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Book Review: Small Business Answer Book

Book Review: Small Business Answer Book

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

    Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

    Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

    Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:

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    1. Make a list of your goal destinations

    Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

    So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

    Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

    If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

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    2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished

    This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

    Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

    3. Write down your goals clearly

    Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

    For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

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    4. Write down what you need to do for each goal

    Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

    These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

    5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates

    Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

    For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

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    Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

    6. Schedule your to-dos

    Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

    Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.

    7. Review your progress

    At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

    Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

    Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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