Becoming familiar with your products and compiling a list of frequently asked questions may seem like pretty basic steps that need no reminders. But as a entrepreneur striking out for the very first time, these are among the many key ideas that Tom Abbott wishes to impart to you through his book, The SOHO solution. At first glance, The SOHO solution might seem like another run of the mill guide books catered to small business owners. However, you might want to reconsider your decision to skip this book entirely. After all, this is “not on a book you will glance through quickly and then loan to a friend,” as Don Hutson, co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The One Minute Entrepreneur, so aptly puts. The SOHO solution is divided into 4 main sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the business process-the customer, product, presentation and relationship. These sections are further divided into 21 strategies over a course of 21 weeks. The message the author is trying to put across is obvious-success is not instant. With a learning point to take away each week, the book is well-paced and allows one to reflect on the implementation of the idea into the business. One of the strongest message in the book is the need to set yourself apart from the rest. Abbott seems to have mastered this pretty well in the writing of The SOHO solution. His elaborate use of self-check questions makes an otherwise bland guidebook much more interactive, while readers will definitely appreciate his recommendations of business tools. For example, budding entrepreneurs may find the list of CRM (customer relationship) software highlighted in the book helpful as opposed to filtering out jargon on Google. It helps, too, that there is a specific task at the end of every week. For instance, the reader is taught how to avoid presenting features (this describes what a product does) but rather benefits (this describes how a products actually helps) to prospects, and then tasked to prepare his product demonstration based on this approach. This is effective in setting readers on the right track, and encourages them to be proactive in the improvement of their business. In this aspect, it does seem that you have an actual sales coach on hand, albeit in hard cover, rather than just another dummy’s guide. A tiny gripe I have with this book is, that the author mainly focuses on business to business dealings, over business to customer interactions. Perhaps, this is the author’s main intention but it certainly does not say so on the cover. In essence, the SOHO solution introduces 21 simple strategies that cover all grounds in achieving business success. The well structured content also makes this book a stand out from the rest.
Book review written for SME Magazine, a magazine focusing on small medium enterprises published by Business Times. Unpublished.