As I’ve quoted before: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Benjamin Franklin). With this in mind, I want to tell you about some new titles from my business friends. I’ve known all of them for years and so my review of their recent books (some out late in 2017 or to be released in January or February of 2018) may be a little biased.
The Growth Dilemma: Determining Your Entrepreneurial Type to Find Your Financing Comfort Zone. Ami Kassar
If you want to scale up your business, likely you’ll need capital. Shark Tank aside, you’ll probably seek a loan. The choices of debt financing are many and the process is complex. In order to go forward, you need to understand your comfort zone.
Ami defined the growth dilemma as follows: “[Entrepreneurs] want more, but they’re not sure how to think about the problems, obligations, and risk that often come with growth.” The book aims to help you determine what financing you’d be comfortable with so you can meet your goals. There’s a personalized assessment that you can take at growthdilemma.com.
The book also asks some great questions, such as, are you investing enough in your business, what you would do with the money you borrow, what is the right amount to borrow (do you need money at all or something else like customers or a business plan), and what type of return would you expect? The book also looks at the entrepreneur type: whether you’re a tortoise or a hare, where you’re at in the life-cycle of the business, and what your risk tolerance is (there’s a test in the book to determine this).
The book is a good read that makes key points using the stories of real entrepreneurs and the choices they made to grow their businesses. I leave you with Ami’s thought-provoking questions: If you could borrow $1 million at 6%, would you take it and, if yes, what would you do with it?
Small Business Hacks: 100 Shortcuts to Success. Barry Moltz and Rieva Lesonsky
As the title implies, there are 100 separate ideas that you can use in your business, starting with how to create a mission statement and ending with how to generate customer loyalty. The hacks fall into these categories: startup hacks, management hacks, technology hacks, money hacks, sales hacks, marketing hacks, product hacks, HR hacks, and customer experience hacks.
Each hack is well explained, and many are supported with resources to learn more. Some ideas are submissions from others, such as how to maximize your profit by Mike Michalowicz (entrepreneur and author) and how to maintain your lean business plan by Sabrina Parsons (Palo Alto Software). Whether you’re new to running a business or a seasoned entrepreneur, you’re sure to find ideas to help you.
One Percent Edge. Susan Solovic with Ray Manley
It’s a fact that any business can become extinct (only 60 of the original Fortune 500 companies exist today). This book helps entrepreneurs make small changes that are needed to stay relevant and make the business sustainable. The keys to this are agility, creativity, and flexibility to build and maintain innovation.
The book presents a 6-step process for making incremental adjustments in core areas for your business: leadership, customer relations, products and services, people, marketing, operations, and finance. This creates a one-percent edge for reinventing yourself in order to survive in today’s ever-changing marketplace. As Susan says: “if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.”
The book is peppered with quotations from innovators, such as Thomas Edison, Sam Walton, and Steve Jobs. And Susan reveals how her experiences shaped the lessons in this book.
J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2018. Barbara Weltman
I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity for a little self-promotion. My annual tax guide for 2017 taxes and planning for 2018 is available now. The e-supplement, with details about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, will be posted on bigideasforsmallbusiness.com and jklasser.com in February.