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					Book Review:

Invest to Exit - A pragmatic strategy for Angel and Venture Capital
Dr. Tom McKaskill
Breakthrough Publications, 2009, Australia. (279 pages, 1.9 MB)

Investors in early stage ventures need to focus on strategic exits if they are to
achieve a high return on their investments. This book explains the characteristics of
strategic value, how the investor should negotiate the investment and how they
should manage the process to a strategic trade sale. The book includes a very
detailed discussion on the problems of high growth ventures, the unrealistic
expectations associated with IPOs and the advantages of investing in strategic value

This book provides a detailed examination of the investment and exit opportunities
in financial and strategic ventures. Underpinning the creation of value in both of
these ventures are the drivers of high growth potential. In the case of a financial
venture, the business itself must create the business model to exploit the growth
opportunity. A financial business must build an organization which is capable of
creating, delivering and supporting products and/or services in very high volumes.
The probability of creating a successful high growth venture is very low due to the
complexity of building out such a business model. Only the most successful will be
able to drive the revenue and profit needed for an Initial Public offering (IPO). Those
which are not able to achieve an IPO need to structure themselves for a financial
trade sale.
Businesses which create value by developing an asset or capability which could be
exploited by a large corporation achieve an exit through a trade sale to a strategic
buyer. Strategic value is created through intellectual property or deep expertise
which creates a sustainable competitive advantage in the hands of the strategic
buyer. It is the strategic buyer who exploits the growth potential through an
extensive distribution network.

The major recommendation in the book is that Angels and VC investors should focus
on strategic value investments. These investments have very focused exit strategies
which generally have lower execution risks, shorter timescales and higher returns
than financial trade sale exits or IPO exits.

The book provides a detailed analysis of the product or service characteristics which
create strategic value, a set of guidelines for identifying strategic buyers and
processes for setting up the investment deal and the strategic sale.

Included in the book is a detailed explanation for preparing a business for a strategic

The book has 15 chapters covering the following:

1.    Begin with the end in mind
2.    High growth - high risk
3.    Spot the IPO
4.    Financial v.s strategic exits
5.    Threats and opportunities
6.    Identifying strategic value
7.    Finding strategic buyers
8.    Enabling the opportunity
9.    Reducing risks to the buyer
10.   Setting up the exit deal
11.   Evaluating potential investments
12.   Executing the exit strategy
13.   Structuring the trade sale deal
14.   Selecting professional advisors
15.   Conclusion - impatient capital
“This book is a must read for the Angel Investors who wish to have profitable exits.”

                                                                     John Mactaggart
                                   Chairman, Australian Association of Angel Investors

“ Every entrepreneur seeking to work with outside investors should first stop, read
Invest to Exit, and then proceed.”

                                                                            John May
                                       Chair Emeritus, Angel Capital Association, USA
                    Co-author, “Every Business Needs an Angel” Crown Business:2001

“Tom McKaskill’s insights into the ‘art of the exit’ provide a great roadmap for all
Angel and Venture Capital investors. “

                                                    Joe Platnick, Pasadena Angels, USA

“This is a valuable read for the first time entrepreneur or investor, as well as for
those of us with more experience.”

                                                                    Jordan Green
                                           Founder/Chairman Melbourne Angels,
              Co-Founder/Deputy Chairman Australian Association of Angel Investors

“Invest to Exit is a must read for the Investor looking to maximize their returns from
their private equity investments.”

                                                                          Andrew Loch
                                                               Chair Gold Coast Angels
                                               CEO of the Gold Coast Innovation Centre

“This book emphasizes tactics-backed strategy and focuses the reader on drawing
the narrowest line between an investable exit and the present.”

                                                                        Matt Yallop
                                                Repertoire Management, New Zealand
“In my view, the book should be compulsory reading for all entrepreneurs and
inventors who should work through the book before fronting investors. “

                                        Ergad Gold - Principal and Executive Director
                                                      Momentum Investment Group

“This is compelling reading for investor and companies alike as they work
collaboratively to achieve a superior result when they sell.”

                                                                       Greg Sitters,
                                         Sparkbox Investments Limited, New Zealand

“Tom is undoubtedly one of the foremost thinkers on what it takes to achieve
strategic value in a business. I strongly recommend Tom’s latest book for all
investors looking to profit from a strategic value mindset.”

                                                                        Barry Palte
                                                           CEO EQ Capital, Australia
Book Review:

Raising Angel & Venture Capital Finance – An entrepreneur’s guide to
securing venture finance
Dr. Tom McKaskill
Breakthrough Publications, 2009, Australia. (239 pages, 1.5 MB)

Angel and Venture Capital finance assists entrepreneur’s with high growth ventures
to capitalise on their potential. However, Angel Investors and VC Funds have their
own methods of working and their own specific objectives. Unless the entrepreneur
can present the venture investment proposal in their terms and in a form which
meets the investor’s objectives, the funding request will be unsuccessful. This book
sets out how Angel and VC funding processes work, the criteria used to select
investments and the processes used to manage those investee firms through to a
harvesting event for the investors. This book assists the entrepreneur to prepare
their business so that it is a compelling investment opportunity.

Angel and Venture Capital finance has been successfully used by numerous
entrepreneurs to develop their ventures and, as a result, create significant wealth
for themselves. However, the sector is poorly understood by entrepreneurs and
business advisors. What they fail to fully appreciate is that the objectives of the
Angel investors and VC funds are rarely the same as the entrepreneur seeking
private equity finance. It is only when the entrepreneur understands that he or she
has to tailor the venture to meet the requirements of the investor and not the other
way around that the parties have a real chance of working together.
Private Equity and Venture Capital firms are in the business of generating a high rate
of return for their investors, not in creating or building businesses.

The objective of this book is to show the entrepreneur how they can create a
business which assists the Angel Investor or VC fund achieve their objectives. In
doing so, there is a high probability of raising finance. Angel finance and Venture
Capital is not for everyone no matter how profitable the venture might be. These
investors are not in the business of solving an entrepreneur's need for funding albeit
that may be the outcome. They are simply there to achieve a high rate of return for
themselves, their investors or limited investment partners. The entrepreneur who
understands this and builds a proposal to meet that objective, should be much more
successful in gaining venture capital finance.

The book has 11 chapters and four indices:

1. A wealth creation partnership
2. Sources of Private Equity
3. Angel Investor finance
4. Strategic vs. Financial ventures
5. A compelling investment opportunity
6. Exit strategies
7. Preparing for the investment
8. Investor presentation techniques
9. Valuation
10. Finalising the investment
11. Conclusion
A. Awareness and Alignment Index
B. Venture Potential Index
C. Operations Development Index
D. Strategy Index

‘Raising Angel & Venture Capital Finance is a great read for founders and

       Joe Platnick, Partner iGlobe Treasury Management Ltd. and Director Pasadena

‘Tom provides insights and applications in a logical, realistic and real-world way
which benefits not only entrepreneurship scholars, but anyone with an interest in
high-growth ventures. An absolutely must read as a guide to securing venture
                 Dr Alex Maritz, Director: Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
                                      Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship
                                                  Swinburne University of Technology

This book is a synthesis of decades of Tom’s experience and is a must read for
anyone who wishes to understand how to raise capital from the venture capital
managers and angel investors.”

                                   Richard Palmer, Investment Director NZVIF Limited

‘Tom McKaskill’s first-hand experience in raising venture capital is a valuable
resource for any entrepreneur or business owner.’
                      Ian Knight, Partner, KPMG’s Corporate Finance Group, Australia

‘This book provides the essential guide for anyone contemplating seeking Angel
           John Mactaggart,
 Australian Association of Angel Investors

‘With his usual clarity, Tom explains the investor's thinking to an entrepreneur and
offers a practical guide to preparing for and pursuing such investors.’

                                     Jordan Green, Angel Investor, Deputy Chairman,
                                     Australian Association of Angel Investors Limited

‘Dr McKaskill succinctly describes the challenges and risks required to achieve a
positive outcome for all parties in a balanced and straight forward manner.’

                                                      Greg Sitters, General Manager,
                                          Sparkbox Investments Limited, New Zealand
Book Review:

An Introduction to Angel Investing - A guide to investing in early stage
entrepreneurial ventures

Dr. Tom McKaskill

Breakthrough Publications, 2009, Australia (279 pages, 1.1MB)

Designed to help high net worth individuals become successful Angel Investors.
Angel investing involves active mentoring and coaching of an early stage
management team towards a successful exit or additional funding, probably from a
venture capital firm. This book sets out a comprehensive and rigorous process which
will help the Angel generate deal flow, evaluate investment proposals and manage
the investment and subsequent harvest. The book also provides a useful guide to
managing operational risks in the venture.

Many high net worth individuals are reluctant to invest in early stage
entrepreneurial ventures because they are unsure of how to evaluate the
investment or to manage their involvement. Even those that do undertake a limited
number of investments are unsure how to best structure the deal or when to
intervene to ensure their investment is protected. This book sets out:

   -   The role that Angels play in early stage ventures
   -   How they should generate a deal flow
   -   The manner in which they should evaluate potential investments
   -   How Angel Funds and Angel Networks work
   -   The contribution Angels should make to their investee firms
   -   How they should structure the investment deal
   -   How to develop a viable exit strategy
   -   The role of professional advisors
   -   Guidelines for operations risk management

Successful Angels know that investing in entrepreneurial ventures is more than just
providing finance. There is an active involvement of the Angel in all aspects of the
business. Successful Angel investing is active investing which requires the Angel to
find the right investments to suit their personal knowledge, time and interests. Angel
investors enjoy what they do but they also understand the risks involved. Those risks
are substantially reduced with a systematic approach to the selection, management
and harvesting of their investments.

An Introduction to Angel Investing shows how significant wealth can be achieved by
private individuals through investments in high growth early stage entrepreneurial

Most wealthy individuals mistakenly believe that Angel Investing is beyond their
means or outside their range of experience, but with the emergence of Angel
Networks and Angel Funds, the majority of wealthy individuals can now participate
in this class of investment.


1. Business Angels make a difference
2. An Angel profile
3. Sources of Private Equity
4. Your Angel activity profile
5. Strategic vs. Financial investments
6. Build a pipeline
7. Evaluating possible investments
8. Entry and exit considerations
9. Agreeing the investment
10. Managing your investments
11. Conclusion
A. Awareness and Alignment index
B. Venture Potential Index
C. Operations Development index

   “This book provides the essential basic groundwork for anyone contemplating
investing in the exciting world of Angel investing.”
               John Mactaggart,
 Australian Association of Angel Investors
“I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about angel investing.”
          Basil Peters, Angel Investor, Fund Manager for Fundamental TechnologiesII
     author of ‘Early Exits – Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors (But
                                                         Maybe Not Venture Capitalists)’

“Anyone considering Angel investment should read this book.”
            Jordan Green, Founder/Chairman Melbourne Angels, Co-Founder/Deputy
                         Chairman Australian Association of Angel Investors Limited

   “An Introduction to Angel Investing by Tom McKaskill is a must read for any
successful entrepreneur wishing to stay actively involved with early stage ventures. “
       Andrew Loch, Chair Gold Coast Angels, Angel Investor & CEO of the Gold Coast
                                                                 Innovation Centre

“This book is a must read for anyone contemplating venturing out into the exciting
world of Angel investing.
                 Baboo Jeena, Executive Chairman, Jeena Partners, Financial Services

“This book is a must read for any Angel looking to venture into the lucrative ‘Venture
Capital Industry’.”
                                                                    Ivan Kaye, CEO BSI

“This could be considered as ‘the’ book on Angel investing.
                                                       Tony Falkenstein, Entrepreneur
Book Review:

Ultimate Exits – The secret behind selling entrepreneurial ventures at
staggering prices

Dr. Tom McKaskill

Breakthrough Publications, 2010, (286 Pages, 1.4MB)

This book provides a detailed examination of the exit preparation process in financial
and strategic ventures. Underpinning the creation of value in both of these ventures
are the drivers of high growth potential. In the case of a financial venture, the
business itself must create the business model to exploit the growth opportunity. A
financial business must build an organization which is capable of delivering a robust
business to the buyer which enables the buyer to exploit its revenue growth

Businesses which create value by developing an asset or capability which could be
exploited by a large corporation achieve an exit through a trade sale to a strategic
buyer. Strategic value is created through intellectual property or deep expertise
which creates a sustainable competitive advantage in the hands of the strategic
buyer. It is the strategic buyer who exploits the growth potential through an
extensive distribution network.

The major recommendation in the book is that entrepreneurs need to prepare the
business for sale by focusing on the manner in which the buyer extracts value for it.
Understanding how value is created, how buyers perceive risks inn the business and
how buyers will exploit its potential are the drivers of a preparation program for
selling the business.
Business owners, entrepreneurs and investors are locked into an old paradigm about
value creation being based on proven profitability. But this is not what acquirers are
evaluating. They are looking to the future and assessing what return they will
achieve on their investment. Thus it is the future potential of the business which is
much more important than its past. As soon as we accept this view, we can be
proactive about creating a future which can deliver a much higher value to the buyer
than what can be shown from past results. 

Business which are valued on inherent profitability should focus attention on taking
risks out of the business, improving their sustainable profitability, increasing their
growth rate and identifying ways in which the buyer can harness new potential.
Those businesses which can deliver high growth potential through intellectual
property or deep expertise should focus on the strategic value in their business. This
type of business can achieve staggering exit values by selling to a large corporation
which has the capability and capacity to fully exploit its strategic value. 

The book has 17 chapters covering the following:

1. Forget the multiple
2. Strategic v.s financial exits
Financial Exits
3. Leveraging the financial model
4. Increasing sustainable profits
5. Build a platform for growth
6. Finding financial buyers
Strategic Exits
7. Threats and opportunities
8. Identifying strategic value
9. Finding strategic buyers
Sale Preparation
10. Sustainable competitive advantage
11. Enabling the opportunity
12. Reducing risks to the buyer
13. The acquisition process
14. Deal structure
15. Selecting professional advisors
16. Other considerations
17. Conclusion

‘To get the ultimate deal you must put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and seek to
reduce business risk and increase growth potential. In the current market the benefit
of this approach cannot be overestimated. Tom has set out a practical step-by-step
process to extract maximum value from the sale of the business.’
                     Ian Knight, Partner KPMG, Corporate 
 Finance Practice, Australia


“Ultimate Exits is the ultimate book for entrepreneurs – don’t even think about
selling your business without reading it.”

        Tony Featherstone 
 Tony Featherstone is a former managing director of BRW

 “A compelling read with lots of practical examples. This book turns conventional
valuation methodologies upside down.”

              Martin Checketts - Partner, Mills Oakley Lawyers 
 Melbourne, Australia

 “Tom McKaskill takes years of detailed research coupled with real world experience
and boils it down to fundamental approaches which are actionable and effective for
any business. For anyone who dreams of selling a business at more than fair market
value, Tom McKaskill offers proven strategies to do so. While exit advisors are on
every corner, Ultimate Exits shows you how to get there at values of which you
never dreamed. In my 35 years in business, I have never met a more wise and
incisive exit strategist than Tom McKaskill. Tom is the real deal.”

            Philip T. Miner 
 The Miner Corporation 
 New Braunfels, Texas, USA

 “Tom McKaskill has a profound understanding of entrepreneurial companies and
what entrepreneurs need to do to maximise the value of their businesses on exit.
I’ve used Tom’s principles on exits over many years to the great benefit of numerous
clients. His book is a must read for entrepreneurs wanting to sell their business for
the highest possible price.”

                              Geoff Green 
 BSG Legal 
 Melbourne, Australia

 “Tom McKaskill’s latest e-book, Ultimate Exits, is his best to date, providing a one
stop shop for any business person or investor. Much of the earlier material is
focused on business improvement and driving business growth. But then Tom turns
to his forte, the theory and practice of driving valuable strategic exits. This should be
essential reading for any CEO or investor, not just as a single read, but as a “bible”
worthy of regular re-visits to ensure that the key messages are always top of mind.”

         Ergad Gold 
 Momentum Funds Management Pty Ltd 
 Caulfield, Melbourne,

 “Tom McKaskill helped me build a strategy for my small sports travel agency which
resulted in a staggering outcome. The business broker told me I would be lucky to
receive 4 x EBIT for my business, however, with Tom as my mentor I obtained 40 x
EBIT. Tom helped me see how a large corporation could maximise the value in my
business and how I should prepare it for sale and engage the potential buyers. The
end result is a testimony to the rare insights Tom has to value creation and exit

 Rob Cecconi 
 Executive Chairman and Founder 
 Sportsnet Holidays 

“Ultimate Exits is a MUST OWN for any business owner, prospective buyer,
stakeholder or anyone involved in the sale of a business. As a strategic planner for
high growth businesses, a business owner and business broker who has been
involved in hundreds of deals, I have never read a more comprehensive book on
selling a business. 
 I was blown away with Tom’s vision and brilliance. I have
recommended the book to all my clients whether they were interested in selling in
the future or not. There are at least 10 MUST DO things that I have asked my clients
to implement which will be invaluable both in how they run their business and how
they create value for the future. 
 I sincerely believe that this is the best book I have
ever seen on selling your business. The context is right-on and the organization
makes it easy to read, follow and understand. 
 An outstanding piece of work.”

 Richard Russakoff, 
 CEO Coach, Consultant/Speaker 
 Bottom Line Consultants, New
                                                                   York, NY, USA 

“The key and critical distinguishing characteristic of Tom McKaskill’s books has
been the transformation of an exit strategy which quite often is a passive affair for
the seller and is frequently left to the whims of the potential buyers or business
brokers, into a Proactive Exit Strategy. His new book offers the definitive systematic
process for this proactive exit strategy that can dramatically revolutionize and
transform passive exits based on sometimes subjective multiples, into proactive
strategic exits through the creation of an objective, undisputable and sustainable
platform for growth. This book is a must for the harvesting entrepreneur or a family
firm that has reached a succession or an internal family conflict impasse...”

  George S Vozikis, Ph.D. 
 Edward Reighard Chair of Management Director, Institute
                     for Family Business 
 California State University, Fresno, CA, USA

 “Tom’s book is a ‘must read’ for entrepreneurs wishing to maximize the proceeds
from the sale of their business. Where the business has strategic value, a proactive
sales strategy focused on acquirers with the largest opportunities and most urgent
threats will extract the most value.”
              Jim McElwain,Director, 
 McElwain Consulting 
 Auckland, New Zealand

 “In 2005 I attended Tom’s class on selling your business for a premium and also
read his earlier edition of Ultimate Exits. The additional material in this latest
version of Ultimate Exits has further strengthened Tom’s proven methodology for
unlocking the value of your business. In less than a year after taking the course and
reading the book I had sold my company, c360 Solutions, to a public company for
roughly three times trailing twelve month revenues. Without positioning my
business in terms of the value it could deliver to its new owner (as opposed to
strictly the financial metrics) I might not have achieved as attractive an exit. The
book and the course helped me to understand and properly position the value of my
company as well as prepare the company so the due diligence and sales process
were quick and easy. Ultimately, Tom’s methodology brought more value to both
buyer and seller.”

     John Gravely 
 Vice President, Marketing and Product Marketing Scribe Software
 Bedford, NH, USA 

“As an entrepreneur who has bought and sold businesses, I would definitely
recommend this book to fellow entrepreneurs. This book contains many tips and
pitfalls when selling your business and by just following a few simple but often
forgotten steps will help you through the sale and will make you a great deal more

David Southwick 
 Managing Director 
 David James Investments Pty Ltd 

Book Review:

Ultimate Acquisitions – Unlock high growth potential through smart
Dr. Tom McKaskill
Breakthrough Publications, 2010, (284 pages, 1.6MB)

Most acquisitions fail to achieve their objectives or to return positive shareholder
value. Companies enter into acquisition discussions with little preparation for
evaluating the potential acquisition or for managing the newly acquired business
after the deal is done. Where there are major cultural differences, these are not
adequately recognised during the initial discussions with the vendor and are often
badly handled during the integration activity. However, with advance preparation
these problems can be overcome. Successful acquirers carefully screen potential
acquisitions to ensure that they fit with long term company strategy, proper due
diligence is undertaken to assess their worth and adequate attention is given to the
task of integration.

Entrepreneurs intent on growing their businesses through acquisitions need to
develop capability and capacity in acquisitions management in order to successfully
harvest the benefits of buying businesses. This book sets out to show entrepreneurs
how they can become acquisition ready:

      Common reasons for acquisition failure and how to avoid them
      The various types of acquisitions and how they should be evaluated
      The difference between financial acquisitions and strategic acquisitions
      Cultural fit and how to assess and manage it
      How to mange international acquisitions
      How intervention and integration should be managed
      The various sources of finance for acquisitions
      How to structure the acquisition deal
      The role of professional advisors
      Guidelines for managing autonomous acquisitions

Ultimate Acquisitions sets out a systematic and pragmatic process for identifying,
evaluating, valuing and integrating financial and strategic acquisitions. Dr. McKaskill
draws extensively on his own experience as a CPA, entrepreneur and academic as
well as his personal experience with acquisitions and the sale of his businesses. His
approach brings a systematic and comprehensive approach to growing the business
through acquisitions. Tom combines his personal and professional knowledge with
advice from successful entrepreneurs, business advisors and venture capitalist to
create his unique Acquisition Strategy Index and the Operational Management

"Successful acquirers know that there is a lot more to achieving a positive return on
an acquisition investment than buying cheap or opportunistically. An acquisition
needs to fit into a long term strategy of the company and must be evaluated
thoroughly to ensure that the company has the capability and capacity to exploit its
potential. At the heart of the evaluation is the problem of cultural fit. Successful
acquirers know that the existing culture of the newly acquired business is the best
predictor of ultimate successful integration and thus turn away from acquisitions
which will be difficult to absorb. The risks inherent in any acquisition are
substantially reduced by proper planning and due diligence and by having the right
people to manage the acquired business."

In 13 crisp chapters, Dr. McKaskill sets out his guide for Entrepreneurs.

Part A: Acquisition Strategies

   1. Building capacity and capability
   2. Failure rates are high
   3. Types of acquisitions

   4. Developing an acquisition strategy
   5. Evaluating financial acquisitions
   6. Evaluation strategic acquisitions
   7. Cultural fit

   8. Managing intervention and integration
   9. Financing the acquisition
   10. Finalising the deal
   11. International acquisitions
   12. Using advisors and professional services firms
   13. Meeting the challenge
Part B: Cultural and Ethical Assessment

A. Identifying cultural and environmental differences

B. Identifying differences in ethical values

Part C: Acquisition Ready indices

A. Operations Management

B. Acquisitions Strategy

 "Preparing the company to undertake acquisitions requires the company to build a
capability for acquisitions. This means educating the senior executive team,
identifying the role of acquisitions in the long term strategy of the company,
engaging the right professionals and building capacity to take on the disruptive
process of identifying, evaluating and integrating a new business. At the same time
that the company is engaging with possible acquisitions it needs to have developed a
source of funding for the acquisition, put in place a succession plan for their own
executives who will be involved in the acquisition process and developed a plan to
manage the changes in the acquired business and their own as a result of the assets
and capabilities acquired. Acquisitions are major investments with high risk potential
which are absorbed over a very short period and thus can create major disruptions
to the overall business. Unless planned and managed carefully, the result is likely to
be disastrous for both the acquired business as well as the buyer".

"The ability to successfully source and execute Acquisitions will become a key
capability of growth orientated companies in future. Tom's book covers all of the
major issues and provides a very practical methodology that will be extremely
helpful for businesses about to undertake an Acquisition"

                                                    Michael Kerr,
 Director, KerrCapital

 "Young and growing industries sooner or later consolidate or merge - and that
means you will either sell your business to an acquirer or become an acquirer
yourself. This book will help you with both of those challenges, and in particular
show you how to optimise your result - whichever option you choose. A sound

                                  Adolph M Hanich,
 Senior Trustee,
 Telematics Fund.

 "The art of making the right purchase decision is often overlooked and frequently
buried in just a set of formulas to calculate purchase prices and related issues. This
book moves beyond that - and it will give entrepreneurs some very useful, original
insights into how to optimize the acquisition process."

              Dr Michael Schaper, 
 Former Head, School of Business,
 Bond University
Book Review:

Ultimate Growth Strategies – A practical guide to engineer high
growth into your business

Dr. Tom McKaskill

Breakthrough Publication, 2010, (162 Pages, 1MB)

Proactively driving high growth is a mystery for the vast majority of entrepreneurs.
They have no model of the driving forces of high growth to guide them and thus
their efforts are often frustrated when they overlook basic principles that underpin
growth strategies.

Entrepreneurs seek growth in their ventures but it eludes most because they don’t
have a full understanding of the interdependence of the factors inside their business
and their external environment that provide growth traction. High growth is
certainly possible but it only happens when the entrepreneur correctly positions his
business within his target market and implements strategies inside his business to
activate the growth potential.

Growth occurs when there is a match between external and internal business
conditions. It is not sufficient to be good in one area of business, such as a great
product or an excellent management team. The lessons of history show us that there
are many aspects of the business that have to come together in the right way at the
right time for the business to have growth potential. If the business is weak in any
one area, it will undermine the overall performance of the entire strategy – and this
is why sustainable high growth is so difficult to achieve. However, the entrepreneur
that has a good understanding of growth principles, has a much higher chance of
driving both higher profitability and higher growth.

This book sets out a practical and structured treatment of the elements of business
management and product/marketing positioning which facilitates high growth. It is
based on well know growth theories, the author’s personal experience and the
successes of venture capital sector.

The purpose of this book is to enable entrepreneurs to identify the critical business
principles which drive high growth, to provide them with a means to measure their
growth potential and to help them understand what they have to do to significantly
improve their growth prospects.

In 16 pragmatic chapters Professor McKaskill sets out the 14 Principles which drive
high growth.

The High Growth Wheel of Success
Avoid the major Flaws
Principle 1. Finding the right place, right time
Principle 2. Developing a clear vision
Principle 3. Innovation as the driver
Principle 4. Finding the compelling need to buy
Principle 5. Targeting the right customer
Principle 6. Achieving a clear competitive advantage
Principle 7. Building in sustainability
Principle 8. Developing channels to market
Principle 9. Creating robust margins
Principle 10. Engineering scalability
Principle 11. Assembling a capable management team
Principle 12. Working the numbers
Principle 13. Managing risk
Principle 14. Pulling it all together in a plan
Appendix 1: Growth Theory
Appendix 2: Growth Potential Index Table

“Prof Tom McKaskill provides Australian entrepreneurs and business leaders proven
international experience as a successful entrepreneur and researcher/academic.
These unique perspectives are captured in an integrated blend of experience and
thought leadership in Tom's new book targeted at building winning ventures. It's a
must read about what really works to build a high growth business that
demonstrates resilience and commitment to build stakeholder value.”
                                                                      Greg Loudoun
                                                                   Founder and CEO
                                                         Acumen International Pty Ltd

"Winning Ventures combines Toms personal experience with a succinct framework
to deliver a practical guide to surviving high growth that is as applicable to large
orporations as it is to start-up ventures. Valuable reading for any entrepreneur that
doesn't wish to join the many that are a victim of their own success!"

                                                                       Chris Gadsden,
                                                          Director, Generation Capital

"This book fills an important gap - providing clear and helpful guidance to would-be
entrepreneurs. It is written in an accessible style, and the key information is
supplemented by illuminating examples and questions to keep the reader focused
and interested. It offers an excellent overview and practical framework, and one
that makes the size of the entrepreneurial challenge clear, and yet achievable."

                                                                      Peter Sheldrake
                                               Professor of Business Entrepreneurship
                                                          Graduate School of Business
                                                                      RMIT University

“Do you want the excitement, challenge and rewards of a high growth business?
This book is an invaluable, insightful, practical and structured framework for the
novice and experienced business owner. Not only will I be using it in my businesses,
I actively encourage my clients use the book.”

                                                                      Adam Hodgson
                                                                     Phigit Consulting

“Winning Ventures provides a wealth of insight into high performance and high
growth businesses. By providing a combination of research and practical experience,
Tom McKaskill has created a step-by-step checklist for any business owner to
prepare for high growth. The Growth Potential Index is a great self-assessment tool,
to realistically measure the current position of your business.
As an owner of a Web design & development company that has grown an average of
50% p/a for the past five years, Winning Ventures has now given me ideas and
strategies for continuing our companies growth into the future.”

                                                                    Tim O’Neill,
                                        Director and Co-Founder, Reactive Media