way to helping you avoid failure while also avoiding analysis paralysis.

So, even though I apparently don't recommend the cover quotes, the book is an excellent toolkit for small business owners.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Buddy on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
With this book I WILL "Be The Elephant". As a small business owner, rarely have I read two books this descriptive and easy to read as Kaplan's 1st book, Bag the Elephant" and this follow up "Be the Elephant". This is a GREAT follow up but can certainly stand on its own. Wish there could be more. I feel I am attending a special instructional seminar on reaching success just for me. Keep them coming.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Chase on March 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Be the Elephant" was even more enjoyable and more impactful than Mr.Kaplan's first book, "Bag the Elephant".

Being a marketer of promotional/advertising programming, within the CPG industry, I found Mr. Kaplan's writings to be right on target! I have utilized a few of his marketing ideas and sales tools, which have assisted me greatly in closing some huge deals within the CPG industry.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who desires to learn effective sales techniques, in order to land and keep BIG clients! I can't wait for Mr. Kaplans next Elephant book to be published, as his books have given me the knowledge, tools and confidence to improve my chances of landing and keeping major accounts within the CPG industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack F. Hamlett on July 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is a business book for many of us out there. For those looking for the type of book to get you through rough times this is it . It shows ,with many examples how easy it is to be working "on your business,instead of in your business"
Buy it today and find answers to many of your questions with built in soutions already to go.
I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
It seems that you can't swing your library card around a business bookshelf these days without hitting a tome that has "Elephant" in the title. Whether the book claims how to teach elephants to dance; how to bag the elephant; how to sell different color elephants or use fables such as the elephant and the ant - they all view elephants as an enduring business metaphor. Sometimes they work but often they don't. Steve Kaplan's latest addition to the pachyderm parade of titles Be the Elephant - DOES work. The author takes a refreshingly counterintuitive approach to the idea of "growth at all costs" and turns it on its tusks. The premise is that any business leader should grow their organization as large or small as they would like, but to survive you need to be the biggest elephant within your competitive sphere. Soundview recommends this book because it presents a new perspective on the concept of growth while balancing the extremes of growing both too quickly or slowly. Since elephants never forget, be sure to remember to read this book.
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