John W. Barfield Describes How To Build Company ‘Starting from Scratch’

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Co-authors Barfield and Anthony Neely give current, future entrepreneurs map for success in new book.

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Telling the story of how he built one of the nation’s largest African-American-owned business organizations from almost nothing, entrepreneurial pioneer John W. Barfield publishes his memoir, co-written by Anthony Neely, titled “Starting from Scratch: The Humble Beginnings of a Two-Billion-Dollar Enterprise” (published by WestBow Press).

Barfield began his career as a janitor making $1.75 an hour, but he built a building maintenance business so profitable that International Telephone & Telegraph (now ITT Corporation) outbid three other corporate giants to buy it in 1969. Barfield then developed the Barfield Companies into a much-admired organization comprising manufacturing and service companies. Today Barfield’s most successful company, the Bartech Group Inc., is a well-established multimillion-dollar corporation. Bartech bills clients more than $2 billion annually for its global workforce management services.

Barfield’s success, driven by his integrity and high ethical standards, built confidence in minority supplier programs that are now standard throughout American industry. “Starting from Scratch” highlights practical and spiritual principles that were integral to Barfield’s six decades as a successful entrepreneur – and which anyone can apply for similar success in business and life. Barfield and Neely hope their new book will inspire current and aspiring entrepreneurs with its detailed guidelines on discovering a niche market, managing crises and delivering more than customers and employees expect.

The book is available at

“Starting from Scratch”
By John W. Barfield with Anthony Neely
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 296 pages | ISBN 9781490857343
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 296 pages | ISBN 9781490857336
E-Book | 296 pages | ISBN 9781490857329
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Authors
John W. Barfield is the founder of Bartech Group Inc., a leading workforce management and staffing solutions provider to Global 500 firms. Barfield was a pioneer of corporate America’s minority supplier development programs – first as an informal advisor to General Motors Corp., then as one of its first and most successful minority suppliers. As the founder of at least six successful companies, Barfield received the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award from Black Enterprise Magazine in 2003.

Anthony Neely is a Detroit-based biographer and former business journalist. He served as an executive speechwriter at General Motors Corp. and was press secretary and chief speechwriter for Detroit mayors Dennis Archer and Dave Bing. Neely is co-author of “The Activist Entrepreneur,” the 2013 autobiography of Walt Douglas, chairman of Avis Ford. Neely collaborated with award-winning producer Clara Wilkerson on the film “Starting from Scratch: The Remarkable Life of John W. Barfield,” a documentary airing on public television stations nationwide.

WestBow Press is a strategic supported self-publishing alliance between HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Author Solutions, LLC — the world leader in supported self-publishing. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. For more information, visit or call (866)-928-1240. For WestBow Press news, click “Like” at and follow @westbowpress on Twitter.

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