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Intellect

New book by BYU profs defines “super laws” for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs blaze their own trails and make their own success, but lessons learned from those who have gone before can increase a startup’s chances. That’s the message of a new book about entrepreneurial marketing from three Brigham Young University business professors.

“Boom Start,” the new guide written by Marriott School of Management marketing professors Gary Rhoads, Michael Swenson and David Whitlark, outlines a series of “super laws” for successful entrepreneurs. Rhoads says their goal in writing the book was to give aspiring business owners practical marketing skills without bogging the book down with excessive theory.

“It’s the kind of thing you can read over the weekend and put into practice on Monday morning,” he said.

The book’s super laws, which include ideas like “riding horses” (making the most of the success of others) and “playing big” (acting like a large company despite limited resources), come from 10 years of research and the authors’ observations of students who have set out to start their own companies. By observing what successful startups do and what unsuccessful startups don’t do, Rhoads, Swenson and Whitlark came up with a series of best practices that can immediately improve a small business’s marketing efforts.

Rhoads says the current resources on entrepreneurial marketing either have an excessive focus on the legal and logistical steps to starting a business or put too much emphasis on traditional approaches, which require more money than most new businesses can get their hands on. Rhoads says entrepreneurs need something they can do right away.

“A philosophical discussion on trends and market segmentation is fine when you have the time and resources or are in a scholarly setting,” he said, “but for someone who is spending so much time just trying to sell a product, you need something more practical.”

In line with the book’s focus on giving practical advice, the authors avoid using scholarly language to explain principles, instead employing a casual tone, even slang.

“We wrote the book in an engaging, interesting style to fit the target readers — aspiring entrepreneurs and small-business owners,” Swenson said. “The conversation approach seems to resonate with these groups, and initial feedback suggests we hit the target.”

“Boom Start” is primarily sold as a textbook for entrepreneurship and marketing students, but the authors and publisher hope to introduce the book as a trade publication in the near future. Rhoads envisions small-business owners reading the book on a plane, gaining insight and applying the new knowledge right away. People who have read the book already say it has helped them improve.

“’Boom Start’ fires up your imagination and empowers you with new ideas,” said Robert Stevens, who bought the book on Amazon.com. “It teaches how to ask the right questions to start and run your current or next business. It also helps you answer questions that every investor wants to know.”

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

Writer: Dustin Cammack

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