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4.1 out of 5 stars
Cute Little Store: Between the entrepreneurial dream and business reality
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for anyone interested in starting a small business, especially a retail business and extra especially a craft type or PYOP business.

I love the "cute little tidbits" and the format is comfortable and easy to read, as if you are being spoken to. I also love the fact that you have used real life experiences (good and bad experiences) and that you are sharing this information so candidly and in such an entertaining way. The book is honest, true to life and fun to read.

July 22, 2006 was my "cute little store's" ten year anniversary. The information is as pertinent to me as it is to someone exploring opening a business. It hits on a lot of experiences that I have gone through or thought about and some I have not. It reinforces what I've learned and reminds me what I need to do better. It is full of information and is a gem to read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you have stars in your eyes at the thought of opening a cute little shop, this book will bring your sights down to earth. Covers a wide range of issues you'll likely encounter and conveys what a tough business it really is. If you still want to open your shop after reading this, I applaud you--it made me want to run away screaming!

My only complaint is that the book is poorly proofed and edited--a couple hundred dollars paid to a sharp proofreader/editor would have caught typos and other mistakes and been money well spent.

Overall, this is a book I would recommend. I didn't really like hearing what it had to say, but I appreciate that it said it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Walk into any book store and you will see a thousand books on starting a new business. You will see books on how to write a business plan, or how to get a loan. You will also find books that stress the importance of marketing, or of good legal documents. However, few and far between are books like "Cute Little Store" that provide a good overview all in one package.

Mignogna has done an excellent job of bringing together the true story behind a "Little Cute Store. While you will not find a lot of in-depth information on any one topic, you will a wealth of general information that truly captures the essence of small retail businesses. Having owned a similar business myself, I know how difficult those first few years can be and how important it is to learn from the experience of others.

The important topics in the book are highlighted by "Cute Little Tidbits". These informational gems pass along many hard learned lessons and should not be ignored. The book wraps up with a brilliant questionnaire that really should open the reader's eyes to why they want to their own business and just how ready they are for their dream to become reality.

This book should be required reading for anyone looking to open their own retail business. Also, I would recommend it to any business owner that wonders if what they are going through is normal. With well laid out information, a great list of recommended reading, and true entrepreneurial spirit, Adeena Mignogna has captured the experience of the "Cute Little Store".
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Finally! Someone has written a good book on this topic! I've lost count of the number of times I've been in a nice place when someone within earshot remarked something to the effect that they'd love to run a store/shop/resort/facility/etc. like this. Previously, I'd think to myself (or worse, say something) like, "What an idiot! Don't you know that retail/xxx is cutthroat! And if we are getting such a great deal/experience, isn't it possible that they (pointing to someone far away making things look so nice) aren't? Won't you get bored after 1 day? Aren't there enough businesses in this country already!" If I did engage myself in conversation, I'd just end up wasting time or being rude. Finally, at long last, I can just tell them about this book! It is the cure to explaining to anyone who has ever thought (ok, admit it, you probably have too) that just because you feel good being somewhere doesn't mean you would enjoy running the place. The author dispels this and many other myths about small businesses.

The author wrote this book to fill a void between all the books out there telling you how to become the next Bill Gates, Michael Dell, etc. and those about how to start a business. Namely, it presents some of the issues that would need to be addressed after you start up a small business. Realistically, this is what is important to most people starting a business simply because most businesses are small and will stay that way. Books about Gates and Dell might sell like hotcakes, but I am not so sure they would be that helpful to the future or present average business owners.

This book is definitely written for adults, but I would actually give a slightly more classroom-friendly version to all kids and make it part of a 3rd-grade course on economics if I were running things. Call me crazy, but I think kids who understand economics at an early age will be better off in life. It will help them start thinking about what they want to do with their lives. And this book will let them see early on just how life is on the other side of the counter whenever you take them somewhere. But like watching movie bloopers before the movie, it might also spoil events for them, since they will probably have a harder time "just enjoying" wherever you take them. On the bright side, they might be less likely to constantly nag you to take them to nice places.

Have you ever asked someone a legal question only to hear a diatribe of gibberish followed by something that translates into "I have no clue now that I think about it, you'll definitely have to ask a lawyer to actually get any actual answer to your question." I hate when that happens. The author strikes a nice balance on this and similar areas, suggesting, for instance, that you get a good lawyer but not totally refraining from giving any legal advice. For instance, the website for the book has a link to a page at 4hb.com that lists about 600 different cookie-cutter legal forms.

The book is very readable and upbeat: not so black and white that it is hard to read, yet not so fluffy that it gets off topic. Overall, this is a great book for anyone thinking of starting a small business or wishing to see behind a Wizard of Oz retail curtain. I give it a 5/5 stars rating.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book should be required reading for anyone dreaming of starting a store. And for anyone who already has, this book will be part of your "support system" -- reminding you of what you have accomplished and letting you know you are not alone! Adeena is frank and honest about what the entrepreneurial dream really means in the first few years, and that is refreshing. The only danger is that if you haven't started your business yet, you may be tempted to think that what she talks about won't happen to you. Oh yes it will...and more! Reading this book is like talking to a friendly acquaintance who really wants to help you know what you are getting into.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is for Actual People who are actually starting or pondering their own business. This isn't a "Looking back after having founded [Apple | Starbucks | Toyota]", nor is it a theoretical course in business administration. It's the information you genuinely need.

If you ever wanted to sit down with someone who had been running a successful small business for a few years and learn the real-world lessons they have learned, this book would be the transcript of exactly that conversation. I recommend it strongly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I like the familiar style the author uses, it makes the book an easy no nonsense read. I do have to say, though, I was saddened to learn her store finally did go out of business. I don't blame her at all, though, she did everything right. It's just our country is such a mess now, the economy is so bad, it's very difficult to make a go at anything these days. I gave it only 4 stars because of certain perspectives on business and retail but overall, worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a great read. The author is very thorough in her writing and provides great descriptions. She also recommends other authors/books to help along with the owning/running a store process. Whether your starting out or in the early stages of your business this book can provide great insight on things you need to know/do to prevent you from making huge financial mistakes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Quick read and I really enjoyed the book. Most business books of this sort are big on trying to be inspirational but leave out specifics on the author's story. This book differs in that the author tells her story in detail - how she started her store, the ups and downs, etc. Very helpful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. Anyone thinking of opening a small business should read this.
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