Entrepreneur Husam S. Alsaleh sets out advice for new entrepreneurs in this guide to starting, scaling, and expanding a business.
Alsaleh’s father launched a rental car business in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the 1970s, and his son caught the business-building bug from him. The author now serves on a variety of boards and has done executive education programs at both London and Harvard Business Schools.
Alsaleh’s enthusiasm for creating and growing new businesses is genuine and infectious, and his respect for his fellow go-getters is clear: Entrepreneurs, he says, are problem solvers and creative thinkers. Much of his advice revolves around some derivation of self-knowledge and doing your research; he advocates for getting very clear on both the specific business problem for which you’re solving and the direction you want to take in your own career, as well as doing your research, not making assumptions, and strategizing.
Alsaleh’s dedication to both mentorship and business growth are evident; The book is most successful when he talks about his own business and how customers should be treated, including exceeding expectations with free cosmetic repairs when fixing a broken car, and firing a toxic high performer who customers didn’t like. His stories of working to expand the family automotive business in Saudi Arabia are warm and inspiring.
Most of the book, however, relies on regurgitating the ideas and strategies of others, the majority of which—hire slowly and fire fast, automate your processes, etc.—are likely to be already familiar to a trade business audience. He doesn’t offer enough of his own ideas or perspective to make this offering stand out.
Although it won’t be of much use to readers already steeped in business books, this offering might serve as a friendly primer to those new to the idea of entrepreneurship.
Also available in paperback.