The New Business Road Test

What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan

by John W. Mullins

Number of pages: 270

Publisher: Prentice Hall

BBB Library: Entrepreneurship, Operations Management

ISBN: 9780273708056

About the Author

John W. Mullins is a veteran of three enterpernuerial ventures, teaches and studies enterperneurship and financing of rabidly growing businesses, as a professor oat London Business. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.


Editorial Review

Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting your own business or an executive developing a new product or service for your company, before you even think about writing a business plan, make sure you’ve checked all the fundamentals first. At least, give your new business a fighting chance if you don’t want to be a contributor to the business failure statistics.

Book Reviews

" A must read for all the entrepreneurs thinking about a lean start up " - Steve Blank father of the lean start up movement and author of the start-up Owner's Manual

"this well-structured book examines what entrepreneurs need to do to succeed. The economics of a business become sustainable when a company’s business model is sufficiently robust so as not to run out of cash, he notes." - The Irish Times

"If you have a big idea how do you avoid being one of the 80% of new ventures that fail in the first five years?John Mullins, entrepreneur, professor at London Business School, and author of The New Business Road Test – What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan" -family friendly working

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Wisdom to Share

Most new businesses fail because all businesses are not created equal.

Without these traits, few entrepreneurs could endure the challenges.

They ask this simple question for a very simple reason: they know most business plans never raise money.

So committed are they to showing a reluctant world that their vision is an accurate one that they want to know before bad things can happen why they might be wrong.

A market consists of a group of current or potential customers having the willingness and ability to buy products to satisfy a particular class of wants or needs.

It’s about providing differentiated benefits that are so compelling that customer abandon their allegiance to former providers and give their business to you.

If your dream is to build a high-growth venture, you will need to enter the market in which you offer the customer clear and compelling benefits, at a price he or she is willing to pay.

Defining industries narrowly has some merit. It can clarify your focus as to who the principal competitors are, which helps in assessing competitive rivalry.

The hard part, though is sustaining that initial advantage, since offering superior benefits at the outset is not sufficient to build an entrepreneurial venture that can last over time.

Imitation occurs quickly in most industries, both from existing competitors and from new entrants, so initial advantages can disappear in a heartbeat.

Successful entrepreneurship requires a clear vision about what you, as an entrepreneur, want out of the effort.

Without a clear mission, your entrepreneurial efforts will be fragmented, lacking in purpose and direction.

Without understanding your own aspirations, you will be unable to articulate to others whose support you will need why they should support you.

Without identifying your own level of risk propensity, you’ll be unable to demonstrate to investors, that you’re willing to share in the risks you will ask them to take.

Without sharing the risk you probably won’t raise any money.