The Start Your Own Business Bible

by Paul Simister on June 3, 2011

I’ve just received a review copy of  The Start Your Own Business Bible: 501 New Ventures You Can Launch Today by Richard Walsh.

Start Your Own Business Bible

Start Your Own Business Bible book cover

I love talking to entrepreneurs about business but one of the most difficult questions to answer is…

“I want to start my own business. Where can I make the most money?”

It’s impossible to answer as it depends on so much I don’t know – like the person’s strengths, their passions, their willingness to work hard, the market (local or even international) and the competitors they face.

Now I have an answer.Get yourself a copy of The Start Your Own Business Bible.

The Start Your Own Business Book Review

The book comes in three main parts:

  1. Putting Your Business Together  a quick introduction to the legal issues of business, business planning and why start-ups fail and you can succeed.
  2. Business ideas – split into categories based on the money you need to start so you have a list of business ideas you can do for less than $2,000, between $2,000 and $5,000, between $5,000 and $15,000, between $15,000 and $40,000 and over $40,000.
  3. Business tips

Rather than get yourself caught up in why banks don’t finance business start-ups, you can choose a business idea that fits the money you have. Or if you are drawn to a more expensive business start-up, at least you can be clear on what is required.

The one downside is that the easiest it is to start a business in a category, the more competition you can expect so the more you need to focus on what makes you special and different so you can win business without being the cheapest.

The Start Your Own Business Bible – Broad Scope, Shallow Coverage

The Start Your Own Business Bible can’t go into much detail or the book would be huge. Each business idea has about a page on it with the following information:

  • Start-up cost
  • Potential earnings
  • Typical fees – often expressed as a rate per hour
  • Main advertising methods
  • Qualifications – formal qualifications and the main personal skills and abilities you need
  • Equipment needed
  • Home business potential
  • Staff required
  • Hidden costs

It then gives more advice on each split into three categories – low-down, start-up and bottom line advice.

Overall Assessment of The Start Your Own Business Bible

From what I’ve seen, The Start Your Own Business Bible is really useful for people who know they want to be their own boss but really aren’t sure what they want to do.

Many entrepreneurs have a calling to a particular industry or problem but others have to find something- and especially if they’ve recently lost their job or hate it.

Like any book, The Start Your Own Business Bible isn’t perfect.

If you know what you want to do, then the section is worth reading in Waterstone’s but it’s too skimpy to justify buying. You’re much better searching Amazon for a book on your niche. You’ll be amazed at what business ideas have their own specialist books.

There are 501 business ideas listed but use the book as a starting board and think around those listed. While the book seems extensive, there are many more business ideas that haven’t been included.

I’d also like to see some discussion of franchising – the advantages and disadvantages.

People who aren’t clear what they want to do are often drawn to the “business in a box” solution and while it is expensive, you are buying an opportunity with a better chance of success. In contrast people who know what they want to do often have a clear idea on how they want to do it and just need help moving from A to B.

My final criticism sounds silly but I don’t like the index.

The main part 2 of the book is organised by money needed and then alphabetically. This is then repeat in exact  category order in the main index. There’s a supplementary index which is by industry category (agricultural services, arts and crafts, automotive etc) but it doesn’t link to page numbers so you have to hunt them down across the cost categories.

If you want to start a business but you’re not sure what, I recommend The Start Your Own Business Bible.

Buying A Copy Of The Start Your Own Business Bible

You can can a copy from: or (affiliate links)

When you narrow it down to a short-list of a handful of business ideas, you can research each in more detail by reading the more specialist books and by talking to people already in the trade. Choosing what business to start is a huge decision so it pays to get it right.


Paul Simister is a business coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, by being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace…. in other words, by building a business to be proud of.

You too can move past your profit tipping point (free report) by answering the seven big questions of business success.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Luanne October 14, 2012 at 8:41 am

I’ve read this book
and it’s a very helpful tool
a must read!


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