Clayton Bye's Reviews > Bare Knuckle MBA: Everything You Need to Know About Running a Profitable Business

Bare Knuckle MBA by Clayton Clifford Bye
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Sep 01, 2009

(Review from the author)
really liked it
bookshelves: business, non-fiction, self-help

Bare Knuckle MBA by Clayton Bye

Reviewed by: John L. Hoh, Jr.

This book is subtitled "What You Really Need to Know About Running a Profitable Business." Basically, Mr. Bye has distilled what you would pay thousands of dollars for (either US or Canadian currency) in an education for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree.

And along the way Mr. Bye uses his consulting firm as an example when he explains the various business aspects. When he explains a business plan, he lays out the business plan for his business, Chase Enterprises. Sales and Marketing? Again, he explains what he does with his business. Advertising and promotions? You get the idea--Chase Enterprises is the template.

The book starts with an overview of starting and running a business. At one point I wondered if the goal was to drive more business to Chase Enterprises or maybe that the book was meant as a "take-home" resource for those enlisting Chase Enterprises for help in building a business. But then as the book goes along the various aspects are explored in much greater detail. Perhaps the aim is to weed out the serious business people from the dreamers. If the overview of the details sound mind-boggling and excessive, the author has saved everyone time by letting them drift away right away. If you are serious about continuing, the details come later.

Overall this is an excellent book on business. It could even be used in an actual MBA course!

Reviewer: Lucille P Robinson

Bare Knuckle MBA is a book that focuses on any every aspect of operating a business from the generation of an idea for a product to the day-to-day managing of affairs. Mr. Bye shows his readers how to do market surveys needed to inform the prospective business owner what products stand a healthy chance of making the business successful. He teaches the business person how to create a business plan/profile of expected expenses and income surrounding the product of choice and how to implement the plan. Techniques for specialization are explained.

Mr. Bye teaches marketing procedures designed to 'position' your business in people's minds so that when the product is mentioned, the consumer immediately thinks of you. Techniques on choosing employees and training them are outlined. Even a person with no business skill can easily adopt this plan to become a success. Mr. Bye's explanations of each section are clear and thorough. Bare Knuckle MBA is actually the plan he teaches as a business consultant. Last, Mr. Bye outlines his own marketing plan by which a reader can see clearly how these techniques work together to make the business a success.

I liked this book because it teaches Mr. Bye's techniques in easy to understand language in a step by step manner that's simple to put into use. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in developing a business, to those who already have a business and need help in a tough spot, and to those, like me, who have absolutely no business skills at all. If you're an employer, I suggest considering Mr. Bye as a consultant and bringing him in to train yourself and your employees.

Another (mixed) Review:

Bye, Clayton (2008)
Bare Knuckle MBA: What You Really Need To Know About Running A Profitable Business
Chase Enterprises: Kenora, Ontario,
ISBN: 13: 978-0-9739933-9-4
(215 pages)

Bare Knucle MBA asks questions to help the reader determine whether (s)he is a good investment risk and promises to lead the reader into a better business position, namely, to an increase in business profits.

In fact, the book purports to distill an MBA. The author says that with the information he shares, the small business person will not have to hire someone with an actual MBA, and can still have a significant increase in profits on a continuing basis.

The book is organized well. Bye sets out to meet his goal through a series of twenty-five short chapters, each with a stated objective, some for the reader, some for the writer, and others for both.

Chapters include examples from the world of business or life in general, most from Bye's new business: to sell his workshop and book. Given that the method Bye teaches should work for any "business"--he includes education in his target group--other examples from his extensive business experience would have improved the mix.

On the other hand, the extensive look into his business plan for his book and workshop combination is instructive. His chapter on selling as relationship is developed well, probably because of his previous experience in sales.

In contrast, the chapter on distribution, which he says, "is crucial to your success," (p.124) warrants only three pages.

A book on business that supports a business workshop does well when it is written with its market firmly in mind. Bare Knuckle MBA's stated purpose is to support the one-day workshop of the same name, and it often seems it would fulfill that purpose. At other times is seems more like an ad for the workshop.

Bye compares his text to those produced by John Wiley and Sons. I would encourage him to consider the physical aspects of Wiley's books. Bye's book feels cramped in comparison because of the heavy dark boxes around much of the text and the absence of white space. Students would appreciate a place to write notes during the workshop. Even the hard cover, usually an indication of value, does not meet industry standards given the price of the book. A workbook format would have been a better choice in my opinion.

I appreciated the section on how to handle problems. The advice was unexpected and seemed to work for life in general as well as in business.

I am a small business owner and therefore part of Bye's target market. I have not taken the workshop this book supports, so I cannot evaluate it in that light. I would never pay the asking price of the book as a stand-alone. Since Bye does not intend to sell the book to many people apart from the workshop, my concerns about its perceived weaknesses may not matter at all.

©2009 Audrey Owen

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