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Microsoft Small Business Kit

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Whether you’re planning a start-up or already running your own shop, get the expert guidance and tools you need for small business success! This book offers practical advice on how to work with the Microsoft Office System and other software as you plan, launch, and manage your business. Step through the key decisions and day-to-day details on everything from drafting a business plan to finding customers, managing finances, and building your brand. You also get a toolkit packed with timesaving templates and ...

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Overview

Whether you’re planning a start-up or already running your own shop, get the expert guidance and tools you need for small business success! This book offers practical advice on how to work with the Microsoft Office System and other software as you plan, launch, and manage your business. Step through the key decisions and day-to-day details on everything from drafting a business plan to finding customers, managing finances, and building your brand. You also get a toolkit packed with timesaving templates and references on CD—all the resources you need to grow your small business with confidence!

Discover how to:

  • Focus your dream—learn how to do the research, define your goals, and develop your business plan.
  • Find financing—where to get it, when you’ll need it, and how much you’ll need.
  • Manage your money—know the essentials of forecasting, budgeting, data analysis, goal-setting, taxes, and more.
  • Tap the right talent—recruit and hire the right people at the right time, and nurture great performance.
  • Build your brand—gain recognition, credibility, and trust by managing your image and brand.
  • Go to market—build effective strategies for customer relations and marketing—and make them pay off!
  • Make technology work for you—from managing e-mail to setting up security-enhanced networks and servers, learn best technology practices for small businesses. Get the tools for success!

CD includes:

  • A directory of hundreds of key resources and references for small businesses
  • Dozens of files, templates, and articles for business planning, payroll, taxes, marketing, and more

A Note Regarding the CD or DVD

The print version of this book ships with a CD or DVD. For those customers purchasing one of the digital formats in which this book is available, we are pleased to offer the CD/DVD content as a free download via O'Reilly Media's Digital Distribution services. To download this content, please visit O'Reilly's web site, search for the title of this book to find its catalog page, and click on the link below the cover image (Examples, Companion Content, or Practice Files). Note that while we provide as much of the media content as we are able via free download, we are sometimes limited by licensing restrictions. Please direct any questions or concerns to booktech@oreilly.com.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735620544
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2004
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.28 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanna L. Krotz, a business editor and journalist, is the founder of Muse2Muse Productions, a custom publishing company. She’s also the Marketing Intelligence columnist for the Microsoft Small Business Center portal and a lecturer at New York University.

From his teenage neighborhood newspaper to running a bookstore and starting a freelance writing business, Ben Ryan has made a career of words and commerce.

John Pierce was a Microsoft employee for nearly 12 years and now enjoys being a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Track, the coauthor of Microsoft Small Business Kit, and has contributed to numerous other books about Microsoft software.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
About the CD xv
Introduction xvii
Part 1 Fun & Fundamentals: Control What You Can
Chapter 1 Thinking It Through 2
How to Begin 4
Small Biz Profile 5
Some Ideas for Start-Ups 6
Learning from Experience 9
Meeting Tomorrow's Customer 11
What It Takes: A Woman Who Can't Hear "No" 15
Ready, Set, Go 18
For More Information 18
Chapter 2 Developing a Business Plan 20
Who Needs a Plan? 22
Getting a Reality Check 22
Planning Affordable Market Research 24
Choosing a Business Structure 29
Guidelines for Creating Your Plan 36
Doing It with Office: Online Business Plan Templates 41
For More Information 49
Chapter 3 How to Find Backing 52
Financing Basics 54
Angels Who Help You Fly 64
Loans and Venture Capitalists 67
For More Information 74
Chapter 4 Self-Preservation 76
Investigating Licenses and Permits 78
Finding Insurance and Reassurance 81
Renting Space and Signing Leases 86
Tackling Contract Concerns 88
Recordkeeping Counts 89
Paying Yourself 91
Creating the Right Impression 93
Forming an Advisory Board 95
For More Information 97
Part 2 Profit and Loss: Getting the Facts on Figures
Chapter 5 Follow the Money 100
Accounting Essentials 103
Preparing Financial Statements: The Balance Sheet and the Income Statement 106
Using a Chart of Accounts 108
Cutting Paychecks 114
Preparing and Managing a Budget 116
Managing Cash Flow 121
List of Resources 123
For More Information 124
Chapter 6 Tax Tactics 126
Tax Strategies for Major Business Expenses 128
How to Interview a Tax Pro 131
Secrets Tax Pros Never Share 134
Frequent Tax and Bookkeeping Mistakes 136
Travel Expense Deduction Strategies 138
When a PC at Home Isn't a Home PC 140
For More Information 143
Chapter 7 By the Numbers: Analyzing Your Business with Excel 144
Excel Training and Assistance 146
What Data Should I Collect? 147
"What If I...?": Tools for Analyzing Common Business Questions 148
Spotting Trends: Sorting, Filtering, and Charting Information 165
Slicing and Dicing Your Business Data: Why You Should Use a PivotTable 173
Two Important Excel Functions 178
For More Information 180
Part 3 Makes and Models: How to Stand Out in a Crowd
Chapter 8 Branding Basics 182
Developing Brand Personality 184
What Is the Mission of Your Business? 186
Focusing on Your Point of Difference (POD) 188
Finding the Right Image: Logos and Icons 190
Mastering Your Domains: Two Steps for Building a Presence on the Web 192
Building Credibility 198
Protecting Your Intellectual Property: Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents 199
List of Resources 206
For More Information 206
Chapter 9 Crafting Your Message 208
Disciplined Messaging and the Seamless Sell 210
Developing a Marketing Strategy 212
Selling Benefits, Not Features 213
Making Messages Work Across Channels 216
Marketing Return on Investment (ROI) 217
Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Ideas 220
Generating Sales Leads 236
For More Information 242
Chapter 10 Go to Market with Publisher, Make a Pitch with PowerPoint 244
Business Communications and Microsoft Publisher 246
The Pitch and the Presentation: Using Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 269
For More Information 284
Part 4 Connect and Conquer: Building the Company
Chapter 11 The Customer Comes First 286
Identifying Your Best Customers: The 80/20 Rule 288
Rewarding Return Customers 294
Protecting Customer Trust and Privacy 299
Understanding When to Expand 301
Forging Strategic Alliances 303
For More Information 305
Chapter 12 Managing Customer Contacts: Business Contact Manager 306
Understanding What Business Contact Manager (BCM) Can Do 309
Installing and Running BCM 313
Working with Business Contacts 317
Creating and Using Accounts 321
Creating and Using Opportunities 324
Tracking Item History 327
Attaching Items 329
Creating Reports 330
Importing and Exporting Information 336
Managing Your BCM Data 341
For More Information 344
Part 5 Gurus, Guides, and Staff: Employment Dos and Don'ts
Chapter 13 Hiring and Firing 346
When to Hire 348
Where to Find Talent 351
Conducting Interviews and Background Checks 353
Recruiting the 21st-Century Team 357
Figuring Out How Much to Pay 367
Providing Benefits You Can Afford 370
Deciding When to Call It Quits 374
For More Information 376
Chapter 14 Managing Like a Coach 378
The Bossing Thing 380
Delegating: Dos and Don'ts 381
Making Employees Feel Valued 384
Measuring Performance 386
Training Staff Pays Off 390
Managing the New Work Force 395
For More Information 399
Part 6 The Electronic Desk, The Digital Business
Chapter 15 The Outlook Is Bright: E-Mail and Your Business 404
E-mail facts and figures 406
Web hosting options 407
E-mail signatures as a simple marketing tool 410
Separate personal and business e-mail 411
Implementing Small Business Server 412
Beware the messenger 418
Flags in Outlook Express 424
Retaining records 434
Synchronizing Outlook and a PocketPC 439
Chapter 16 Small Business Networks and Servers 442
Determining Needs and Available Choices 444
Selecting Network Types 449
Choosing Networking Equipment 451
Enabling Mobile Computing 456
Securing Your Network 457
For More Information 457
Chapter 17 Computer Security Basics 458
Considering Access Requirements 460
Planning Physical Security 467
Backing Up Your Data 469
Protecting Against Viruses 472
Choosing and Using Firewalls 474
Dealing with Spyware and Adware 475
For More Information 476
Index 478
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