Low Risk High Rewards: Practical Prescriptions for Starting and Growing Your Business / Edition 1

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Through every step in his process, Reiss emphasizes how risk can be anticipated, managed, and significantly reduced.
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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Practical Advice On Launching Your Business
Bob Reiss has spent the past several decades making entrepreneurship his business, and has become successful by learning how to fine-tune the gears that set it in motion. As the creator of the popular TV Guide Trivia Game and the founder of the Valdawn Watch Company, his efforts are so inspirational that Harvard Business School Professor Howard Stevenson made a case study of Reiss' entrepreneurial exploits to use in his classes.

In Low Risk, High Reward: Practical Prescriptions for Starting and Growing Your Business, Reiss and co-author Jeffrey L. Cruikshank define entrepreneurship as "the recognition and pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources you currently control, with confidence that you can succeed, with the flexibility to change course as necessary, and with the will to rebound from setbacks." This flexibility is the primary ingredient that his book breaks down into useful advice for anyone seeking to learn more about how to work smarter and grow a start-up business.

Required Skills
Reiss begins his book by examining the skills needed by an individual entrepreneur to succeed.

By being creative, flexible, a good salesperson, passionate, able to trust, and in possession of a deep-seated thirst for information, an entrepreneur has the tools needed to build a new business from the ground up. Another primary ingredient in this recipe is personal integrity that can withstand the temptations that will come along on the road to success: Core values are an integral part of a successful venture, and sacrificing them can lead to failure.

The Importance of Numeracy
Next,Low Risk, High Reward looks into the understanding and use of numbers to reveal the facts behind a new venture. He calls this "numeracy," which he refers to as "the numbers equivalent of literacy," and encourages every entrepreneur to get a grasp of its importance.

Using numeracy as a foundation, he moves on to ways to see, manage and reduce risk to acceptable levels by starting in small markets before moving on to larger ones. Other ways for start-ups to determine risk include converting fixed costs to variable costs, talking with other entrepreneurs about their experiences, getting outside advice, and working with an "incubator" that can help to support a small business until it gets on its feet.

The Distribution Chain
To help the roots of a young business flourish, Reiss offers many ways to make it healthy and vital through attention to products.

Of course, no business can succeed without getting orders, so he takes his readers through the process of "selling in" to other businesses that will become part of the distribution chain, and the benefits of selling directly to consumers. He offers bountiful advice about working with retailers, using manufacturers' reps, licensing products, using advertising, and making marketing work.

And, if you thought the initial order was crucial, don't forget the reorder. The success of this "selling through" will rely on a sturdy infrastructure that is built on firm relationships and a knack for dealing with problems and opportunities.

After the Success
After a business is growing nicely from all this nurturing, Reiss offers up the pros and cons of different options for dealing with a company that has been around long enough to serve its purpose. Deciding whether to keep a company as it is, shrinking it, growing it, going public, selling it, or closing it down should take considerable thought. His guidance helps to clarify these decisions.

Why Soundview Likes This Book
Reiss' advice is valuable because it comes not only from his own ample experiences in the world of business, but also from the knowledge he has acquired from dozens of students, salespeople and other experienced entrepreneurs.

Along with step-by-step instructions that open up a wealth of understanding about the issues with which all entrepreneurs must contend, Reiss also provides a copy of the Harvard Business School case study that is based on his experiences, which provides more compelling and instructive reading.

Low Risk, High Reward not only reflects the intelligent spirit of a man for whom entrepreneurship has provided success: It also demonstrates his ability to put his ideas into practice. By publishing this book, he uses the very skills he delivers and takes the entrepreneurial spirit to the next level. Copyright (c) 2002 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971384804
  • Publisher: R&R
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vi
Introduction 1
1. Attributes and Skills for LRHR Entrepreneurship 11
Work Ethic
Mental Toughness
Building Trust
Communications Skills
Decision Making
2. Numeracy 45
Company Snapshot
Cash Flow
Product Cost Analysis
Break-even Analysis
Other Analyses
3. Managing Risk 64
Thinking About Risk
Mitigating Risk
Staging Risk
Converting Fixed to Variable Costs
Getting Outside Advice: Mentors, SCORE, Incubators
4. The Idea 80
Three Kinds of Ideas
Testing Ideas
5. Getting Started 86
Starting Your Own Company Versus Buying an Existing One
Direct Selling
Best Company Structure
The Business Plan
The Mission Statement
Getting the Money: Savings, Friends, Family, Banks, Leasing, Credit Cards, Factors, Venture Capitalists, Angels, SBA, Barter, Suppliers, Strategic Alliances
Getting the Right People
Locating Your Business
6. Building the Company 124
Managing Suppliers
Managing Professionals
Gaining Credibility: Publicity, Trade on Someone Else's Good Name
7. Building Your Products 151
Product Ideas
Product Construction
Product Extensions
Product Knock-offs
Barriers to Entry
Product Testing
Product Timing
Products Introduction
8. Getting the Order 174
Who Should Sell
Preparing for the Sale
Defining a Sale
Effective Selling Techniques
Why the Buyer Buys
Using Sales Representatives
Selling Without a Field-Based Sales Force: Direct Response, Advertising Internet, Trade Shows
9. The Reorder 212
Getting Sell-Through
Word of Mouth
Advertising: Co-op Ads, Multiple Retail Listing Ads, Statement Inserts, Per Inquiry Ads, PR, Demos
Sales Training
Events and Promotion
The Offer
Keeping the Customer Satisfied: Quality, Instructions, Service
Managing Your Inventory
Controlling Knock-offs
10. The Reassessment--"What's Next?" 252
Defining Success
Five Options: Keeping Company As Is or Shrinking It, Growing the Company, Going Public, Selling the Company, Closing the Company
The Checklist
Appendix 1 Creating a Cash Flow Statement 270
Appendix 2 Attorney Letter re Knockoffs 277
Appendix 3 The R&R Case 281
Appendix 4 Interviewees 316
Acknowledgments 319
Index 321
About the Authors 328
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