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Start Small, Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start--And Run--Your Own Successful Business Hardcover – August, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446524026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446524025
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

DeLuca was only 17 when he started what is now the Subway restaurant chain in 1965; he needed money to attend college and a friend offered to back him with $1,000 to start a sandwich shop in Bridgeport, Conn. That beginning led DeLuca to an enormously successful career: in addition to being president of the chain, he runs MILE, a nonprofit organization that offers loans to entrepreneurs. According to DeLuca, there are 15 essential principles for anyone starting a small business, some of which, DeLuca confesses, he learned the hard way (he had never made a submarine sandwich before opening day of his first shop). Among these pillars: Believe in Your People; Never Run Out of Money; Keep the Faith; and Profit or Perish. DeLuca uses his own business experience as well as that of other successful entrepreneursAe.g., the founders of Kinko's and Little Caesar'sAin addition to those of less well-known business people. Written in a conversational style, the advice isn't especially original or creative. However, would-be millionaires who are sitting at their kitchen table wondering if they should take that big step and start a business will find the book both instructive and inspirational. Agent, Bob Diforio.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

DeLuca, cofounder in 1965 of SUBWAY Restaurants and founder in 1996 of the Micro Investment Lending Enterprise (MILE), a nonprofit organization making microloans to entrepreneurs/microentrepreneurs, has written this humorous, down-to-earth guide to success as a small business owner. Coauthor Hayes is a writer (Computer Architecture and Organization, 1998), public speaker, and business trainer. Each chapter describes one of DeLuca's 15 key lessons and is illustrated with a real-life case study. None of the people in these cases is a household name, but businesses such as Kinkos, Little Caesars, and SUBWAY are. DeLuca doesn't claim that his guides form a master plan for success, but he optimistically believes that anyone can become Bill Gates, Lillian Vernon, or Henry Lay and that his lessons will increase the chances. His book also promotes and supports MILE, and the last chapter and appendix are devoted to information about it and its programs. Recommended for most small business collections.
Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Its a good book with solid, simple guidance.
Binni
This inspirational book is required reading for anyone who is starting -- or thinking of starting -- his own business.
K.M.
Fred DeLuca's book offers hope and sound advice for those who need to start small and grow big.
Walter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Most books aimed at small businesses omit the basic (though not always obvious) advice needed to choose a business, get it started and keep it profitable. This is where Start Small, Finish Big excels. Especially valuable are the chapters on when to borrow money (The answer is not when you need it.) and choosing your business idea. If you have been thinking about starting a business, but never have taken the step, this is the book you need to get you going.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an easy to read book with important advice from people who have experienced the business world.
Some advice they had to learn on their own after many years in the business. So you may save many years by learning the lessons here first.
Some of the anecdotes by some of the business people are unnecessary. But most of them are very helpful.
Also, the author promotes his microentrepreneur organization (that gives small loans to hopeful busnesss-start-ups) that I really wasn't interested in.
But some of the things I learned in here are priceless. So I think it's a very worthwhile book, and recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
The most motivational book on business I have ever read. If you have ever doubted yourself, read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Falling Snow on September 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book would be an inspiration to just about anyone, whether starting up a new business or not. It was beautifully written but most impressive was that there were no boring parts. Often a book will have some good sections and much dead area. "Start Small Finish Big" is just jam packed with one interesting story after another of people who struggled and overcame obstacles in order to create their businesses. The fifteen key lessons are great and wonderful examples are given of each, both by the business owners Fred DeLuca chose and by Fred himself. Great job!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on March 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Fred DeLuca, the co-founder of the Subway submarine sandwich chain, describes his own experience and that of 21 other entrepreneurs who turned small businesses into big companies. He cites 15 success principles, using interesting "How I did it" stories from entrepreneurs to illustrate different axioms. While the book is an enjoyable read, the principles are familiar standards. The examples are easy-to-read accounts that describe how entrepreneurs try this and that, and finally find something that works. But, these are not really lessons you can apply, particularly given the broad nature of the guidelines they illustrate. That does not detract from getAbstract's recommendation of this interesting book, perhaps not as a step-by-step business manual, but as a fine set of stories about how a few small business owners made it to the top.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K.M. on March 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This inspirational book is required reading for anyone who is starting -- or thinking of starting -- his own business. The cofounder of the Subway sandwich chain begins by sharing the detailed story of his own business venture (seeded with only $1000 at age 17!). From there, each chapter focuses on a different entrepreneur who took a leap of faith to start his or her own business. These people come from all walks of life and arrived at different levels of business success. But they all started small, and they all eventually succeeded.

This book doesn't provide legal advice, financial counsel, or any of the kind of guidance in those areas that you think you'll need as a new business owner (and you do need it!). More importantly, this book provides the testimonies of people who often thought they couldn't make it -- and even sometimes failed -- but nevertheless persevered. This book will spur you on if you have yet to get started, and pick you up when (not if) you are tempted to give up on your business. The chapter interviews (each illustrating one "key lesson") are well written, each presenting a rich look into the real life of a real businessperson.

The book begins and ends with some discourse on microlending, of which author DeLuca is a major proponent, having founded MILE, a non-profit microlending institution he writes about. (Profits from the book go to support MILE.) While the promotion of the microlending concept is certainly appropriate to the subject matter, the final chapter -- which focuses on MILE -- detracts from the inspirational tone of most of the book. I think most of this chapter would have been better suited to an appendix.

Overall, this book is a necessary addition to the entrepreneur's library. Or -- speaking of lending -- borrow this book from someone else's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Walter on May 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For years I have read a number of business/success books and magazines. All of them focused on the "big guy" who started a business with millions of dollars in capital; leaving the impression that that was the only way to begin a business. Fred DeLuca's book offers hope and sound advice for those who need to start small and grow big. I've always felt that you must treat a business like a baby at first and allow it to grow, and when it is grown, it will take care of you. That theme runs true thoughout Mr. DeLuca's book. The book not only offers sound, practical advice to help you avoid costly mistakes, it also is full of "real life" examples of others from a variety of businesses, who started small but made it big. I have purchaed the book for myself, and gave two away to individuals interested in starting businesses. Buy the book, then buy another to get the word out that its ok to start small!
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