For dreamers of independent wealth and owners of small businesses, Schell's clear-headed, plain-talking memoir-cum-cautionary tale is useful reading. Launched with a $15,000 investment, the author's most recent of four businesses, National Screenprint, was earning $25 million in sales when he sold it. Here he proves comparably successful, tracing three characteristic stages of evolution for a growth entrepreneurial effort: the owner-do-it-yourself phase, a chummy intermediate ``sunshine'' period when sales and production match, and the ``years from hell'' when sales outrun production, transportation and cash flow. Balancing authoritative insight with delightful humor, Schell covers such issues as financing (not from relatives, please); the hiring of lawyers, accountants and consultants; development of effective employee, supplier and customer relations; and keeping calm in the face of sudden, excessive inventory. (May)
Anyone beginning a new career, job, or business needs a mentor, someone to show them the ropes. In this book, Schell, who has started several businesses from scratch and seen them grow to large, successful ventures, does this for entrepreneurs. His purpose is to show how an unsophisticated, entry-level, small business owner can move from working just to survive to being a creative, savvy entrepreneur in a growing business. Schell provides tips on how to deal with all phases of a growing business, from start-up to selling. He places special emphasis on the importance of maintaining an atmosphere of good customer service. Although this is not a comprehensive, step-by-step plan, Schell does provide some valuable insight. Recommended for anyone thinking of starting a business or already running a small business and for general business collections.-- Joel Jones, Jefferson Cty. P.L., Arvada, Col.
President Clinton's emphasis on small businesses, and the astounding number of start-ups yearly, may prompt many would-be entrepreneurs to look into starting a company as a new career. Don't do it unless you've got the urge, intuition, an unlimited supply of optimism, and the nerves to live with risk and debt, says Schell. His on-the-firing-line experience, gained as founder-owner of a sportswear imprinting company, gives truth to his advice, which is down-to-earth and practical. His tips include finding a mentor and listening closely to him or her, asking your banker for more money than you need, and not hiring consultants for a long term; also, treating valued employees like customers and focusing on quality and service, not price. Only occasionally does he refer to such management gurus as Torn Peters, and for good reason, for his own heartfelt tips arise from years of sweat and toil.