Book Review from:

The Franchise Magazine

Written with the aim of helping those thinking about starting their own business, Success before start-up, provides an accessible, easy-to-read guide to help readers increase their chances of launching a successful business.

The book does not offer false promises, get-rich-quick schemes or that it will guarantee business success, but instead confronts the fact that 80 per cent of business start-ups will fail. Despite this the author encourages readers to be positive and pragmatic in their approach to starting a business so that they can become one of the 20 per cent who succeed.

Success before start-up is laid-out in a user-friendly way in which the process of starting a business is separated into three steps.

In the first step the author describes the most popular start-up options and experts from each option provide practical advice on how they established their businesses. Also each expert section includes ‘Parting Points’ where they use their experience to provide a list of tips and advice on launching a new business.

One of the options the author discusses is franchising and the book goes into detail about starting up a business by franchising. In the book the author includes the expert input of Professor Roy Seaman, founder and Managing Director of Franchise Development Services, who has been involved in franchising for over 30 years.

Step two describes the groundwork that needs to be done before starting a business and covers in detail how to finance and market the new business. The third step provides the reader with an in-depth guide to preparing and writing a business plan, a vital tool to getting finance from banks or other investors.

Although nothing can completely prepare a new business owner for the day when they start trading for the first time, this book does help to inspire and motivate those thinking of becoming self-employed, as well as offering practical information and advice on how to succeed.

Success before start-up was launched on 2 June 2011.

Article published on: 02nd Jun 2011

” Basic , simple, well written step by step guide  ‘how to do it’ plus real life stories from  other successful small businesses  who pass on their experiences and knowledge and support.  They did it, you can too, if you  take the advice and guidance offered  here.”

Pauline Hedges – Camberley

“I think the book is invaluable to anyone thinking of starting up in biz. You can’t get too much input before commencing a project and the way this pulls in info and experiences from others is a real plus. The best bit of advice I could give anyone thinking of starting up is talk to others in business (preferably related) as much as possible and keep talking to them after start up by way of networking (hate the word) at Chamber of Commerce etc. I have personally rated my meetings at Chamber do’s and I would also recommend a business course at night school where you’ll learn more from the students than you ever will the teachers. It’s one thing to talk and another to listen; you’ve got to take in what other people have experienced and relate to your own business and experiences and mould it into something useful.

So in short I think your book could be seen to start that process of listening to others and as such is a great start point.

Dean Nevson – West Midlands – Continues the theme of learning from others:

That’s my short story of biz…listen listen listen!”


John Osborn:

After being made redundant I wanted to go self employed and own my own business but did not know the initial ground rules.Now having read ‘Success before Start Up I can highly recommend this book. It is invaluable for those people wishing to start up and run there own successful business for what ever reason.


Enjoyed this book. Is was good to read about the ways other small business owners had started their business and the reasons why and how it all came about.

By Rupert H

Steve really knows his stuff and this is very well reflected in his book which will be a real help to those starting up their business. It is a great idea to base on case studies – they are real people with real businesses and I know that Steve has touched many lives. Very well done – the title of the book says it all and where good acorns begin – build on the roots and you have the beginnings of a great business!

By Andrew M

A really good read with some excellent tips on what to do before starting up your own business. It’s really practical as the book uses many, many examples of local businesses, who’s owners have been-there and done-it. Not just theory waffle, but real life experiences.


Success before Start-Up: How to prepare for business, avoid mistakes, succeed by Steve Bridger

Steve Bridger has anecdotal evidence that about half the people who want to start their own business don’t actually know what they want that business to be – they just know that for all the good reasons associated with self-employment they want to be their own boss. But for all their enthusiasm and good intentions a very high proportion of those businesses will fail at an early stage. Success Before Start Up is about the thinking, the investigation and the work that you need to do before you introduce yourself to your first paying customer.

The aims of the people wanting to go into business are the only part of this book which is anecdotal. Bridger looks at the various ways in which you can go into business, and examines the advantages and draw-backs of each one. There’s advice about what to do before you start down that road, the experience of someone who has done just that and then some words of wisdom from the business person concerned. The eighteen businesses concerned are very varied, so there’s no need to worry about the examples all being from people who’ve set up accountancy businesses when what you want to do is go into one of the building trades.

Bridger is also a walking example of what he’s preaching. You’ll find the link to his own business’s website to the right of this review.

The information is presented clearly and in language that we can all understand and this covers everything from the ‘due diligence’ you’ll need to complete before you start your business through to the Tax and VAT considerations once you’re ready to be up and running. Advantages and disadvantages are clearly spelled out and it might be that you realise your business idea isn’t a starter – but then you’re better realising that at this stage rather than after you’ve invested your life savings and months of your life.

Whatever business you’re thinking about this is worth reading, even if you use it as a check list to see that you’ve covered all the bases. It’s one of those books which will end up dog-eared and well-read and then passed on to someone else who’s thinking about starting in business for themselves.