Roy’s ground-breaking book is both fun and relevant. Early on, he indicates that alligators fail more than they succeed. I actually am happy about this! But, the real “gator bite” or learning nugget from Rocky the Alligator is that small businesses must learn from their mistakes and adapt to the challenges of customer sophistication, fierce competition, and yes, onerous regulation. Remembering that small businesses in the U.S. generally account for 60% to 80% of net new jobs growth, this book is a must for small businesses to navigate the swamp and grow with confidence and integrity.
Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CAE, President and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants
The Alligator Business Solution is a great tool for anyone thinking about starting a business to read thoroughly prior to making the decision to become a small business owner. There is an incredible amount of information compiled from Roy Austin’s decades of experience as a very successful businessman, owner, and leader. If you are already in business, this book will enable you to structure your company to achieve even greater success. I enthusiastically recommend The Alligator Business Solution.
President, Ron Kirby Leadership
Business Consulting & Leadership Development
BNI Gloabal Board of Directors, US Executive Regional Business Coach BNI
Hilton Head & Savannah Regions
When you are truly ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on starting or revitalizing your business–READ THIS BOOK! Roy Austin shares practical and logical fundamentals to foster your business success, with a passion for helping you succeed.
Bob Nicoll, Author, Remember the Ice and Other Paradigm Shifts
As managing partner of a regional accounting firm I see many small businesses financial results. I believe if more of my clients read this book and paid attention to the details that are discussed in this book, I would have more successful clients. Many of my small business clients are good at certain aspects of their businesses but have many details that are wanting for lack of attention and lack of knowledge on this issues. This book puts into simple readable perspective some of the basic things that businesses can focus upon to achieve greater success. It is very well put together and flowed very nicely. One of the issues I have with the many business books I read is keeping my attention and not lingering on a point too long. This was written well and flowed nicely and kept my attention. I really believe it will be a help to small business that take the time to read it.
Michael T. McCarthy
Managing Partner,Hancock Askew & Co., LLP, Offices in Savannah, Atlanta & Miami
Bonnie Jo Davis
The Alligator Business Solution is the book I wish I had when I took my first stumbling steps into self-employment two decades ago. I’ve read hundreds of business books but not one of them was as comprehensive as this one. The author covers everything from preparing to start your business all the way to really understanding your financials. All of this information plus the included case studies and encouragement from the author will save you the often fatal mistakes made by new business owners. Reading this book is like having your own mentor working with you step-by-step as you navigate the difficult and often lonely road of owning a business.
Bonnie Jo Davis
Owner of Davis Virtual Assistance and Magic Wand Author Services
In the last decade, more than 400,000 books have been published about business – how to succeed, how to manage, how not to manage, how to ride the latest wave, etc. The result is a figurative swamp of ideas and advice – some brilliant, most not – that drowns good ideas and thwarts good people.
If you want to get through the swamp, you need an experienced guide. Not someone who tells you “this is the way we used to do it,” rather someone who says “this is what I learned and here’s how it applies.”
Along comes Roy Austin, who has compiled the ultimate guide out of the “management by book of the month club” swamp with an extremely practical, realistic and useful “how-to” book on starting and running your own business.
Sure, the swamp/alligator analogy is a little kitschy, but Austin’s examples and no-nonsense advice make it easy to overlook the smilin’ gator that leads you through the book. And it fits his down-to-earth sense of humor and humility. If Austin doesn’t know something, he tells you who does and where to find it. That makes this an invaluable survival guide.
Einstein said genius is the ability to explain the complex in the simplest terms possible – and no simpler. Austin may not be Einstein but he would be my choice for swamp guide.
Mr. Dan. Suwyn
Partner, Workplace Dynamics, the largest employee survey firm in the United States
Former: Owner of Rapid Change Group, Managing Editor Savannah Morning News, Presentation Editor Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Reporter Gannett Newspapers
Starting and running a small business is, to say the least, a tremendous challenge. We all know that a significant percentage of start-ups and small businesses fail, and that there can be many reasons for this.
One of the main reasons, without a doubt, is the wide range of skills required of the small business owner/operator. It is extremely rare that an owner/operator possesses all of the skills required, so it is essential both that he/she “knows what I need to know” and “knows what I don’t know.”
The Alligator Business Solution provides an exceptional “go to” handbook for the small business owner/operator. It thoroughly covers virtually all of the key elements around small business, from Strategy & Planning to Organization to Finance, Marketing/Sales, and Operations.
Most importantly, The Alligator Business Solution does all this in a manner that is approachable, “friendly,” and understandable. It educates without intimidating. And the author, Coach Roy, does this in a refreshing and innovative framework by using “The Swamp” and “The Alligator” as the metaphors. The reader can find everything they need to know under topics such as “Swamp Fundamentals,” “Finding Food in the Swamp,” and “Swamp Survival.”
Business “handbooks” work best when they are truly “handy,” and The Alligator Business Solution certainly fits the bill here! I would recommend it heartily to any and all small business owners/operators who are smart enough to know that they don’t know it all.
Professor Mickey Goodman
Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship, Savannah College of Art & Design
Co-Founder and Principal with e2Advisors LLC. e2Advisors helps academic institutions establish entrepreneurial programs on campus. Formerly Mickey was Managing Partner with Blue Black; Associate Professor of Marketing with Stern School of Business at New York University; CEO, Marketing Drive; Managing Partner of MGR; General Manager of Act Media; and Product Manager with Unilever and Kraft Foods.
Having completed a number of acquisitions (25+) of early stage companies during 35 years as a business leader, and experiencing varying levels of operating sophistication within them, I appreciate the value of the basic but essential “words of wisdom” Roy Austin shares in The Alligator Business Solution. He has written a guide, or perhaps better said “playbook,” for a first time entrepreneur who is just starting a business, and/or a business owner who needs to reset/pivot the company’s direction and priorities. Lessons one might learn in business school, but for those without this training, what a street savvy first time entrepreneur should know and follow in building a sustainable profitable business. In The AlligatorBusiness Solution, Roy provides a thoughtful and practical step by step approach essential to establishing a structure, and winning operating culture within a business, by sharing his extensive knowledge and experience. He covers all aspects/functions critical to building a successful business highlighting the importance of planning, processes, controllership, marketing, leadership, and governance within a company. Starting with a vision, statement of values & company culture, and fundamental purpose of a business, he provides the reader an insightful tutorial that should help to put your company on a successful track going forward. I highly recommend Roy’s “Solution” to all entrepreneurs and early stage company owners whether just starting a business or sill in the early stages of development and growth.
Current: Chairman & Director of Razberi Technologies Inc, and Director of Vidsys, Inc
Former: President and CEO of Interlogix/General Electric Security (1990-2005)
This easy-to-read book explains how any business owner can progress from the fundamentals of an excellent product or service to sustainable success. The way to build any business is to develop a product or service with a competitive advantage. Most small business owners know how to make an excellent product or provide an excellent service, but may have limited knowledge about how to achieve a competitive advantage. Mr. Austin stresses that all businesses must constantly make business decisions beyond their product or service and also understand the quickly changing business environment. You may have the best product today; but, if you do not adapt, you may find yourself in second place or worse over time. Mr. Austin presents guidelines on how to monitor your business continuously to achieve your goals. In this book the author compares building a business to building a house in the “business swamp,” which requires a solid foundation upon which to base decisions. In essence this requires knowledge of all aspects of the business, along with the skills and tools to utilize that knowledge. Mr. Austin has done an excellent job in presenting this blueprint in a humorous and entertaining manner, and I highly recommended his book to every business owner, regardless of the business size.
Allen Yessman, MAcc, CMA, CPA
Adjunct Professor of Accounting
Nova Southeastern University
Fundamental to this book is that businesses are serious and essential to the owners. From the start, Roy Austin’s true wish is for every reader’s business to thrive. He clearly and thoroughly presents guidelines for success with compassion and wit, liberally supported by enjoyable anecdotes from his extensive network of successful entrepreneurs. What makes the book stand out is Roy’s ability to provide workable solutions distilled not only from the experiences of business luminaries (e.g. Jack Welch), great thinkers (e.g. David Kahneman, Mark Twain, e.g.), and from small businessmen he has met, but also from his own consulting experiences all distilled into bite size edibles that small businessmen will relish. You will not put this book down once you start, but you will want to reread with a highlighter to emphasize the prescriptions he offers that parallel your business. His passion for entrepreneurs and small businesses is evident as he asks you the reader to participate in end-of-chapter tasks that will reward you with fresh views of your business that will sustain you for years.
Associate Professor – Georgia Southern University
Chair – Florida Council, Institute of Management Accountants
Like the alligator, this comprehensive business book has a way of sneaking up on you. There are 76 chapters, but don’t let that frighten you. Each one is direct and to the point. If you are looking for a solution to a specific challenge, you can hunt down your issue by chapter topic. At the end of each chapter, the author gives you an assignment so you can implement what you have learned. Roy Austin has shared his years of experience with his readers in an incredibly organized fashion befitting that of an authentic financial expert. Read from start to finish or bite by bite depending on how hungry you are for these tasty tips on how to succeed in the competitive business world.
Lydia Ramsey, International Business Etiquette Expert, Speaker and Author of Manners That Sell – Adding the Polish That Builds Profits.
Roy Austin has a true passion for helping people find ways to be successful in business. His new book, “The Alligator Business Solution” shows not only that passion but reflects his knowledge of what it takes to run a viable business. A joyful read that offers great insight!
Shellie West, CEO,& Founder of the Greater Bluffton, SC Chamber of Commerce
A brilliant reminder that the solution to complex problems can often be discovered by returning to core principles. Warning, this book will make you evaluate the effectiveness of every person and operating procedure in your business.
Principal, Larek Point Consulting
Roy’s messages based on the use of analogies of alligators and swamps to the starting and running of a small business are simple and straightforward. Their value is that they are memorable, logical, actionable, and realistic. A good read.
President & COO Salt Marsh Angels
Formerly: President & COO at Ariel Southeast Angel Partner
NOTE: Terry was interviewed for the book and there is information in the book about her and her company so it may not be appropriate to feature her review in the book.
I found it very informative and think it is an excellent tool for the small business owner. This a fun read that is easy to understand and kept my attention. The short segmented topics are great for the busy entrepreneur making it easy to pick up and focus on one area.
President, Peacock Cabinetry
After retirement from Eastman Chemical Company, I continued in community service, but if I had had Roy Austin’s book, I am sure I would have tried my hand at starting a business! It is the best guide for beginning entrepreneurs that I have encountered. It is a pleasant, humorous, easy “read” and appeared to me to be as complete as such a book can be. It contains real-life examples of the business “swamp” and greatly emphasizes pertinent points as “gator bites.”
I believe it could also be used as a textbook for a class in starting a business. I recommend it to anyone contemplating going into business. It could be your first, and best, investment yet!
Charles L Seay
Retired, Director of International Trade Services, Eastman Chemical Company
District Governor of my Rotary Club which led to joint assignments Rotary and AID (Administration for International Development) in The Czech Republic and India
When I bought The Alligator Business Solution I didn’t know this book was going to become a priceless asset. While you may run a successful company, I encourage all to read this book. No, not just a book; this is business manual. Learn not only the accounting, taxes, assets, debts, marketing, ups and downs of business, business plans, your customers, but also learn about your SUCCESS!
My favorite feature of this book is the “Gator Bites,” little bits of knowledge that really make you think. These tips improved a few of aspects in my business. This entertaining business manual gave me a good laugh or two. The book is easy to read, and includes informative stories about small businesses.
I’m using the book to redo my business plan step by step.
President, Barrett Information Technology
The Alligator Business Solution is helping me realize my potential in business by leading me along a path to realize for myself what needs to be done to succeed in business and that it can be done if you are passionate about what you do. I have found it to be easier to read that many business books and Coach Roy to be a caring and kind soul who I believe truly wants me to succeed.
Owner, Carolina Chillin’ LLC
The Alligator Business Solution, is a great resource for Small Business Owners or people looking to start a small business. Roy does an excellent job of providing a road map and insight into all the skills, tools, and understanding one must address to have the best possibility for success in the small business swamp!
Owner, Bottom Line Products, Inc.
Rebecca A. Vincent, MBA
I find the book to be a good start for small business owners as well as startups – it is very easy to read and formatted in a way that it is easily understood. It gives the basics to a good and successful start for good business practices. I found you made an excellent point, from an accountant’s perspective, when you said ‘you don’t make money doing accounting, you make money providing products and services to your customers.
Rebecca A. Vincent, MBA
Accounting & Tax Services
The Alligator Business Solution is a “soup to nuts” handbook every small business owner needs to read and re-read!
Partner, Palmetto Benefit Solutions
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well written book by Roy Austin. Many “business” books are too technical and detailed and although their content is good, the books themselves are not user friendly. They have no practical applicability for the average small business owner.
This is NOT the case with The Alligator Business Solution. It is user friendly and has practical applicability. It is an excellent map for small business improvement. I like the use of the Gator Bites and quite frankly like his use of the Table of Contents as being an easy reference guide to Specific items of interest.
I recommend that every small business owner read this book!!
Branch Manager Open Mortgage, LLC
I found Roy Austin’s book to be full of practical business tips, great business advice and humorous anecdotes. The subjects that he covered were very useful to any business owner, and the examples he chose to make his points were very insightful.
As a member of BNI, I have met many business coaches and business strategists, but I have total confidence in Roy’s advice and his expertise. His book covered all the necessary information for a new business owner, or a seasoned one! I highly recommend this book to BNI members.
Owner, Big Social Marketing
How does someone that has never started a business know how to write a business plan? How do they know they need a business plan? The Alligator Business Solution explained why and told how. I know there are thicker books but that’s not what a newbie needs. The Alligator Business Solution is simple, inspiring and useful. I gave it to a friend that needed it badly!
Principal, Group 3 Architects
Joseph K Hall
If you are thinking about starting a small business here is a hint. Read this book. It has everything you need to know in order to be a success. If you are already in a small business here is a hint: Read this book. It has everything you need to know in order to stay / become a success. What you can take away from this book if you pay attention is as good as a Summer Session at Harvard. Without the hassle and expense.
Joseph K Hall
Roy Austin’s book is a practical is a must read for start-up, growing, and established businesses alike. Roy provides practical ideas and thought provoking exercises that lead the business owner to examine both leadership and management practices. I highly recommend this book.
I strongly encourage any person who is considering starting a new business to read Roy Austin’s book, The “Alligator Business Solution.” The insight that he brings to the table is exactly what each entrepreneur needs to understand before investing their time, money, blood, sweat, and tears. Roy has chronicled each critical area that a prospective business owner should have knowledge of before they make the leap. I believe anyone who practices the principles presented by Roy, just raised their opportunity for a successful business venture significantly! I’ve read a lot of business books and next to “The One Minute Manager”, this is my favorite.
Dealer Principal and majority owner of James Matthews Inc. auto dealership. 45 years in the automobile business, retired. Currently, Chairman of the Board of Grant County State Bank, located in Swayzee, Indiana.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs all share the same dreams of success. Their “can do” attitude and expertise in the profession of their choosing is certainly a key ingredient to making those dreams a reality. Sadly, those dreams can quickly become nightmares without the proper forethought, planning, and efficient execution of critical components which are vital to the success of any business, no matter how big or small. In The Alligator Business Solution, author Roy Austin gets to the heart of what ultimately makes people, and their businesses, succeed. This book is an excellent resource for every business owner, manager, or entrepreneur, regardless of age or experience. Mr. Austin’s fluid presentation of topics in manageable “Gator Bites” allows the reader to maximize comprehension of essential truths and practices that transform businesses from “good” to “great”, and from “better” to “best”. I know that I will continually refer to Mr. Austin’s book as a guide to ensure the long-term success of my own company, not just for the sake of success, but so that we can continue to improve the lives of those within our community whom we are privileged to serve.
President, Unisource Mortgage
“You will want to redesign your entire business plan after reading Roy’s book”
President of Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
This book has good, clear explanations of the nuts-and-bolts of operating a business, but, unusually, they are combined with lots of useful advice about the attitudes, skills, and practices that you need to be successful at it.
Development Manager, PowerPoint, Microsoft Corp., Retired
“A five star “must” read for entrepreneurs and small businessmen. “The Alligator” offers easy-to-read recommendations based upon experience and wisdom. The author explains the fundamentals of writing a sound business plan, and the short stories of successful businesses at the end of the book
Small business owner, Retired
“Why get an MBA when you can take a bite out of Coach Roy’s book. The Alligator Business Solution is entertaining Saturday morning reading and useful Monday afternoon reference material; and, it is an essential organism in the small business or any business habitat.”
~Cooper Glenn, CIA, CPA, CFF
“What I liked about the book is its comprehensiveness in a very readable and usable style. It hits all the topics a new business has to address and meets needs on so many levels. For those thinking about starting a business, it tells them all the areas they need to have covered, many of which are not their passion. The story lines help to give real life experiences so they can relate to the topic and hopefully gain a better understanding of it. For those planning to start a new business, it is a great checklist to make sure they have the needs covered. And not just topical needs, but also what information specifics do they need to be keeping and watching to see how their business is doing. For those in a new or existing business, it is a great checklist to see what they have covered and what they may be deficient covering.
It documents the massive number of things that have to happen to make a business successful.”
~Rob Hager, ChE PE, MBA, 6 Sigma Black Belt
Special Projects Manager, Eastman Chemical Company
I really enjoyed reading Roy’s book, Alligator Business Solutions. I found that it was well organized and easy to read. I liked that it presents different business concepts and accounting terminology in a fresh and simple way with practical applications. Because of the way it is organized with short chapters, I was able to read a little bit at a time and then think about what I read as I went about my day as a small business owner. I appreciate that it is a thought provoking book and instead of just attempting to provide all the answers and solutions it helps equip the reader to find the best answers and solutions that match their unique business situation. I highly recommend you read this book whether you are involved in business for your full time occupation, have a casual interest in business or are somewhere in between.
Owner Berkeley Flowers and Gifts
The Alligator Business Solution is the no nonsense, common sense approach to business and solving day to day issues that affect all businesses. Good advice for every layer of management.
General Manager, Litco Mfg. SE, Wellford.SC
“As a business owner, professional investor and amateur herpetologist, I highly recommend Roy’s book. It’s about time someone gave the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) the credit it deserves. A business person needs to be prepared in order to perform the hard work of establishing and managing a viable business. When an opportunity appears, it is best to jump on it quickly and with enough scale to make a difference. Roy’s book provides an excellent guide on setting up a new business, improving the management of any business, old or new, and how to best take advantage of opportunities.”
~Felton Jenkins, CFA
Partner & Portfolio Manager, Trimaran Capital LLC
I am in the Swamp! Thanks to The Alligator Business Solution, I believe I now have tools and direction to get out and on to dry ground. Here is a document that points the way, highlights priorities, and provides a framework to grow and succeed.
During the beginning of my career in the military, I was issued a guidebook. It served as a reference for almost all things military. It was invaluable during my years in the service and I still have it today. This book by Coach Roy is the guidebook for the business owner and all others laboring in the business swamp. This well thought out book covers business essentials from the initial planning, start up, and all along the business journey. Best of all, Coach has made it down right interesting! Like my other guidebook, I will keep it and use it for many, many years.
Read and heed to succeed!
Owner, Sea Spray Exterior Cleaning
The title of this book is unusual, drawing your attention from the start. After learning more about the message of the book, the alligator analogy is spot on.
Bluffton, SC resident Roy Austin is the founder of Rockwell Business Solutions, LLC, a business consulting/coaching firm with a mission to help small businesses by giving them a competitive advantage from the start. Roy, known as Coach Roy, shares his expertise from many years of experience in business and is now an in-demand speaker, conducting numerous seminars, teaching effective methods and solutions to succeed in business. In writing “The Alligator Business Solution”, Coach Roy interviewed 18 thriving small business owners. The book describes many of the pitfalls that can potentially sabotage the chances for success while teaching concepts and tools to benefit organizations of every size and type, whether for-profit, non-profit, church or civic organizations.
This valuable business guide details practical advice for building a “solid house” in the “business swamp”, emphasizing the importance of mastering the basics (product expertise, financial, marketing and managing people) whether you enjoy them or not.
Small business owners, as well as those hoping to be, will find this book easy to read, entertaining and, most importantly, full of relevant information.
~Glenda S. Harrison
Freelance Writer/Contributor to The Bluffton Sun
I’m sitting on the beach reading the financial part of your book and I am finding it incredibly beneficial. You are explaining things in ways I have never heard explained before or perhaps just never really understood. I wish I had it when I was planning my own business. By reading Roy’s book you can avoid many of the mistakes many of us make in the early stages of building a business. The section on accounting was especially useful. It helped me understand what were previously complex concepts in a way that I could understand and use to my benefit. I recommend Roy’s book whether you are just starting out or whether you are already scarred from life in the business swamp.
Owner, Horizon Home Inspectors
Hey Roy…..I thoroughly enjoyed your book, and found your writing style (pragmatic, easily digestible bites, and “assignments”) entertaining and useful!! I’m a “serial” entrepreneur, as you know, and I know that I don’t know it all! Thanks for the gentle reminder – in many chapters – to get my ducks in a row!
Business Development Consultant, Barter Card USA
The Alligator Business Solution is a great tool for my leadership team to use, because it breaks most aspects of a small business into understandable parts. Many of our staff are not knowledgeable about all of the areas of a business that require attention and The Alligator Business Solution illustrates what needs to happen for any business to be successful. At the same time, it does not get bogged down in the minutia of details that many business books do. I am making this required reading for my managers and supervisors.
CEO, Gabriel Group
Dr. Paul Juras
I have never met a small business owner that did not want to succeed, but success is not something a business owner should leave to chance. There is a greater probability of success when the pursuit of an opportunity intersects with a high level of preparedness. Roy’s easy-to-read book provides much of the knowledge needed to improve one’s level of preparedness and chances of success. However, this book offers much more, it offers knowledge and insights that can make that success sustainable.
“No one will care about your business like you do.” Few could argue with that statement, which comes from one of Roy Austin’s first “Gator Bites.” However, the care and nurturing of a business requires knowledge. By reading this book, you will learn about all the facets of operating and managing a business. Accounting, marketing, risk management, employee hiring and retention, and the list goes on. All the foundational concepts are here. You do not need to be an expert in everything, but you certainly need an awareness of the fundamentals. The Alligator Business Solution offers you the foundational knowledge that is essential on your path to success.
~Paul E Juras PhD, CMA, CPA
Vander Wolk Professor of Management Accounting and Operational Performance
“The Alligator Business Solution is a book to keep and refer to often. Chapter four may be my favorite. If you own your own business, just buy it. The book is informative, practical, and presents a humble approach to business success.”
“A comprehensive guide for anyone who is running or intending to start a small business. As a small businessman myself, I am aware of the many pitfalls in dealing with the different aspects of the operation. Paramount importance includes staff loyalty, the integrity of the product and service offered, customers satisfaction, selection of professional service, cash flow and regulatory compliance. In your book, you discussed all the above and more and with quotes from practicing business managers. While reading your book I put your suggestions in the context of my own operation. I identified one major weakness and I’ve initiated a project to fix it. Better to be aware of the alligator than trying to manage by crisis.”
Chairman, Erlina Pty Limited
“I have enjoyed your book since I’ve been “in a swamp.” Good read, very understandable, excellent organization. My only question is that it could with some tweaking be a sort of guidebook for many areas other than business ones, thereby making it more marketable to a much larger audience. The “alligator” can be a solution and/or help in home management, relationship management, estate management.”
Professor, Emory & Henry College