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Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own Hardcover – October 26, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This engaging, if optimistic, primer insists that you don’t need much capital, or much risk-taking, to start a business. Indeed, according to Yale School of Management professor Judson, author of Netmarketing and himself the founder of several allegedly successful small firms, the time has never been better for startups. With the Internet now offering every business service under the sun through online companies, solo entrepreneurs can—and must—outsource almost every aspect of their business and concentrate on leveraging their "unique skills." Judson lays out a number of useful rules of thumb (chief among them: don’t give up your day job until your business is profitable) illustrated by case studies of successful businesses, from which readers can glean enlightening tips on marketing, fee structures and customer management. Less helpful are his recommendations for figuring out what an entrepreneur’s unique skills actually are, as he relies on fuzzy introspective koans like "Find Your Source of Personal Energy." Interspersed is much motivational material on taking the first step, finding a way around obstacles, following your passion and facing down your fear. The book is not a step-by-step how-to, and its assurance that readers can beat the daunting odds against small business start-up success by avoiding typical mistakes is rather rose-colored, but those determined to take the plunge will find a good deal of easily digestible food for thought.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Using the success of his own two start-up companies as formulas for success, Judson offers sound, cogent advice for budding entrepreneurs. A well-known marketer himself, Judson explains how "going it alone" is different from being a typical small-business owner, the key being that the former is able to garner bigger profits despite a lack of resources, whereas the latter's revenue is tied to her own billed hours. So much potential exists, Judson argues, because in today's economy so many aspects of running a business can be outsourced, leaving the business owner to concentrate exclusively on what she does best. No great idea at the ready? Not to worry, Judson says, as he offers tips for finding a niche in an area where a person might prosper. Rounding out this handy, readable how-to are case studies that examine both successes and failures of go-it-aloners nationwide. An added bonus is a Web site that will feature discussions with the author, other resources, and updated case studies. Highly recommended for general business collections. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 229 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060731133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060731137
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #818,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Rockwell on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
What this book delivers:

1. It proves you can start a substantial business without a lot of money, employees, specialized knowledge or risk. In fact most of those things would be a hinderance.

2. The principles are guideposts for you to follow. You also learn the biggest non-secret in business which is simply to do what is important.

3. It gives you numerous examples of how people turned the knowledge they had into the business they wanted. It is not hard to see the principles at work.

3. As a side benefit you learn about some business services that are available to you that you probably have not given much thought to such as Logos.

What you do not get in this book:

1. A list of the hottest businesses to start.

2. How to do accounting, marketing plans, or any of the other specialized courses they teach in business schools. Spend your time on what you do well not learning something that someone else can do for you.

3. Detailed handholding complete with checklists. The principles are presented clearly with numerous examples. It is your responsibility to apply them to your own situation.
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Format: Paperback
I should begin by saying that I am quite in sympathy with this book's thesis, which can be boiled down (to oversimplify a bit) to one phrase: Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.

Bruce Judson, the author, brings out some great reasons for pursuing "light footprint" entrepreneurship (my term, not his). So many functions and so much technology can now be outsourced, via web-enabled communications and applications, that a world of opportunity is now open which could not be dreamed of a decade ago.

One of the effective marketing approaches employed by Judson was to make the entire text of the book available on the web. If his bet was that this would entice a serious reader to buy the book after sampling some good content, then it worked in my case. I'd far rather read a printed book that scan a monitor.

If you're thinking about starting a one-person or very small business, I think the content here will be quite helpful and a needed boost of encouragement. However, the book (and accompanying website) are not without flaws.

First of all, the book is over 200 pages. It could easily have been 80-90, with better editing. There is a lot of repetition, including using the same examples over and over again. The overall structure is not tight - too sprawling. And, in various places in the book, various resources are offered on the website - but when you go to the site, no such resources are to be found.

That said, I'd buy the book over again, because it has been an encouragement and affirmation for my chosen course of entrepreneurship. Despite the less-than-optimal execution, Judson is onto something, and that's the main thing. If you're going to "Go it Alone", you'll derive some serious value from this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! I recognized the truth that as solo business owners would do well to maximize their efficiency by concentrating on what they do best and outsourcing the rest. I am especially reminded of this as I spend hours trying to fix a website problem (I am a writer and a Mom's life coach, not a web designer!) instead of writing articles or thinking about growing my business.

Reading this book has caused some practical and immediate changes to my home business strategy and I am very grateful to the author for his efforts.

The real-life stories are very inspiring as well.

Get this book today!
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Format: Hardcover
The author offers more than a guide for creating a new business. His motivational stories from experienced entrepreneurs a realistic assessment of the risks involved and the resources required to make your venture a success.

Entrepreneurs are often seen as risk takers. Actually, the authors says they do everting they can to limit failure's costs. He suggests testing the validity of your concept before making it a full-time undertaking. This results in:

1. Risk reduction by gaining experience with paying customers.

2. Putting less pressure on the new business for fast financial success.

Once you make the jump to full-time entrepreneur keep in mind the following:

1. Be aware nothing happens until you make it happen.

2. There are no "A's" for effort. Once you start full-time, all the risks are yours alone.

3. Be prepared to sell.

4. Be prepared to demonstrate credibility and viability.

Starting a business has never been easier. Although many desire to leave the corporate umbrella, only a few actually do and even fewer succeed. Follow Judson's simple steps and your will increase your odds of success.
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Format: Hardcover
This is exactly what you'd want from a business book. It's like having a really smart, successful friend coach you on everything they've learned about striking it rich. It's great too for women who want to start a business from home but don't know how to get started.

If you know anyone who has started a business or is thinking about it,

send them this book immediately.
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