A book review by Reg Adkins. Small Business Answer Book (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003), by Courtney Price.

Since 1997 Courtney Price has written at least 5 books. Most of the books deal with business and management.

If you are well established and profitable in your business this book probably is not for you. But, if you have yet to make the leap to join the growing number of entrepreneurs or you are a fledgling business owner this is a good place to start.

I particularly liked the third chapter of the book which examines the advantages and pitfalls of buying and existing business. This chapter breaks out a list of what danger signals to look for when buying a business.

  1. Inadequate market potential.
  2. Serious competitive problems.
  3. Technological problems (for example a company that makes 78 rpm records would be technologically obsolete in all but the most narrow niche markets).
  4. Disadvantageous cost characteristics (an example would be if a competitor has a distinct cost advantage over you, like he not only sells the item but manufactures it as well).
  5. Seller backing out (this is particularly the case when you are negotiating to buy a family owned business that the owner has significant emotional investment in).

Price also does a fair job of pointing you in the right direction to look if you are interested in buying a business. There is nothing earth shattering or particularly creative about it. It is just a list of sources you may have considered anyway. The benefit being the list is already compiled in one place for you.

My favorite part of the book is the 12 page appendix. It does a good job of compiling a list of many of the small business resources you may need.

All in all, if you have just started, or are getting ready to start a new business this book is worth the $15.00. If you are well established and already profitable, buy your spouse a box of chocolates instead.

Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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