Cover image for Small business for dummies
Title:
Small business for dummies
Author:
Tyson, Eric (Eric Kevin)
Personal Author:
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : John Wiley, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
xviii, 410 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780764554810
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

You're not alone if the thought of running your own business has crossed your mind. Even if your vision of a small business differs from your neighbor's, you probably dream of being your own boss and of providing a needed service or creating a cool new product.

But your very first small-business decision may be to admit that you're not ready for this career - at least not yet. If you're straddling the fence, Small Business For Dummies will uncover whether this career works for you. You'll also gain insight into getting your personal finances in order before exposing yourself to the risk of a new business, and discover how to draw a roadmap to reach your career destination. This easy-to-understand guide is also for those who want to

Write a gang-buster business plan Create the right legal framework for your business Locate financing that suits your needs Develop and market your product Hire the right employees for the right jobs Build your business

You'll also gain understanding of the tactical side of running a small business, from pricing, budgeting, business expansion, and complying with government regulations to operational issues including:

Managing your time Collecting accounts receivable Understanding your financial statements Taking good care of your customers Locating new financing or revising existing financing

You don't need to be a genius to run a successful small business, but you do need some help. And that's exactly what this book is, a guide into the stimulating world of small business ownership and management.


Author Notes

Eric Tyson, MBA, is the author of For Dummies bestsellers on personal finance, investing, and taxes. Jim Schell has started four successful small businesses.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 1
Foolish Assumptionsp. 2
How to Use This Bookp. 3
For making big decisionsp. 3
As a road mapp. 4
As a problem solver and a frame of referencep. 4
As a mentorp. 5
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
The One Common Denominatorp. 6
Part I Becoming an Entrepreneurp. 7
Chapter 1 Is Small Business for You?p. 9
Getting Clear on the Terminology: What Is a Business?p. 10
Taking the Small-Business Owner's Aptitude Test: Do You Have the Right Stuff?p. 16
Identifying the Pros and Cons of Owning a Small Businessp. 21
Watching Out for Monkey Businessp. 24
Chapter 2 Laying Your Personal Financial Foundationp. 29
Getting Your Financial Ducks in Orderp. 30
Creating Your Personal Financial To-Do Listp. 33
Assessing and Replacing Benefitsp. 39
Managing Your Personal Finances Post-Launchp. 44
Chapter 3 Finding Your Niche and Timing Your Start-Upp. 45
Why You Don't Need a New Niche or a Great Ideap. 45
How to Choose Your Businessp. 47
Determining the Best Time for Your Start-Upp. 56
Recognizing Your Number One Asset--Youp. 57
Chapter 4 Turning Your Ideas into Plansp. 59
Your Mission: Impossible If You Fail to Define Itp. 59
Your Business Plan: Don't Start Up without Itp. 62
Writing Your Business Planp. 64
Keeping Your Plan Currentp. 78
Chapter 5 Financing, Ownership, and Organizational Optionsp. 79
Determining Your Start-Up Cash Requirementsp. 79
Using Your Own Resources: Bootstrappingp. 82
Outsourcing for Your Capital Needsp. 86
Exploring Ownership Options: Going It Alone or Working with Partners and Shareholdersp. 94
Figuring Out Whether or Not to Incorporatep. 99
Part II Buying an Existing Businessp. 109
Chapter 6 Exploring Buying a Small Businessp. 111
Understanding Why to Buy a Businessp. 111
Knowing When You Shouldn't Buyp. 115
Recognizing Pre-Purchase Prerequisitesp. 118
Considering a Franchisep. 126
Evaluating Multilevel Marketing Companiesp. 129
Chapter 7 Evaluating and Negotiating to Buyp. 131
Kicking the Tiresp. 133
Making an Offer They Can't Refusep. 146
Moving into Your Newly Bought Businessp. 155
Part III Running a Successful Small Businessp. 159
Chapter 8 Owners Wear Many Hatsp. 161
Working through the Nitty-Gritty Details of the Start-Upp. 161
Outsourcing to Focus on What You Do Bestp. 165
Simplifying Your Accountingp. 167
Controlling Your Expensesp. 175
Managing Vendor Relationshipsp. 178
Dealing with Bankers, Lawyers, and Other Outsidersp. 180
Chapter 9 Marketing 101: Product, Promotion, Sales, Distribution, and Pricingp. 187
Product and Service Developmentp. 188
Spreading the Word: Promotionp. 190
Publicityp. 199
Channeling Products to Customers: Distributionp. 201
Pricing: Cost Plus Valuep. 206
Sales: Where the Rubber Hits the Roadp. 210
Chapter 10 Keeping Your Customers Loyalp. 217
Retaining Your Customer Basep. 218
Dealing with Dissatisfied (And Difficult) Customersp. 227
Chapter 11 Tracking Cash Flow, Costs, and Profitsp. 231
Cash Flow: The Fuel That Drives Your Businessp. 232
Making Sense of Financial Statementsp. 234
Turning the Numbers into Actionp. 240
Managing Your Inventoryp. 245
Collecting Your Accounts Receivablesp. 246
Improving Your Profitabilityp. 249
Chapter 12 Learning from Others' Experiencesp. 255
Find a Mentorp. 255
Network with Peersp. 257
Form a Board of Advisorsp. 258
Get a Partnerp. 260
Join a Trade Associationp. 262
Find a Business Incubatorp. 263
Locate Your Local Small Business Development Centerp. 264
Give SCORE a Tryp. 264
Soak Up Information Like a Spongep. 265
Part IV Keeping Your Business in Businessp. 267
Chapter 13 Finding and Keeping Superstar Employeesp. 269
Assembling a Top Teamp. 270
Training Your Team: It's an Investmentp. 275
Motivating: Pay and Performance Issuesp. 276
Working Relationships: Designing a Flexible Organization Chartp. 288
Recognizing the Importance of an Employee Manualp. 289
Describing a Successful Employerp. 291
Looking at Employee Leasing Companiesp. 294
Chapter 14 Providing Employee Benefitsp. 297
Retirement Plans: The Underappreciated Benefitp. 298
Deciding Whether to Share the Equityp. 304
Including Insurance and Other Benefitsp. 307
Chapter 15 The Long Arm of the Law: Regulatory and Legal Issuesp. 315
An Abundance of Small-Business Lawsp. 315
Suffering through Start-Up Regulationsp. 317
Laboring through Employee Costs and Lawsp. 329
Chapter 16 Mastering Small-Business Taxesp. 331
Getting Smarter About Taxesp. 332
Keeping Good Financial Recordsp. 336
Knowing Your Income Tax Bracketp. 337
Staying on Top of Employment Taxesp. 339
Spending Your Money Tax-Wiselyp. 342
Selecting an Entity and Tax Implicationsp. 343
Chapter 17 Special Considerations for Growing Businessesp. 345
Growing in Stagesp. 346
Handling Human Resources Issuesp. 349
Addressing Time-Management Issuesp. 351
Choosing a Management Systemp. 353
Troubleshooting Your Businessp. 357
Finding Your Role in an Evolving Businessp. 360
Part V The Part of Tensp. 365
Chapter 18 Ten Tips for Home-Based Businessesp. 367
Recognize That Working from Home Isn't a Free Lunchp. 368
Run Your Business Like a Businessp. 369
Keep Things Legal and Do Them Right the First Timep. 370
Put On a Professional Facep. 371
Choose the Right Technologyp. 372
Develop a Marketing Strategyp. 375
Manage Your Time Effectivelyp. 376
Motivate Yourself (If You Don't, Who Will?)p. 377
Include Your Familyp. 377
Stay in the Loopp. 378
Chapter 19 Ten Ways Computers Can Aid Your Small Businessp. 381
Brainstorming and Researching Business Ideasp. 382
Finding a Mentorp. 383
Buying a Business or Franchisep. 383
Searching for Financingp. 384
Marketing Your Businessp. 384
Maintaining and Analyzing Your Financialsp. 385
Saving Time and Moneyp. 386
Getting Organized and Integrated with Suitesp. 387
Filing Your Taxesp. 387
Avoiding Attorneysp. 387
Chapter 20 Ten Tips for Managing Your Growing Businessp. 389
Focus On What You Do Bestp. 389
Bend the Rules When Necessaryp. 390
Hold Your Employees Accountablep. 390
Consider the 80-20 Rulep. 391
Think Aheadp. 392
Sleep On Itp. 393
Resolve Conflictsp. 394
Walk Your Talkp. 394
Remember: Cash is Kingp. 395
Follow the Rule of Many Reasonsp. 396
Indexp. 397