The Facts Of Business Life -- Book Review
The fact is, if you are a budding entrepreneur, future business owner, or relatively “green” business owner, you need to read, The Facts of Business Life, by Bill McBean.
Because, in his new book, McBean, a successful businessman with four decades of ownership experience, explains the essential Seven Facts of Business Life and the Five Levels of Business Success.
Being a successful business owner means more than knowing one’s industry and understanding the basic concepts of leadership, management, or motivation, according to McBean.
- It means being able to master many areas of business, and knowing how each of these areas relates to and build on each other. It also means understanding how those areas change as a business goes through its inevitable life cycle, and how the owner must be prepared to change with them.
As you’ll read in the book, the Seven Facts of Business Life are:
- If you don’t lead, no one will follow
- If you don’t control it, you don’t own it
- Protecting your company’s assets should be your first priority
- Planning is about preparing for the future, not predicting it
- If you don’t market your business, you won’t have one
- The marketplace is a war zone
- You don’t just have to know the business you’re in; you have to know business
- Ownership and Opportunity
- Creating your company’s DNA
- From survival to success
- Maintaining success
- Moving on when it’s time to go
- Being flexible
- Having courage, tenacity and patience
- Having a combination of humility and presence
- Being responsible
- “The sad truth is that less than 30 percent of businesses last more than 10 years, and most failures occur in the first few years of operations,” said McBean.
He began his career with General Motors of Canada Limited in 1976. After holding several management positions with GM, in 1981 he accepted a position with the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) as manager of a sizeable commercial lending portfolio.
Two years later, however, GM approached him about opening a new automobile dealership in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and, along with Scotiabank, offered to lend him the required capital. Accepting the offer, Bill began his first business as a “start-up” the following year, beginning with ten employees.
Over the next decade, McBean grew the Yorkton business, which became one of the most profitable GM dealerships in the region.
Following his success in Canada, McBean was presented with an even greater opportunity in the United States. With his friend Bill Sterett, he purchased an underperforming automotive dealership in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1992.
Applying his business expertise, McBean turned the company around, increased sales revenue fivefold, and raised the employee count from 70 to almost 300; he also rearranged the local marketplace by acquiring a large portion of the market share from his competitors and by buying weakened competitors over a period of 11 years. During that period, the manufacturers he represented continually awarded him and his company honors for sales, service, customer retention, and financial excellence. Because of his company’s financial success and industry reputation, it attracted the interest of several major public companies and in 2003 was purchased by AutoNation, the world’s largest automotive retailer.
Thanks to the book publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.