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BOOK REVIEW: START UP MASTER PLAN

A quick guide to launching your business

By Namwanja Margaret Chikwabi

In Start-up Master Plan: A quick guide to launching your business (2019), author Clive Kalambo presents a business self-help book that can best be described as practical.

As put in the title, the book is a good source of information for the novice business person or entrepreneur. Some title chapters are Patience in Business, Branding and Marketing, Watching Your Expenses, Timing and Focus on Clients. At 127 pages, Start-up Master Plan contains short paragraphs focusing on specific issues in the realm of business. 

In the very first chapter Identify Your Passion, Clive Kalambo submits that having a passion for your business endeavour does not shield you against business storms, but gives you an extra and invisible drive and energy to march on when the going gets tough. He adds that having a passion for something ensures that your work eventually feels like play, and there’s no better feeling than that. 

When it comes to Watching Your Expenses, the novice entrepreneur is warned against overzealousness but should set a realistic budget that he/she can work within. Additionally, spending one’s profits anyhow is frowned upon, no matter how big the business gets.

One’s aim must always be to make sure that the gap between the business’ income and expenses is ever widening. Getting and keeping receipts for every purchase made and tracking this on a daily or weekly basis is a good way to know how and where the money in that business is being spent. Therefore, financial discipline is vital for the sustainability of one’s business.

On Trading Within the Law, emphasis is made on working within the confines of the laws  that govern that business. The author gives an example of a friend of his who opened up a bar and restaurant in one city to great fanfare. The business was doing well until one day when local council officials paid a visit to the premises.

It was discovered that the business only had a liquor license and no food license. That business was shut down immediately. The moral of the story is that ensure that whatever business you’re operating should be within the rules and regulations of the land. 

To the author Clive Kalambo’s credit, Start-up Master Plan is an easy read, easy to understand and is written in simple, clear language. So, the reader need not worry about business jargon and that is a good thing.

As was noted earlier, the chapters are presented succinctly, although with the obligatory quotes from such personalities as Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill, Benjamin Franklin, etc., at the start of every chapter. Nonetheless, the substance of the book overrides these. 

What also works in the book is the author highlighting his own personal business endeavours, including where he failed and what he did better the next time around. Whatever the area of business you’re embarking on, there are more than a few chapters that will be useful to you as a novice entrepreneur in this book. It is a practical guide.   

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