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Friday, January 18, 2013

Start At The End - Dave Lavinsky

Released November 2012

Dave Lavinsky

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Start at the End offers insightful advice into starting and growing your business. What impressed me most is that the author, co-founder of Growthink, starts with the thing that most businesses seem to overlook: What do your customers expect? This is followed by What would investors expect? Once you have that information down, you move on to other steps: setting goals, reaching financial goals, forming lasting customer relationships, creating your HR team, etc. Every step of this business guide is backed by solid narrative/instruction and worksheets that you print out at

The advice is spot-on, and I found myself, from a customer viewpoint, nodding my head more than once. It's nice to hear a business guide putting customers first. I'm finding that many businesses are all about the bottom line and treat customers appallingly.

I just dealt with Sears, a company that has such a long history, it's sad to see them declining but also not surprising. We simply wanted a set of tires, but they only had three and sold three. Two weeks later, their online inventory showed they had them in stock again, so we went to order one. The clerk said they will not sell tires unless it's a full set of four. We showed the invoice from the earlier tire purchase and they balked but finally agreed to sell one tire, only to then say they didn't have any, but would order one from another store. The day the tire was due to arrive, they claimed we never placed an order and that they wouldn't sell a single tire. After showing the invoice, they said they'd order it immediately, meanwhile, the check had cleared so they were sitting on the money. It took another week of them losing, finding, and losing our tire again before we had it in hand. We'll never shop with them again.

If your business is struggling, or you're not sure where to start, you need to read Start at the End. It's one of the most helpful books I've seen.

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