IF YOU BELIEVE THAT:
- Being your own boss can be a great career choice
- Success is what you decide it is
- Doing what you have a passion and talent for can be veryprofitable
- Monetary risk, hard work, and new ideas should be financiallyrewarded
- Understanding the business basics every successful ownerfocuses on—and in what order—would be beneficial
- Success works for you only after you’ve worked forit
- Marketplace battles are won before they are played
- Knowing what owning a business is really like would makeownership success a lot easier
- Change can create great opportunities
- Knowing when to exit a business is as important a life andbusiness decision as becoming an entrepreneur in the firstplace
THEN THE FACTS OF BUSINESS LIFE IS FOR YOU!
Written by a successful business owner with four decades ofexperience, The Facts of Business Life is full of real-worldconcepts that owners must use and embrace if they want to becomeand stay successful. This multiple award-winning book has beenendorsed by some of America’s top business leaders, likeSteve Forbes and Ken Fisher, and has been recognized as “oneof the best five business books of the year” and “amust read for entrepreneurs or those wanting to be one.”
McBean begins with clear explanations and real-life examples ofthe seven Facts of Business Life that every successful businessowner knows and executes consistently, including exactly what theyare as well as how and when to use them. He then goes on to showhow those facts impact on the five levels every successful businesspasses through, from “Ownership and Opportunity” to“Moving On When It’s Time to Go,” explaining thatwhile the facts themselves remain the same, as a business becomessuccessful and moves through its life cycle, the way they areapplied must change to fit changing circumstances.
But there are even more reasons why this breakthrough businessbook is a must read, including:
- Its principles are based on the author’s own experiencein starting and running successful businesses in a variety ofindustries.
- It shows that the most successful businesspeople createprofitable opportunities rather than wait for them to presentthemselves.
- It enables readers to analyze the likelihood of their ownsuccess based on the characteristics most successful ownershave.
- It reveals the #1 priority for all owners and their employees,and why every owner needs to continually focus on it (Hint:it’s not being profitable).
- It emphasizes that becoming successful is no guarantee thatsuccess will last, and that success itself can be a trap thateventually leads to failure.
- It shows that a business’s culture isn’t just amission statement but also the processes created to operate thebusiness and the employees who implement them.
- It discusses the steps that must be taken even before abusiness is started to increase the odds of its becoming a lastingsuccess.
- It covers every step in a business’ life cycle, includingthe last one, showing that the best time to exit a business is whenyou don’t have to, and that unless you pick that time,someone else will.
MANY BUSINESS BOOKS INCREASE THEIR READERS’KNOWLEDGE—THE FACTS OF BUSINESS LIFE NOT ONLYINCREASES THAT KNOWLEDGE, IT SHOWS YOU HOW TO TURN IT INTOPROFITS.
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About the Author
BILL McBean spent many of his nearly forty years as a successful business owner in the automobile industry where, among many other achievements, he purchased several underperforming dealerships and turned them into a successful business enterprise with yearly sales of more than $160 million. Since selling the company to the world's largest automotive retailer, AutoNation, McBean has been involved in several new businesses, including McBean Partners, an investment and business mentoring company, and Net Claims Now, which provides administrative services and support to the restoration industry.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Facts of Business Life 1
The Facts 3
The Business Life Cycle 9
Chapter 2: The Five Levels of Business Success 13
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 17
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 22
Level 3: From Survival to Success 27
Level 4: Maintaining Success 32
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 37
Chapter 3: Fact 1: If You Don’t Lead, No One WillFollow 45
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 50
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 56
Level 3: From Survival to Success 62
Level 4: Maintaining Success 72
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 77
Chapter 4: Fact 2: If You Don’t Control It, YouDon’t Own It 87
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 89
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 93
Level 3: From Survival to Success 98
Level 4: Maintaining Success 103
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 111
Chapter 5: Fact 3: Protecting Your Company’s AssetsShould Be Your First Priority 121
Protecting Tangible and Intangible Assets 125
Protecting Products or Services 126
Protecting People 127
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 129
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 134
Level 3: From Survival to Success 142
Level 4: Maintaining Success 150
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 159
Chapter 6: Fact 4: Planning Is About Preparing for theFuture, Not Predicting It 167
The Elements of a Proper Business Plan 170
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 172
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 175
Level 3: From Survival to Success 179
Level 4: Maintaining Success 182
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 187
Chapter 7: Fact 5: If You Don’t Market Your Business,You Won’t Have One 193
The Elements of Marketing 196
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 198
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 204
Level 3: From Survival to Success 212
Level 4: Maintaining Success 218
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 224
Chapter 8: Fact 6: The Marketplace Is a War Zone 235
The Products or Services You Sell 238
How Your Business Operates 240
How Your Business Competes—The “X” Factor241
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 242
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 250
Level 3: From Survival to Success 256
Level 4: Maintaining Success 264
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 272
Chapter 9: Fact 7: You Don’t Just Have to Know theBusiness You’re In, You Have to Know Business 279
Accounting and Finance 283
Level 1: Ownership and Opportunity 285
Level 2: Creating Your Company’s DNA 293
Level 3: From Survival to Success 300
Level 4: Maintaining Success 307
Level 5: Moving on When It’s Time to Go 314
About the Author 325
What People are Saying About This
“Bill McBean has both the experience and the acuteinsights to give entrepreneurs the must-know basics in aneasy-to-grasp way. He does just that with The Facts of BusinessLife, which provides an invaluable ‘long view’ onwhat it really means to be an entrepreneur. Businesses, likecivilizations, have particular life cycles. This is the firstbusiness book I know of that is structured around the customarylife cycle of a company and the skills required at each juncture. Iespecially like the author’s thoughts on‘building-in’ your exit strategy earlyon.”—Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, ForbesMedia
“If you’re a would-be entrepreneur or a businessowner embroiled in the day-to-day business of business,there’s not much that speaks to the full life-cycle of whatit means—truly means—to be an owner, manager, CEO, andboard chairman. That’s where Bill McBean comesin.”—From the Foreword by New York Timesbestselling author Ken Fisher
“Bill McBean is a classic entrepreneur with ‘streetsmarts,’ book smarts, and a tremendous will to win. Hissuccess as an athlete, a small businessman, and a highly respectedmulti-franchise retailer gives him credibility to be heard andvalued.”—Mike Maroone, President and COO,AutoNation
“Being in business for yourself is not only a part of thegreat American dream. I feel it is the best way to work, live, andsucceed. Unfortunately, when you start or acquire a new business,it doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. In The Factsof Business Life, Bill McBean has created a road map and aguide designed to take us all from where we are to where we want tobe.”—Jim Stovall, bestselling author of The UltimateGift and The Ultimate Financial Plan
“From a banker’s perspective, this is a book everybusiness owner should read. The business lifecycle concept alone isworth the price of admission. Bankers will always respond morefavorably to clients who can pinpoint their needs, understand theirbusiness, market and opportunities. This book shows the client howto do this. The Facts of Business Life is not only amust-read for every business owner, it’s a must-read forevery banker.”—Blayne Lensen, Vice President of GlobalRisk Management (ret.), Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank)
“As a Co-Captain of the 1989 Stanley Cup Champion CalgaryFlames, I learned that practice doesn’t make perfect, perfectpractice makes perfect. The same has held true in my businesscareer. The Facts of Business Life gives you a road map, aplan, a framework to apply to your business so that you employperfect practice as it relates to your company. The book can beread chronologically or randomly and provides value on the area offocus you wish to zero in on. Read it and win your ownchampionship.”—Jim Peplinski, owner, Jim PeplinskiLeasing Inc.; Executive Chairman, Humberview Partners; VicePresident of Business Development, Calgary Flames (NHL)
“Who better to talk about business ownership then someonewho has done it, lived it, loved it, and left it? The Facts ofBusiness Life is not just a book about how to be successful,it’s a book which challenges some commonly believedentrepreneurial myths, and in my case, rethink my role as abusiness owner. Bill’s book will surprise some with‘facts’ such as ‘Protecting Your Assets is YourFirst Priority’ and what asset protection means and whyit’s important; or, his explanation of the ‘WarZone,’ and how all these ‘facts’ work together tocreate unbelievable success. If this isn’t enough forone book, Bill gives us more, ‘the business life cycle’it makes so much sense and when you understand it makes my role asan owner so much clearer.”—Gil L’Hommedieu,Founder President and CEO, Net Claims Now
“Bill McBean is the consummate business executive. Justask the manufacturers he represented so successfully, thecompetitors from whom he regularly grabbed market share, or theemployees who were fiercely loyal to him. But Bill also has anamazing capacity to reflect on his business experiences and conveythe lessons he’s taken from those experiences. The Fivelevels of a business Life Cycle is a perfect example of this.It’s Bill’s concept, simple to understand and makesperfect sense. Two of these Levels, ‘Creating your companiesDNA’, and ‘Moving on When it’s time to Go’are worth the price of a dozen books.”—Fritz Kern,Former SVP and General Manager, U.S. Passenger and CommercialVehicle Operations, American Isuzu Motors
“Bill is one of the best business owners I’ve evercome across. I think so much of his ability that I seek out hisopinion on my own business issues, and have referred some of mybest clients to him for his expertise. Every page of The Factsof Business Life has something owners can use in theirbusiness, but I particularly found the ‘War Zone andMarketing’ facts to be especially powerful, as is the Levelson DNA Creation, Opportunity and it’s analysis, andMaintaining Success’. This is a great book and the way Billdescribes the business ‘life cycle’ concept, was a likea ‘light switch’ being turned on – it made somuch else make sense. It will be a wonderful gift to my customersand a great introductory tool for my sales force to pass out toprospective customers. “—Tony Fincannon, CEO andPresident, Dealer Associates
“What impressed us most about Bill was the clarity hebrought to complicated business issues. Bill’s book, TheFacts of Business Life, does just this; it discusses thepriorities business owner’s need to concentrate on to besuccessful. The life cycle Bill describes is brilliant and bringsclarity to where there was none. His book makes business ownershipeasy to understand for the rest of us. “—Victor Papazov, Chairman, Bulgarian Stock Exchange, and Irena Komitova,Managing Partner and Publisher, Creative Solutions; Sophia,Bulgaria
“Bill McBean is a self-made businessman. He started withlittle and turned it into a lot. I’ve been able to closelywatch how he takes troubled businesses and turns them intosuccesses, then uses their collective successes to create acompetitive advantage in the market place. Bill is a competitor whoattacks a market with preparation, skill, and determination. Hisbook is a must read for every business owner because the SevenFacts of Business Life and the Five Levels in an ownership lifecycle are the summation of his four decades of experience andsuccess, and a tribute to the great business owners who mentoredBill. Level Five ‘Moving on When it’s Time to Go’is a must read, because Bill’s exit was as good a one asI’ve ever seen.”—Tony Nolan, Former President andCEO, NCM & Associates
“Bill is a great businessman who delivers a strong message– simply and to the point. The seven Facts of Business Lifegives owner’s the priorities they have to concentrate on tobe successful and profitable. The Five Levels of a businesses(and/or owner) life cycle is something I’ve never thoughtabout, but makes perfect sense and gives me a structure, orboundaries, to work within as well as a clearer focus on where I amand where my business is headed. When you read the book you quicklyrecognize why Bill was so successful, and there is no doubtyour talking to a business owner who has been where we are, and wonthe battle. This is simply the best business book I have everread.”—Dave Resendez, Director, Texas TowingAssociation
“Many people have common sense, but few people can turncommon sense into uncommon success. Bill McBean is one of the fewwho can. As a successful businessman, Bill has demonstrated anuncanny ability to maintain integrity and honor in both hisbusiness and personal life. And because of that, his employees loveto work for him, his customers trust to buy from him over and overagain, and he endears himself to his friends. His book is a mustread and should not be limited to just entrepreneurs, but toindividuals who are running any type oforganization.”—Jess Cole, Senior Pastor, Christ PointChurch, Corpus Christi, Texas
“Understanding the entire realm ofbusiness—marketing, sales, costs, employees, andproducts—is a trait few business owners have. But Bill McBeancan not only see the whole picture, he understands the small thingsas well. And, this is reflected in his book, The Facts ofBusiness Life, particularly in how he describes the Seven Factsand why they are important singularly, and then shows you the realstrength of the ‘Facts’- how they work in tandem witheach other to create great success. Add this to the description ofthe five levels of a business life cycle and the result is a sourceof great knowledge a to business owners large and small. A mustread business book.”—Ted Oakley, Director, AmericanBank
“As a successful, hands on entrepreneur, Bill has done amasterful job of presenting the essential elements for successfullyrunning and growing a business. His presentation is straightforwardand compelling, and anyone who owns, manages, or is consideringstarting a business should grab a highlighter and start reading hisbook.”—Mike Lewis, CEO, Office Arrow
“Bill has a wonderful business mind, and has an uncannyability to cut through the “noise,” clearly see aproblem or opportunity, and then attack it. His businesses aresuccesses because he is a visionary, a leader, a motivator, afocused manager, and because his employees believe in him. And,when you read his book you’ll know why, Bill see’s thecomplete macro picture of owning a business and puts it all in anorderly easily understood sensible format.”—Tim Keen,Vice President, Sonic Automotive
“Bill McBean is humble, honest, has a great sense ofhumor, and is a sincere friend to all of us here at his alma mater.He was and is a hard working professional and a leader amongst hispeers. It is little wonder that this former captain of his hockeyteam is now a captain of his team in the business world. TheFacts of Business Life explains how Bill has taken some of thehard lessons sports teaches and uses this knowledge in his businesscareer. Particularly telling is the ‘The War Zone’business fact which tells about the competitive spirit needed tosucceed or ‘the business fact’ concerning theimportance of ‘protecting your business assets’, whichreminded me of how critical defensive play is to winning andbecoming champions. Bill’s book is not just reservedfor business owners; it should be read by any manager in everyoccupation.”—Bill Seymour, Former Athletic Director andMen’s Hockey Coach, University of Saskatchewan
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Easy to follow business advice. This book has a great step by step process with seven easy facts to follow and five levels of the business life cycle. The author breaks down the seven business facts with great examples. I recommend this book and this process no matter what business or compay you are starting.
Great read and advice for both business owners and consultants. I really appreciated the "straight talk" style of the author on how to take one's business to the next level. The book provides guidance to help others avoid the pitfalls many aspiring entrepreneurs run into time and time again.
Easy-to-read. Really helped me re-assess the organization, operation, and salability of my business. Hats off to the author who presents his thinking from a base of practical experience, not the pie-in-the-sky theoretical.
This is an easy read that will guide a business owner through the entire life cycle of a business. I am an entrepreneur and executive manager, and have studied business throughout my adult life. I will refer back to this book often, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in business ownership! Jack Powers
This is a brilliant book regarding the inner workings of the business world and what it takes to run your establishment effectively. The seven key facts of operating a strong company are brief and concise; the points are excellently explained throughout the book. Bill’s clear-cut approach to business has worked considerably for him and it can work for you too.
This book helped me to implement alternative approaches in my business while reinforcing and restructuring some of the current methods being used. I feel the book is helpful for new, established, and future entrepreneurs to honestly assess the landscape of what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. I highly recommend this book.
This book was clear and concise, even if you don't own your own business or plan on ever owning your own business, it gives a very good insight into what business owners (i.e. your boss) are seeking. If you can get on the same page as your boss, you will go far in your company. This is a must read for anyone in the business world.
One EVERYONE should read, preferably as soon as they're old enough to comprehend it (teenager possibly). Helps you evaluate your goals & priorities in life and determine what kind of person you want to be and how to be successful! Very good info, wish I had purchased this book when it was first published.This book is a great read to keep on track and effectively work through professional and personal challenges. - Rafael Batista
Every leader can use a guiding light to keep growing. This book is a yellow beacon for business owners to lead and to keep striving to reach higher goals. Bill McBean speaks from experience as successful business owner. To the point, smooth read. You can tell he has his heart in his businesses. I still have a long way to go.
It isn't often I find a business book that has something original and refreshing to say. The Facts of Business Life is a breath of fresh air in the usually stuffy and stale business book world. The tips, guidance and advice are top notch and easy to follow. This is a must read, or listen, for everyone who is considering owning a business and those who already do. Mr. McBean has a no nonsense approach to business and the background to back up his statements. I am putting this on the shelf next to my 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I highly recommend you get this book if you are interested in business, success or just doing things a little better.
This book is absolutely fantastic ... I am not currently a business owner but have been in the past ... I have plenty of experience in the corporate world from established companies to startups and from failing businesses to successes ... McBean clarifies the entire process step by step ... The information McBean conveys is invaluable ... Coulda, shoulda, woulda read this book almost two decades ago when I was exiting college ... If you want to own a business, buy this book ... If you don't want to own a business, buy this book - because you'll want to work for someone who has read this book ... I have personally recommended The Facts of Business Life to numerous close friends/family ... This is a must-have book ... and that pretty much means, I'm telling the citizens of Amazon that it would be in their best interests to buy and read/listen to this book ... The ONLY gripe I have about the book is that James Earl Jones does not narrate the audiobook ... I hope to meet Bill one day, shake his hand, and thank him for graciously bestowing his knowledge and experience ... Job well done, McBean, job well done.
I don't read too many books but this one was referred to me by a friend. As a young first time business owners this really opened my eyes to a lot things I had simply not realized. I made a few changes regarding the way I run my business based on the book and I can already notice the positive effects. Take it from someone who doesn't necessarily read too many books, this one is worth it
As an avid business reader and owner this book gives you real life advice on how to be successful under any circumstances.It will guide you through every aspect of owning and running any business. Bill McBean is the consummate businessman and above all great man. Proud to call him my friend.
I feel that the guidance in this book would keep me away from potential mistakes. I found it helpful that each chapter backed up a fact of business.
I received this book as a gift from a friend who knew I had aspirations of starting my own business. After reading "The Facts of Business Life," I feel like I definitely learned some valuable tips to not only get started, but to be successful as well.
Every aspiring business owner (and every existing business owner) should read this book. It's full of common sense, timeless advice that help you succeed. Buy it, read it and pay attention. Money and time well spent.