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Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top Hardcover – November 28, 2014
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—Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and coauthor of Built to Last and Great by Choice
“Finish Big is for all those founder/leaders who want to do more than take. . . . It is for the ones who want to leave something behind.”
—Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last
“Bo Burlingham is a liar. He advertises this as a book about entrepreneurs exiting their companies. Instead it is a book about doing business well and living a life of value. Remarkable research, remarkable prose, remarkable book. Bravo!”
—Tom Peters, coauthor of In Search of Excellence
“This book is a gift, a must read for anyone who has even an inkling that it might be helpful. It will reward you with both peace of mind and a significant ROI.”
—Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Finish Big focuses on a different theme - how do you, as an entrepreneur exit your company?
You WILL exit even if it is because you are carried out feet first. The question is whether you will do it on your terms or by happenstance.
Most of what is available on this subject deals with how to obtain the 'maximum' amount of cash for your company. But there are a host of other issues: Do you want to be involved after the transition? How concerned are you about the culture of the company and what happens to it? What about the employees - do you feel you 'owe' them anything? And customers/clients?
Most important, What do YOU want to do next? Do you know and are you at peace with it?
Burlingham points out that - regardless of whether or not you plan to leave your company in the forseeable future - you should start thinking about that exit NOW. The reason is simple - looking at your company the way a potential purchaser would gives you innumerable ways to improve its operation right away.Read more ›
As entrepreneurs ourselves who've cashed out, we know the importance and timeline of the exit. All entrepreneurs we coach do not. Every one of them.
This book, well researched and full of real-life stories, brings that key point to life. There is valid step-by-step instructions our students will find useful.
Hundreds of books have been published for the aspiring entrepreneur who wants to start a business. At the same time, very few books pay attention to where the startup company wants to eventually be, or having an exit strategy that is literal, graceful, and planned out well in advance.
Beginning with the end in mind is the emphasis of author and small business expert Bo Burlingham, in his latest book, “Finish Big”. Several years ago, Burlingham wrote the indispensable business bible, “Small Giants” that chronicled successful companies that chose to make their business great instead of big.
In “Finish Big”, Burlingham points out that the very few business owners hand off their companies successfully. These owners have not positioned their companies well financially, failed to offer any future value or growth to potential buyers, rely heavily on one major customer, or operate with a top-down management style that fails to delegate important tasks to employees.
Burlingham blends his past management experience with dozens of interviews with business owners that have gone through the succession process. He asked each what made leaving their company either a positive or negative experience.
The exiting owners that felt positive had the satisfaction of believing that their employees would be treated fairly by their successors and that their established company culture would be preserved. Owners satisfied handing off the reins also felt they were well compensated for their investment and left with a genuine sense of personal accomplishment. The owners that had negative experiences more often than not were forced to sell and had given little prior thought to getting out or planning any kind of exit.Read more ›
In 1994, however, Birch revised his thesis, isolating job-creating companies he called "gazelles." Characterized less by size than by rapid expansion, Birch defined the species as enterprises whose sales doubled every four years. By his estimates, these firms, roughly 4% of all U.S. companies, were responsible for 70% of all new jobs. The gazelles beat out the elephants (like Walmart) and the mice (corner barbershops). When you hear politicians say, "Small businesses create most of the new jobs," they're really talking about young and fast-growing firms. They are talking about gazelles. Many (if not most) of them were founded by entrepreneurs. Some of them have since moved on to new adventures in the vineyards of free enterprise. Others remain with the company but not as CEO as still others do.
According to Burlingham, every entrepreneur exits eventually: "It's one of the few absolute certainties in business. Assuming you've built a viable company, you can choose when and how you exit, but you can't choose whether. It's going to happen. You can count on it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must read for anyone contemplating selling their business either to a 3rd party or to current employees. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Bo looks at the trials of tribulations of owners who are moving on. As a Boomer who has sold my own companies, brokered the sales of others, and am now focused on helping still... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John F. Dini
Interesting book about how to exit your own company. It primarily explains and gives examples about the psychology of the next phase of life after exiting.Published 2 months ago by MLeland
As an entrepreneurship professor and former business owner, I read many of these types of business books. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rick
Some incredible insights from those that have gone through the process of selling their companies - masterfully woven together by Bo Burlingham. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kevin Pettersen
This is a compelling, must read for anyone considering a thoughtful transition from their business. Well-written and based on the meaningful experiences of business heroes.Published 9 months ago by Thomas Schramski
Other reviews here have covered this book well, so I'll just add a few comments.
1) I believe this book is a must for business owners. Read more
I've read many thoughtfully written, insightful, and informative business books, but often have had difficulty applying the knowledge and insight to my own business. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kensington Mike
This is an essential read for anyone over 40 & highly recommended for everyone else.Everybody has a transition in life. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jimstarin