Getting Started: A Practical Guide to Your Small Business Success in Canada


101 pages
ISBN 0-88908-646-X
DDC 658




Reviewed by Michael Iscove

Michael Iscove was a senior partner in the accounting firm Iscove, Gold & Glatt in Toronto.


This book purports to provide the reader with the required guidance necessary to make money, provided that you have imagination. Clearly the author has the greatest imagination of them all. I consider this one-sided selling piece a dangerously simplistic publication which is both misleading and fails to consider many of the crucial matters which require consideration when one starts a business.

The author outlines his approach to starting a business complete with details on how to do your financing, planning, marketing, selling, and purchasing. He focuses on portions of these topics in minute detail while broad-brushing the key elements. Unfortunately he feels that businesses can be launched with “little operating cash” by selling everything you own including your mother. If you can’t sell her then borrow from her. There is no attempt to teach unsophisticated readers about evaluating risk and return on investment. The comparisons drawn at the outset of the book include one glowing example who ultimately went bankrupt. But even this problem was not sufficient to cause Mr. Smith to give pause to the area of business risk. He blindly continues to expound on how you can make a fortune by simply selling everything — even to pawnbrokers, I might add — and throwing the money into a business. He blindly suggests approaching suppliers, customers, and employees as potential investors without any consideration of the effects on the business. He suggests that banks will finance purchase orders when, in fact, today they will not. His efforts in the marketing area, which he professes to teach, do not include any information relating to determining the size of the market, growth potential, technological impact, or governmental guidelines affecting the business. There is no suggestion that the person do an evaluation of the competition to determine pricing, packaging, marketing approach, or any of the other crucial elements of marketing.

One minor point is that the tax information is completely out of date.

The author of this book claims that he is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and marketing consultant to private industry and government who has written several other books relating to business. We can only hope that he is silenced before too many people suffer from his poor advice.



Smith, Richard D., “Getting Started: A Practical Guide to Your Small Business Success in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,