Top critical review
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Dissenting Opinion: Not what it advertises
on August 30, 2008
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.
If you are just beginning to look at maybe running a business or if you are contemplating joining someone in their business, then this book might give you something to think about on the negative side. However, if you are looking for help on next steps or trying to understand what to do help your current business, this will not help you in the least. You will not become the "elephant" by reading this book.