Big Ideas for Growing Your Small Business
|Starting a small business is a challenge in itself - survival,
growth and success are even bigger challenges.
While many books address starting a business, few focus on how to successfully manage and grow the operation once the doors are opened. Big Ideas for Growing Your Small Business does just that - it begins where start-up books end.
|The typical small business owner fills many roles each day -
marketer, salesperson, administrator, personnel manager, controller and
technician, to name only six of sixty. Frances McGuckin, a small business
specialist, offers advice on how to master the multi-faceted skills necessary
to ensure a thriving business. Incorporating a step-by-step growth plan with
loads of questionnaires, worksheets, samples and checklists, this book helps
identify problem areas, and offer practical and affordable solutions.
Entrepreneurs will learn how to:
Chapter 1: So You're Open for Business-Now What?
Owning a small business is exciting, yet it presents many challenges that affect positive growth. YOU are your business and the key to its success. Excellent customer service and avoiding the Top Ten Mistakes in Growing a Business are good starting points.
Chapter 2: Do Your Entrepreneurial Skills Need Fine-Tuning?
A true entrepreneur has to develop many multi-faceted talents and wear 60 hats. Growing a business requires that you develop the Eight Essential Entrepreneurial Skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, and learn to delegate tasks that waste time or burn you out.
Chapter 3: Are You Organized-Or Out of Control?
Overwork and disorganization creates chaos and inefficiency, so you need to establish simple daily, weekly and monthly systems and learn some time-management. Your files, administrative systems, computer, yourself and your home-office need to be organized.
Chapter 4: Are You in Control of the Financial Reins?
Thorough accounting records are crucial to your financial health and give you valuable management and future planning information. Using a case study with easy-to-understand terminology, learn how to use accounting records to monitor financial progress, calculate a break-even point and increase gross profit margins.
Chapter 5: How Else Can You Increase Your Profits?
Operating inefficiently easily fritters money away, yet instigating some basic systems can prevent this erosion of profits and increase cash flow. Fine-tune your administrative systems, inventory control, costing and monitoring, and credit and collection procedures.
Chapter 6: Are You Ready for Growth?
While planned growth is productive, uncontrolled growth causes the demise of many promising businesses. Have you planned for growth? Are you ready for it? Do you want "more" or "bigger"? Use the Six-Step Growth Analysis Plan to decide whether growth is for you. Incorporation may be a viable consideration, so understand the pros and cons.
Chapter 7: How Do You Get Good Help These Days?
Growing a business usually requires delegating work. You can't do it all yourself. Know how to find and hire that perfect person. Be sure you are boss material and that you understand an employer's responsibilities and the additional costs involved.
Chapter 8: How Do You Grow Your Customer Base?
"My advertising isn't working for me!" is a common cry. Understand who and where your true market is, how to focus on and target that market, and you will increase your customers. Achieve this by revisiting, reevaluating, and revising your marketing plan.
Chapter 9: Are Your Written Presentations Professional?
There is infinite power in the written word - use it to your advantage. Learn how to write winning letters using the examples. Apply these skills to open doors and gain widespread media coverage by writing powerful press releases and sending a professional media kit.
Chapter 10: Do Your Verbal Skills Need Enhancing?
Talk your way to the top. Business is all about communication and delivering concise, clear messages with confidence. Learn the art of telephone talk, making cold calls, breaking the ice, networking, and becoming an expert speaker by increasing your profile.
Chapter 11: How Do You Apply Communication Skills to Marketing?
Excellent communication skills are powerful marketing tools - it's low-cost, no-cost marketing magic. Get paid to deliver your message, be networked, and enhance your reputation. Build media relationships and use testimonials to obtain widespread credibility.
Chapter 12: What Else Should You Know About Marketing?
Using a marketing mix and monitoring the results is a key component to growing your business. You need a mix of low-cost marketing methods along with traditional media advertising, without upsetting the consumer. Learn how to plan your marketing approach.
Chapter 13: How Do You Improve Your Sales Skills?
The thought of "selling" makes most people shudder, yet you use these skills every day. You are filling your customers' needs, so if you understand your customers by using the "Five Ws" and the "Six Ps" of selling, closing a sale becomes a less daunting task.
Chapter 14: How Do You Operate in Crisis?
Buried in the day-to-day operation of your business, often the warning signs of crisis pass unnoticed. Can you recognize the warning signs? If you are committed to succeed, you can overcome operational crises by following the ten-step plan. Understand the consequences of failure and bankruptcy and the long-term effects it can have on your life.
Chapter 15: Are You Ready to Succeed?
Success has a different connotation for everyone, the common thread being the inner satisfaction of overcoming challenges and realizing your dream. Men and women both have unique qualities that contribute to their success, although they each face challenges that can be overcome. Commit to managing your business soundly and plan for success.
Written by Frances McGuckin. Published by McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd., 2001.
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Last modified: May 9, 2001
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