Common Sense Business: Starting, Operating, and Growing Your Small Business--in Any Economy!

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Do you own or plan to own a small business?

  • Do you work for a small business and desire to better understand your boss?
  • Do you know someone who owns a business and wants to be stronger, more focused, and more successful?

This is the book for you.

The truth is that many business books offer a lot of wonderful sounding theories, but they have little practical application in ...

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Common Sense Business: Starting, Operating, and Growing Your Small Business--in Any Economy!

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Overview

Do you own or plan to own a small business?

  • Do you work for a small business and desire to better understand your boss?
  • Do you know someone who owns a business and wants to be stronger, more focused, and more successful?

This is the book for you.

The truth is that many business books offer a lot of wonderful sounding theories, but they have little practical application in the real world of small business. Common Sense Business is full of life-and-death ideas. Follow Steve Gottry's advice and your business will live and thrive. Ignore it and your business could founder or die. Benefit from Gottry's experience as an entrepreneur who grew a hugely successful media agency, experienced a harrowing business failure, then rebounded with a new business and a fresh start on life.

Common Sense Business tells you how to succeed throughout every phase of the small business life cycle -- from starting to operating, growing, and even closing down a business. No matter the state of the economy or the maturity of your business, you will find winning solutions to the questions and situations you face every day. Steve Gottry will help you understand yourself; your employees, customers, and vendors; and how people come together to form a successful business. You will learn how to maximize your business's assets and how to ward off those threats that could eat away at your resources and peace of mind, including debt, sloppiness, addiction, and fear. Warm, honest, funny, and factual, entrepreneur Steve Gottry tells the whole truth about successfully managing a business through good times and bad.

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Editorial Reviews

Zig Ziglar
“A reality-based, down-to-earth, optimistically -sound, practical why and how-to approach to business success…”
Elaine Ralls
“The section on marketing and advertising alone is well worth the price of the book!”
Kathy Player
“This is essential information for anyone who dreams of starting his or her own business--and staying in business. “
Founder and former CEO (retired)Offshore Maintenance - John W. MacEachern
“Small business men and women should read and reread this book. It’s an eye-opener!”
John W. MacEachern Founder and former CEO (Retired) Offshore Maintenance
“Small business men and women should read and reread this book. It’s an eye-opener!”
Booklist
In 1993 Gottry's award-winning advertising company was on a roll, when suddenly clients started falling away in droves. As his professional and personal life crumbled around him, his business failed-but rather than declare bankruptcy, Gottry worked for eight years to pay back his debts.
The lessons he learned were formulated into the basis of this book, which can help the small-business owner set his or her priorities and avoid the pitfalls that many young entrepreneurs make. Gottry guides the reader through the six stages of the small-business "life cycle," from dreaming and planning through the practical stages of implementation and growth. He advises on how to capitalize on your own personal strengths in relation to employees, customers, and vendors. He also shows how to structure your day, remain sane, and keep your business alive without drowning in it and becoming a workaholic. There are lots of books on starting a business out there, but few that are this concise and straightforward.
Library Journal
Entrepreneur and marketer Gottry (coauthor, The On-Time, On-Target Manager: How a "Last-Minute Manager" Conquered Procrastination) divides his book into three sections. New small-business entrepreneurs will appreciate the information on starting, operating, and growing a company found in "The Small Business Life Cycle." In "Building Your Assets," they will learn about all the players involved, including owner, customers, employees, and vendors. The third part, "Conquering Your Natural Enemies," teaches how to manage a small business through every phase, keeping it afloat during tough times, and making the most of the assets created. It also describes common threats to small-business success. Each chapter concludes with a worksheet titled "Thinking It Through," which prompts the reader with questions based on the content. For those who already own a small business, some of the book may be too basic. Libraries might find their readers better served by Walt Goodridge's Turn Your Passion into Profit , which is noteworthy for its more complete coverage and practical, down-to-earth tone and style.-Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060778385
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/26/2005
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Gottry is the owner of Priority Multimedia Group, Inc., a content creation company that develops films, videos, books, and marketing materials. Gottry and his firm have won a number of awards, including three Silver Microphones for radio and awards from the International Advertising Festival for direct mail and film. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Read an Excerpt

Common Sense Business

Starting, Operating, and Growing Your Small Business--In Any Economy!
By Steve Gottry

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Steve Gottry
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060778385

Chapter One

The Dreaming Stage

Everyone has dreams -- perhaps without knowing it, we are even born with them.

They begin at age five ... perhaps earlier ... sometimes later.

When I was a child, most boys my age wanted to become a "Roy Rogers" cowboy, a fireman, or a policeman. Most girls dreamed of becoming nurses, schoolteachers, secretaries, beauticians, or housewives. (C'mon, give me a break here ... this was the 1950s ... we had no clue that girls could become astronauts, bioengineers, news anchors, or senators. It was nurse, teacher, secretary, beautician, or housewife. Period.)

At age eleven, my dream was Annette Funicello -- the effervescent brunette with the killer smile on The Mickey Mouse Club who stirred the hearts of nearly every prepubescent boy in America.

At fourteen, my dreams turned to radio broadcasting. So my friend Jack and I started our very own illegal AM radio station in our small Minnesota hometown. Things were going quite well until the federal government -- specifically the FCC -- caught word of our operation and traveled the 135 miles from St. Paul to Mountain Lake to pull our plug. Literally. Physically. Completely. Forever.

Undaunted, I decided to study hard and take the test to earn a real FCC radio operator's license and get a job at a real, legitimate radio station. So I did, and I got a DJ job at the local radio station at age sixteen.

As part of my job, I had to write commercials for a variety of sponsors, which sparked a new interest and a new dream. At age eighteen, I decided to attend the University of Minnesota and take a double major in advertising and radio-television production.

While attending college, I devised a personal goal -- a new dream. I decided I wanted to be rich.

There was just one catch. Because I had grown up in a modest home in a small farming town in southwestern Minnesota, I had never seen wealth, let alone experienced it. Still, I thought it might be worth a try.

As a caring, giving person -- thanks to my upbringing --I knew that I didn't want money just for myself and my own selfish goals. No, not I! I wanted it for the other people for whom I could create a better life. My family. Worthy charities. The starving people in Third World countries that my mother brought up every time I didn't want to clean my plate. The nearest Mercedes dealer. Fortunately, I had learned something crucial from watching my father, my grandfathers, and the employed fathers and mothers of my high school friends. Most people do not get rich as the result of working for others.

After considerable thought about the matter, I concluded that there were only eight ways to gain great wealth:

  1. Win some form of contest or lottery -- one of those multistate Powerball-type lotteries would be perfect!
  2. Develop an idea that can be widely franchised. Another McDonald's would be the ticket!
  3. Invent something that everyone needs, preferably on a regular basis. (I've heard that the person who invented those little plastic "whatevers" on the ends of shoelaces retired in utter opulence.)
  4. Become a movie, television, recording, or professional sports star.
  5. Invest in stocks, bonds, buildings, and land -- but only when such investments are absolutely guaranteed to increase in value.
  6. Inherit big bucks.
  7. Create and own intellectual property (books, music, stage plays, film, television programming) and earn royalties and residuals in perpetuity. (Neil Simon makes money every time actors in any theater in the world step onstage to perform The Odd Couple or any of his other plays.)
  8. Start a business, devote a tremendous amount of energy to it, and make it prosper and grow.

Great ideas, one and all. But upon further thought, I ruled out the first six of the eight methods.

The statistical odds against winning some form of contest or lottery are astronomical, in spite of the widely held belief that "Someone has to win it; might as well be me."

As to the others?

I'm no Ray Kroc of McDonald's, and besides, the world probably doesn't need another fast-food chain. (Although if there were a drive-through sushi bar in my neighborhood, I'd be a regular!)

I don't have a mechanical mind, so inventing something new would be a pointless pursuit on my part.

I can't act, sing, or dance, and I was always chosen last for every sport or game. (I remember the fights between the team captains. "You take Gottry." "No, you take him; I had him last time." It doesn't do much for a seventh grader's self-esteem.)

I thought stocks could be the answer, but those investments have not worked out as well as others -- real estate, for example. Some of the companies in which I have invested are out of business. (Ever hear of Fingermatrix or New World Computer? I didn't think so!)

Inheritance sounds like a plan, but I don't have any wealthy relatives or friends. (I know a fellow about my age who, for years, has actually befriended wealthy elderly people in the hope that they will put him in their wills. That's unbelievably tacky, but I'm pleased to report that it hasn't worked for him -- yet.)

As to intellectual property, well, I've written two stage plays, and neither one has been produced. If you buy a copy of this book, and everyone you know buys a copy, and everyone they know buys a copy (and so on ...), maybe the royalty thing could work.

It then seems that the best option for most of us hardworking, highly motivated people is to start a business and nurture it to growth and profitability.

Continues...


Excerpted from Common Sense Business by Steve Gottry Copyright © 2005 by Steve Gottry. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 The dreaming stage 5
2 The planning stage 17
3 The implementation stage 49
4 The growth stage 65
5 The preservation and evolution stages 111
6 The selling/divesting stage 117
7 Downsizing - voluntary and involuntary 127
8 Bankruptcy 139
9 The second start-up 145
10 Yourself 155
11 Your employees 175
12 Your customers 211
13 Your vendors 219
14 Your capital 225
15 Your relationship with your community 245
16 Busy-ness 253
17 Busybodies 267
18 Sloppiness 271
19 Debt 281
20 The government 287
21 Addiction 293
22 Fear 301
23 There's always tomorrow! 307
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