Bare Knuckle MBA: What 
You Really Need To Know 
About Running A Profitable Business
Book Reivew

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) hardcover $120.00

Bare Knuckle 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. 

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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