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Small Business For Dummies, 5th Edition

Author: Eric Tyson; Jim Schell; Safari, an O'Reilly Media Company.
Publisher: For Dummies, 2018.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : 5th editionView all editions and formats
Make big sense of small business Small Business For Dummies has been a leading resource for starting and running a small business. Calling upon their six decades-plus of combined experience running small businesses, Eric Tyson and Jim Schell once again provide readers with their time-tested advice and the latest information on starting and growing a small business. This new edition covers all aspects of small  Read more...

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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Eric Tyson; Jim Schell; Safari, an O'Reilly Media Company.
OCLC Number: 1118978941
Description: 1 online resource (464 pages)
Contents: Introduction 1 About This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 Icons Used in This Book 4 Beyond the Book 5 Where to Go from Here 5 Part 1: Getting Started with Small Business 7 Chapter 1: Is Small Business for You? 9 Defining Small Business 10 Small (and large) business basics 10 Financial basics: The same whether you're big or small 11 Small business: Role model for big business 12 Different people and businesses, similar issues 13 Our definition of a small-business owner 14 Do You Have the Right Stuff? 15 Getting started with the instructions 16 Answering the questions 16 Scoring the test 18 Analyzing your results 18 Identifying the Pros and Cons of Owning a Small Business 20 The reasons to own 20 The reasons not to own 21 Exploring Alternatives to Starting a Business 23 Chapter 2: Laying Your Personal Financial Foundation 27 Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row 27 Cutting the umbilical cord 28 Improving your business survival odds 28 Maintaining harmony on the home front 29 Creating Your Money To-Do List 30 Assess your financial position and goals 30 Shrink your spending 34 Build up your cash reserves 35 Stabilize income with part time work 35 Assessing and Replacing Benefits 36 Retirement savings plans and pensions 36 Health insurance 37 Disability insurance 37 Life insurance 38 Dental, vision, and other insurance 39 Social Security taxes 39 Time off 40 Managing Your Personal Finances Post-Launch 40 Chapter 3: Finding Your Niche 43 Why You Don't Need a New Idea to Be Successful 43 Choosing Your Business 45 Consider your category 45 Take advantage of accidental opportunities 48 Inventory your skills, interests, and job history 48 Narrow your choices 50 Go in search of fast growth 51 Take advantage of government resources 53 Inventing Something New 54 Say yes to useful invention resources 55 Run away from invention promotion firms 55 Recognizing Your Number One Asset - You 57 Chapter 4: First Things First: Crafting Your Business Plan 59 Your Mission: Impossible If You Fail to Define It 59 Writing your mission statement 60 Keeping your mission in people's minds 61 Your Business Plan: Don't Start Up without It 63 Using your business plan as a road map 63 Finding financing with your business plan 64 Writing Your Business Plan 65 Part 1: Business description 66 Part 2: Management 67 Part 3: Marketing plan 68 Part 4: Operations 72 Part 5: Risks 74 Part 6: Financial management plan 74 Keeping Your Plan Current 78 Chapter 5: Making Financing, Ownership, and Organizational Decisions 81 Determining Your Start-Up Cash Needs 81 Using Your Own Money: Bootstrapping 84 Profiling bootstrappers 85 Tapping into bootstrapping sources 86 Outsourcing Your Capital Needs 88 Banking on banks 89 Getting money from nonbanks 90 Exploring Ownership Options 96 You as the sole owner 96 Sharing ownership with partners or minority shareholders 98 Deciding between sole and shared ownership 99 Going public: Cashing in 100 Deciding Whether to Incorporate 102 Weighing unincorporated options 102 Considering incorporated business entities 106 Part 2: Buying an Existing Business 111 Chapter 6: Exploring Buying a Business 113 Understanding Why to Buy a Business 113 To reduce start-up hassles and headaches 115 To lessen your risk 115 To increase profits by adding value 115 To establish cash flow 116 To capitalize on someone else's good idea 117 To open locked doors 117 To inherit an established customer base 117 Knowing When You Shouldn't Buy 118 You dislike inherited baggage 118 You're going to skimp on inspections 118 You lack capital 120 You think you'll miss out on the satisfaction of creating a business 120 Recognizing Prepurchase Prerequisites 120 Business experience and training 121 Down-payment money 122 Chapter 7: Finding the Right Business to Buy 123 Defining Your Business-Buying Appetite 123 Generating Leads 125 Perusing publications 126 Networking with advisors 126 Knocking on doors 126 Enlisting business brokers 127 Considering a Franchise 130 Franchise advantages 130 Franchise disadvantages 131 Evaluating Multilevel Marketing (MLM) Firms 132 Being wary of pyramid schemes 132 Finding the better MLMs 133 Checking Out Work-from-Home Opportunities 134 Chapter 8: Evaluating a Business to Buy 137 Kicking the Tires: Doing Your Due Diligence 138 Examining owners' and key employees' backgrounds 138 Finding out why the owner is selling 141 Surveying the company culture 142 Inspecting the financial statements 145 Uncovering lease contract terms 151 Evaluating Special Franchise Issues 151 Thoroughly review regulatory filings 151 Evaluate the franchiser's motives 152 Interview plenty of franchisees 152 Understand what you're buying and examine comparables 153 Check with federal and state regulators 153 Investigate the company's credit history 154 Analyze and negotiate the franchise contract 154 Chapter 9: Negotiating Terms and Sealing the Deal 155 Valuing the Business 156 Exploring valuing methods: Multiple of earnings and book value 156 Getting a professional appraisal 158 Tracking businesses you've explored that have sold 158 Tapping the knowledge of advisors who work with similar companies 159 Consulting research firms and publications 159 Turning to trade publications 159 Enlisting the services of a business broker 160 Developing Purchase Offer Contingencies 160 Allocating the Purchase Price 162 Doing Due Diligence 162 Think about income statement issues 163 Consider legal and tax concerns 164 Moving Into Your Business 164 Part 3: Running a Successful Small Business 167 Chapter 10: The Owner's Responsibilities in the Start-Up and Beyond 169 Dotting Your i's and Crossing Your t's: Start-Up Details 170 Buying insurance 170 Paying federal, state, and local taxes 172 Negotiating leases 172 Maintaining employee records 173 Getting licenses and permits 174 Signing the checks 174 Outsourcing: Focus on What You Do Best 174 Surveying the most commonly outsourced tasks 175 Figuring out what to outsource 176 Simplifying Your Accounting 177 Introducing some common systems 178 Choosing the system that's right for you 184 Controlling Your Expenses 185 Looking at fixed and variable expenses 186 Understanding zero-based budgeting 187 Managing Vendor Relationships 188 Dealing with Bankers, Lawyers, and Other Outsiders 190 Bankers 190 Lawyers 192 Tax advisors 194 Consultants 195 Governments 196 Chapter 11: Marketing: Products, Pricing, Distribution, Promotion, and Sales 197 Marketing in a Nutshell 198 Tackling Product and Service Development 199 Pricing: Cost and Value 201 Developing your pricing strategy 201 Picking the right price 204 Distribution: Channeling to Customers 205 Direct distribution of products 205 Indirect distribution of products 209 Deciding on distribution 210 Promotion: Spreading the Word 210 Networking (It's not what you know . . .) 211 Recognizing the power of referrals 212 Online marketing 213 Media advertising 219 Publicity 225 Sales: Where the Rubber Hits the Road 227 Pitting in-house versus outsourcing 227 Becoming a sales-driven company 229 Chapter 12: Tapping Technology 233 Making the Decision: Cloud-Based versus Internal Server 234 Improving Your Business's Efficiency 235 Managing your time 235 Providing supplemental web services 236 Lowering your administration costs 237 Scanning and managing inventory 238 Managing finances 238 Expanding Your Research Possibilities Online 239 Brainstorming business ideas 239 Finding and obtaining financing 240 Buying a business or franchise 241 Chapter 13: Keeping Your Customers Loyal 243 Retaining Your Customer Base 244 Getting it right the first time 244 Continuing to offer more value 245 Remembering that company policy is meant to be bent 245 Learning from customer defections 246 Recognizing and practicing customer service 248 Dealing with Dissatisfied Customers 252 Listen, listen, listen 252 Develop a solution 253 Chapter 14: Managing Profitability and Cash 255 Cash Flow: The Fuel That Drives Your Business 256 Making Sense of Financial Statements 259 The profit and loss statement 259 The balance sheet 262 Turning the Numbers into Action 265 Understanding Key Ratios and Percentages 266 Return on sales (ROS) 267 Return on equity (ROE) 267 Gross margin 268 Current ratio 268 Debt-to-equity ratio 268 Inventory turn 269 Number of days in receivables 269 EBITDA 270 Managing Your Inventory 270 Collecting Your Accounts Receivable 272 Finding paying customers 272 Managing your accounts receivable 273 The Three Ways to Improve Profits 274 Decreasing (or controlling) expenses 275 Increasing margins 278 Increasing sales 280 Chapter 15: Learning from the Experiences of Others 281 Utilize Mentors 282 Finding your mentor 282 Building the mentor-mentee relationship 283 Network with Peers 284 Form a Board of Advisors 285 Reaping the benefits of a board 285 Forming your advisory board 286 Find a Partner 287 Join a Trade Association 289 Find a Business Incubator 291 Locate a Small Business Development Center 291 Give SCORE a Try 292 Tap into Small-Business Information 292 Part 4: Keeping Your Business in Business 295 Chapter 16: Finding and Keeping Superstar Employees 297 Assembling a Top Team 298 Hiring hints 299 Mastering the interview process 303 Training: An Investment, Not an Expense 305 Motivating: Pay and Performance Issues 306 Designing a compensation plan 308 Get SMART: Goal-setting that works 310 Writing performance expectations 313 Reviewing an employee's performance 314 Parting Company: Firing an Employee 317 Designing Flexible Organization Charts 319 Valuing Employee Manuals 321 Turning the Tables: Characterizing Successful Employers 323 Flexibility: The bending of rules 323 Accountability: Where the buck doesn't get passed 324 Follow-up: The more you do it, the less you need it 325 Chapter 17: Providing Employee Benefits 327 Seeing the Real Value in Retirement Plans 327 Getting the most value from your plan 329 Convincing employees that retirement plans matter 332 Deciding Whether to Share Equity 333 Stock and stock options 334 Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) 335 Buy-sell agreements 336 Including Insurance and Other Benefits 336 Health insurance 336 Disability insurance 340 Life insurance 343 Dependent care plans 343 Vacation 344 Flexible hours 344 Flexible benefit plans 345 Chapter 18: Handling Regulatory and Legal Issues 347 Navigating Small-Business Laws 347 Suffering through Start-Up Regulations 349 Complying through licensing, registrations, and permits 349 Protecting ideas: Nondisclosures, patents, trademarks, and copyrights 356 A business prenup: Contracts with customers and suppliers 359 Laboring over Employee Costs and Laws 360 Chapter 19: Mastering Small-Business Taxes 361 Getting Smarter about Taxes 363 Reading income tax guides 363 Using tax-preparation software 364 Hiring help 364 Keeping Good Financial Records Leads to Tax Benefits 367 Knowing (And Managing) Your Tax Bracket 368 Staying on Top of Employment Taxes 369 Be aware of your benefit options 369 Stay current on taxes 369 Report your work with independent contractors 370 Hire your kids! 371 Spending Your Money Tax-Wisely 372 Take equipment write-offs sensibly 372 Don't waste extra money on a business car 373 Minimize entertainment and most meal expenditures 373 Grasping the Tax Implications of Your Entity Selection 373 Chapter 20: Cultivating a Growing Business 375 Recognizing Growth Stages 376 The start-up years 376 The growth years 377 The transition stage 377 Resolving Human Resources Issues 379 Identifying important HR concerns 379 Dealing with HR issues in three stages 380 Addressing Time-Management Issues 381 Choosing Your Management Tools 383 Management by objective 385 Participatory management 385 Employee ownership 385 Quality circles 386 Total Quality Management 386 Reengineering 386 Open-book management 388 Troubleshooting Your Business Challenges 388 Filling out a troubleshooting checklist 388 Taking the five-minute appearance test 389 Redefining Your Role in an Evolving Business 391 Making the transition to manager 392 Implementing strategic changes 393 Part 5: The Part of Tens 397 Chapter 21: Ten Mistakes You Don't Want to Make 399 Failing to Use Financial Statements to Manage Your Business 399 Failing to Prepare an Annual Budget 400 Failing to Utilize Your CPA 401 Failing to Understand How Marketing Applies to Your Business 402 Hiring Too Quickly 403 Taking Too Long to Terminate Nonperforming Employees 403 Assuming That Your Employees Are Motivated by the Same Things You Are 404 Considering Training to Be an Expense and Not an Investment 405 Failing to Take Advantage of Available Resources 406 Failing to Maintain an Up-to-Date Organization Chart 406 Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Small-Business Success 409 Focus on the Execution 409 Assemble a Team of Superstars in Game-Breaker Positions 410 Work Hard, Get Lucky 411 Realize the Difference between Profits and Cash 412 Hire for Attitude, Teach Skills Later 413 Create an Exit Strategy 414 Grow or Die - There's No In-Between 415 Prepare for the Transition to Manager 415 Develop an Insatiable Appetite to Learn 416 Do What You Love 417 Chapter 23: Ten Ways the 2017 Tax Reform Bill Benefits Small Business 419 Corporate Income Tax Rate Reduction 420 . . . and (Some) Simplification 420 Individual Income Tax Rates Reduced 420 20% Deduction for Pass-Through Entities 421 Better Equipment Expensing Rules 422 Increased Maximum Depreciation Deduction for Automobiles 422 Limited Interest Deductions 423 Reduced Meal and Entertainment Deductions 423 Elimination of Health Insurance Mandate 423 Revised Rules for Using Net Operating Losses 424 Index 425
Responsibility: Tyson, Eric.


Make big sense of small business Small Business For Dummies has been a leading resource for starting and running a small business. Calling upon their six decades-plus of combined experience running small businesses, Eric Tyson and Jim Schell once again provide readers with their time-tested advice and the latest information on starting and growing a small business. This new edition covers all aspects of small business from the initial business plan to the everyday realities of financing, marketing, employing technology and management-and what it takes to achieve and maintain success in an ever-changing entrepreneurial landscape. Write a strategic business plan Start, establish, or rejuvenate a small business Hire and retain the best employees Get a small business loan If you're a beginning entrepreneur looking to start and run your own small business, this book gives you all the tools of the trade you'll need to make it a success.


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