The Everything Start Your Own Business Book, 4th Edition with CD: New and updated strategies for running a successful business

The Everything Start Your Own Business Book, 4th Edition with CD: New and updated strategies for running a successful business

by Judith B Harrington

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440538773
Publisher: Adams Media
Publication date: 07/18/2012
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,235,993
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Judith B. Harrington is the author of The Everything Start Your Own Business Book, second and third editions. She is the president of Print Management Commercial Printing Brothers, a company she co-founded in 1987. Prior to launching this business, she was an executive at several for-profit and not-for-profit businesses. She lives in Newton, MA.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Things You'll Learn from This Book 10

Introduction 11

1 Ready, Set, Go! 13

Self-Evaluation 14

Pros of Starting Your Own Business 15

Cons of Starting Your Own Business 17

Before You Start 18

The Upside of a Down Economy 20

Know What You Don't Know 22

Think Like a Businessperson 24

Talk to the Experts 27

Plan Your Exit Strategy Now 28

2 Choosing a Business 29

All You Need Is One Great Idea 30

Make Sure Your Idea Can Be Profitable 31

Buying a Proven Winner 32

Franchises-Thumbs Up or Down 33

Services 34

Retail 36

Business-to-Business (B2B) 37

Manufacturing the Products You Sell 38

3 When Opportunity Knocks 41

The Upside to Downsizing 42

Your Idea, Someone Else's Know-How 44

Taking the Family Business's Reins 45

Business Brokers Shop for You 46

Know What's Hot 47

4 Meet the Expert: You 49

Highlight Your Track Record 50

Licenses and Certifications 51

Advanced Degrees 51

How Many Letters Do You Need after Your Name? 52

Get on the Speaker Circuit 54

Blog Your Way to the Head of the Pack 55

5 Research the Market 57

Conducting Market Research 58

Assessing Your Potential Market 59

Industry Trends 59

Scouting Out the Competition 62

Finding Your Niche 63

The Name Game 65

6 Structuring Your Business 67

Overview 68

Partnerships 68

General Partnerships 69

Limited Liability Partnerships 70

Sole Proprietorships 71

Corporations 72

C and S Corporations 73

Limited Liability Company 74

Get Tax Advice Now! 75

7 Crafting a Business Plan 79

How to Know If You Need a Business Plan 80

Getting Ready 81

A Step-by-Step Guide 82

Business Overview 84

Financial Plan 89

Reviewing and Tweaking Your Plan 91

8 Get Your Capital Act Together 93

Finance Basics 94

How to Get Start-Up Cash 95

Venture Capital-Know All Your Options 96

Silent Partners 98

Opening Funding Doors in Any Economy 101

Personal Credit Scores Matter 101

Prove Your Business Is Loan-Worthy 102

Good Documents Are Gold 103

9 Putting a Financing Plan in Place 105

Traditional Loan Offerings 106

Special Loan Programs 106

Loan Sources Other Than Banks 107

Vendor Teammates 107

How Soon to Profitability? 108

When You Have the Money in Hand 111

10 Regulations and Legal Matters 113

Licensing and Regulations 114

Inspections 115

Zoning Ordinances 116

Leases 117

Fictitious Name Forms 118

Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights 118

Agencies, Agreements, and Regulations 121

11 Locating Your Business 123

The Right Space 124

Storefront Businesses 125

Office Space 128

Manufacturing Space 129

Home-Based Businesses 130

Shared Services 132

Pop-Up Businesses 133

12 Furnishings and Equipment 135

Assessing Your Needs 136

Comfort and Layout 137

Telephone Systems 139

Cost-Effective Decisions 140

Cost-Cutting Ideas 142

Technology-Get Up to Speed 144

Shopping for a Computer 145

Software Options 146

Computer Networks 148

13 Getting Online 151

Be Findable Online 152

Building a Website 153

Hiring a Professional Web Designer 154

Web Hosting 157

Domain Names 158

Preparing to Launch Your Site 159

14 Selling Online 165

Service Business 166

Retail Sales 167

Keywords Bidding 168

Get Linked with Compatible Sites 169

Auction Sales 169

Payment Options 171

Play Fair Getting Your Online Customers 173

15 Product and Services Management 175

Nimble Inventory Management 176

Product Procurement 177

Pricing Your Goods and Services 181

Pricing to Draw More Business 182

Services 183

16 Marketing Your Way to Success 185

Start with Market Research 186

Identifying Your Target Market 189

Reaching Your Market 190

Social Media-Power and Pitfalls 194

Advertising 198

Publicity 201

Public Relations 202

17 Networking 205

Join Your Tribe 206

Civic Organizations 206

Associations and Organizations 207

Industry Awards 208

Professional Networking Groups 209

Volunteering as a Strategy to Meet New Customers 210

18 Employees: Choose Well, Manage Well 211

Prepping Before Hiring 212

Finding the Best Match for Your Needs 213

Staff Alternatives: Contractors, Freelancers, and Interns 215

Interviewing Candidates 216

Running Background Checks 218

Attracting and Keeping Good Employees 219

Establishing Rules and Policies 220

Show Them the Money-and Benefits 220

Letting People Go-Know the Law 222

19 Consulting 225

Why Be a Consultant? 226

Finding Opportunity Between Jobs 227

Making the Leap 228

Setting Fees 228

Getting Started 231

Finding Clients That Are a Good Fit for You 232

Expanding the Business 233

20 Your Tax Obligations 235

Good Records Prevent Headaches Later 236

What You Need to Pay and When 236

Proper Deductions Help Profits 238

Employment Taxes 240

Tax Planning with a Pro 242

21 Bookkeeping, Record Keeping, and Administrative Tasks 245

Good Records Keep Things Going Smoothly 246

Establishing Bookkeeping Procedures 247

Cash or Accrual-Which Accounting System Is for You? 248

Keeping Track of Your Business 250

Choosing Accounting Software 253

Record Keeping and Administrative Needs 254

22 Insurance 257

Risk Management 258

Retaining or Transferring Risk 259

Evaluating Your Insurance Needs 260

General Coverage Considerations 261

Buying Insurance 262

Real Property 263

Contents-Inventory Coverage 264

Workers' Compensation 265

Liability 267

General Liability Add-Ons 267

Other Coverage Considerations 268

23 A Winner's Checklist 271

Customer Service 272

Make Relationships Your Highest Priority 273

Employee Development 274

Staying Abreast of Industry Changes 277

Make Your Company a Leader 278

Monitoring Cash Flow and Productivity 279

Planned Expansion 281

Hold On to Your Sanity 282

Know When to Hold, Know When to Fold 283

Appendix A Sample Business Plan 285

Appendix B Additional Resources 293

Index 297

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