Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need By The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. and Jason Feifer Book Review

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My rating: 4 Stars

Start Your Own Business Book Review:

This book is excellent business startup guide for everyone who is looking to learn how to start a business. It’s 1000+ pages long and it will help you to learn what you need to start your own business. It’s written in a style that it’s great for beginners and very nicely sorted out which makes it easy to navigate through. You can read it in two ways: first you can read it and start working on your plan how you went through book part-by-part; or you can read it all at once and then went back and start from scratch, but this time start writing plan and your ideas how you go through the book.

All important topics that you need to learn when starting a business are covered in this book, such as: getting business ideas; building or buying business; market research; finding audience; choosing the right name and logo; financing your business idea if you don’t have enough capital; buying equipment; how to hire properly; learning about marketing, sales and advertising; providing excellent customer service; learning about networking with your customer, as well as with associates; having in the right order your finances and taxes. And there’s plenty more, but this can be a very short summary to help you get better understanding of it.

One thing that I would add to this is, I wouldn’t tell you that you only need to read this one book and that you’ll be able to go and make a successful business. You need to keep your expectations realistic and stay put on the ground. Knowledge and experience is not something that you get from reading one book. I would definitely suggest you that you keep reading other books, especially read more marketing & sales books, management & leadership books to learn more. You don’t have to learn to do everything by yourself; but learning more will help you when it comes to hiring people who will work for you. There are plenty more books that are great reading material under my Best Books list and feel free to check it out.

Why you need to read more? Even though this book is 1000+ pages long and it covers almost every important steps to starting a business you still need to continue on learning more. Becoming and staying successful with your business is not something that you can sum it up in just one book, no matter how long that book is; that’s why you need to continue on learning and developing yourself which will ultimately lead to you to your desired success.

If you like, you can read my other reviews of Entrepreneurship & Small Business Books

Also, check out my Best Business Books List

Start Your Own Business Book Summary:


With the purchase of this book, you’ve taken your first step on the road to entrepreneurship. It’s not a step to be taken lightly, which is why buying this book may be the smartest thing you’ll ever do for your business. 


  • The Entrepreneurial Personality 
  • Full Steam Ahead
  • Am I an Entrepreneur, or Entrepreneur-ish? 
  • Reality Check 
  • Your Strengths and Weaknesses 
    • 1.Create a personal resume.
    • 2.Analyze your personal attributes.
    • 3.Analyze your professional attributes.
  • Go for the Goal 
  • From the Horse’s Mouth
  • Should You Go Solo? 
    • 1.You can be a workaholic if you want to. 
    • 2.You get to keep what you make.
    • 3.You get to hire creatively.
    • 4.You discover the power of automation and outsourcing.
    • 5.You live to work.
    • 6.You can turn on a dime.
    • 7.You choose everything about your business.
    • 8.You can create your own schedule.
    • 9.You are responsible for your own success.
    • 10.You develop your own vision.
    • 11.You embody your own brand.
    • 12.You experience adventure every day.

The life of a solopreneur is not for anyone. The risks are high. The burdens are great. Yet the experience is transformative. 

  • Optimism.
  • Realism.
  • Short and long term.
  • Income.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Type of work.
  • Ego gratification.


How Do I Know If I Have a Great Idea for a Business? 

Many people believe starting a business is a mysterious process. They know they want to start a business, but they don’t know the first steps to take. In this chapter, you’re going to find out whether a business idea you already have is a vi- able one. If it’s not, we will take you through the steps to get a feasible idea, then show you how to take action on it. This is the biggest step in figuring out what it is you want to do. 

  • Get the Juices Flowing 
  • Is My Idea a Good One? 
    • 1.It solves a problem.
    • 2.It’s scalable.
    • 3.Your doubts are few and quickly disappear.
    • 4.People want your product and service.
  • They Delivered 
  • Inspiring Moments 
  • Just Do It! 
  • Fit to A “T” 


Should You Launch Your Business Part or Full Time? 

Starting part time offers several advantages. It reduces your risk because you can rely on income and benefits from your full-time job. Starting part time also allows your business to grow gradually. 

  • Market Matters 
  • Financial Plan 
  • Family Affairs 
  • Take It Easy 
  • Getting Personal 
  • Part Time Online Doesn’t Mean Less Time 
  • Part-Time Pointers 
    • Give your family the chance to help out. 
    • Be ready to give up personal time.
    • Focus on the task in front of you.
    • Make the most of every minute.


Starting a Business vs. Buying One 

When most people think of starting a business, they think of beginning from scratch—developing your own idea and building the company from the ground up. But starting from scratch presents some distinct disadvantages, including the difficulty of building a customer base, marketing the new business, hiring employees, and establishing cash flow . . . all without a track record or reputation to go on. 

  • Buying an Existing Business 
  • The Right Choice 
  • Taxing Matters 
    • Prescreening businesses for you.
    • Helping you pinpoint your interests.
    • Negotiating.
    • Assisting with paperwork.
  • A Closer Look 
    • Excessive or insufficient inventory.
    • The lowest level of inventory the business can carry.
    • Accounts receivable.
    • Net income.
  • Let’s Make a Deal 
    • Use the seller’s assets.
    • Bank on purchase orders.
    • Ask the seller for financing.
    • Use an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). 
    • Lease with an option to buy.
    • Assume liabilities or decline receivables.
  • Take the Time You Really Need 
    • Working capital.
    • Sales activity.
    • Fixed assets.
    • Operating environment.
  • Navigating Negotiations 
  • Transition Time
  • Buying a Franchise
  • Is Franchising Right for You? 
  • Do Your Homework 
  • It’s Show Time 
    • Consider what you are seeking from a business investment.
    • Figure out your financial resources.
    • Get serious.
  • At the Show 
    • Take a moment to study the floor plan of the exhibitors listed.
    • Don’t waste time.
    • Collect handout information and business cards from the companies that interest you.
  • After the Show 
    • Organize the materials you collected into file folders. Then read through the information more closely. 
    • Follow up. Call the representatives you met to show them you are interested. 
  • Calling All Franchisees
  • Proven Purchase
  • Buying a Business Opportunity 
  • Legal Matters
  • On the Level 
  • Checking It Out



Defining Your Market 

There are two basic markets you can sell to: consumer and business. These divisions are fairly obvious. If you are selling women’s clothing from a retail store, your target market is consumers; if you are selling office supplies, your target market is businesses (this is referred to as “B2B” sales). 

  • Practicing Nichecraft 
    • 1.Make a wish list.
    • 2.Focus.
    • 3.Describe the customer’s worldview.
    • 4.Synthesize.
    • 5.Evaluate.
    • 6.Test.
    • 7.Go for it!
  • Keep It Fresh 
  • Make Gig Your Niche
    • 1.Deep Learning Jobs: $115.06/hour.
    • 2.Blockchain Jobs: $87.06/hour.
    • 3.Robotics jobs: $77.46/hour.
    • 4.Penetration Testing Jobs: $66.46/hour.
    • 5.Bitcoin Jobs: $65/37/hour.
    • 6.Amazon Web Services Lambda Jobs: $51/ hour.
    • 7.Virtual Reality Jobs: $50.18/hour.
    • 8.React.js Jobs: $40.75/hour.
    • 9.Final Cut Pro Jobs: $37.12/hour.
    • 10.Instagram Marketing Jobs: $31.23/hour.
  • On a Mission
  • The Write Words
    • 1.Why are you in business?
    • 2.Who are your customers?
    • 3.What image of your business do you want to convey?
    • 4.What is the nature of your products and services?
    • 5.What level of service do you provide?
    • 6.What roles do you and your employees play?
    • 7.What kind of relationships will you maintain with suppliers?
    • 8.How do you differ from competitors?
    • 9.How will you use technology, capital, processes, products, and services to reach your goals?
    • 10.What underlying philosophies or values guided your responses to the previous questions? 
  • Putting It All Together 
    • Involve those connected to your business.
    • Set aside several hours—a full day, if possible—to work on your statement.
    • Plan a date.
    • Be prepared.
    • Brainstorm.
    • Use “radiant words.”


Conducting Market Research 

So you have a great idea for a product— something that’s bound to capture the hearts and minds (and wallets) of consumers everywhere. Or perhaps you have stumbled on a service that isn’t being offered by anyone else—one that is desperately needed. This is your opportunity! Don’t hesitate . . . don’t look back . . . jump right into it and . . . 

Wait! Before you shift into high gear, you must determine whether there really is a market for your product or service. Not only that, but you need to ascertain what—if any—fine-tuning is needed. Quite simply, you must conduct market research. 

  • Good Question 
    • Who will buy my product or service? 
    • Why will they buy it? 
    • Where will they buy it—specialty shops, department stores, mail order?
    •  What do I need to charge to make a healthy profit? 
    • What products or services will mine be competing with?
    • Am I positioning my product or service correctly? (In other words, if there’s a lot of competition, look for a specialized market niche.) 
    • What government regulations will my product or service be subject to? 
  • What It Is, What It Does 
    • 1.Industry information.
    • 2.Consumer close-up.
    • 3.Competition close-up.
  • Know Thy Enemy 
  • Market Research Methods 
  • Secondary Research
  • Associations 
  • Going Online 
  • Government Guidance 
  • Maps 
  • Survey Says . . . 
    • Short-term focus.
    • Adequate sample size.
    • Knowledgeable respondents.
    • Continual replication.
    • Specific information relevant to your business. 
  • Colleges and Universities 
  • Community Organizations 
  • D&B 
  • Primary Research 
  • 20 Questions
    • Focus groups.
    • Telephone interviews.
    • Direct-mail surveys.
    • Email interviews.
    • Social interviews.
    • Google it.
  • Making a List


Naming Your Business

What’s in a name? A lot, when it comes to small- business success. The right name can make your company the talk of the town; the wrong one can doom it to obscurity and failure. If you’re smart, you’ll put just as much effort into naming your business as you did into coming up with your idea, writing your business plan, and selecting a market and location. Ideally, your name should convey the expertise, value, and uniqueness of the product or service you have developed. 

  • Expert Assistance 
  • The Name Game Online 
  • What Does It Mean? 
  • Making It Up 
  • Dos and Don’ts 
  • Namestorming 
  • Testing, Testing 
  • Final Analysis
  • Say It Loudly 


Choosing a Business Structure 

Of all the decisions you make when starting a business, probably the most important one relating to taxes is the type of legal structure you select for your company. 

Not only will this decision have an impact on how much you pay in taxes, but it will also affect the amount of paperwork your business is required to do, the personal liability you face, and your ability to raise money. 

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership 
  • Corporation 
  • The ABCs of LLCs 
  • S Corporation 
  • Putting Inc. to Paper 
  • Rules of the Road
  • Setting up an LLC 
  • The Nonprofit Option 


Creating a Winning Business Plan 

Some people think you don’t need a business plan unless you’re trying to borrow money. Of course, it’s true that you do need a good plan if you intend to approach a lender—whether a banker, a venture capitalist, or any number of other sources—for startup capital. But a business plan is more than a pitch for financing; it’s a guide to help you define and meet your business goals. 

Do I Really Need a Business Plan? 

1.The first is the business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success. 

2. The second is the marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy, and so on. Here, you also describe the competition and how you will position yourself to beat it. 

3. Finally, the financial section contains your in- come and cash-flow statements, balance sheet, and other financial ratios, such as break-even analyses. This part may require help from your accountant and a good spreadsheet software program. 

Breaking these three major sections down further, a business plan consists of seven major components: 

  • Executive Summary 
  • Business Description 
  • Market Strategies 
    • Price.
    • Distribution.
    • Sales.
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Design and Development Plan 
  • Operations and Management Plan
  • Financial Factors 
    • The income statement details the business’ cash-generating ability.
    • The cash-flow statement details the amount of money coming into and going out of the business—month- for the first year and quarterly for each year thereafter.
    • The balance sheet paints a picture of the business’ financial strength in terms of assets, liabilities, and equity over a set period.
  • Finding Funding 
    • 1.Avoid hype.
    • 2.Polish the executive summary.
    • 3.Make sure your plan is complete.
  • A Living Document 


Hiring a Lawyer and an Accountant 

As you start on your business journey, there are two professionals you will soon come to rely on to guide you along the path: your lawyer and your accountant. It’s hard to navigate the maze of tax and legal issues facing entrepreneurs these days unless these professionals are an integral part of your team. 

  • Hiring a Lawyer 
  • Choosing an Attorney 
    • Experience.
    • Understanding.
    • Ability to communicate.
    • Availability.
    • Rapport.
    • Reasonable fees.
    • References.
  • Cost Cutters 
    • Hourly or per diem rate.
    • Flat fee.
    • Monthly retainer.
    • Contingent fee.
    • Value billing.
  • Pay Now, Not Later 
  • Making the Most of Your Lawyer
    • DIY lawyers 
    • Different Strokes
  • Hiring an Accountant 
  • Business Advisory Services
  • Accounting and Record keeping
  • Tax Advice
  • Auditing 
  • Choosing an Accountant 
    • 1.Services.
    • 2.Personality.
    • 3.Fees.
  • Good Relations 



Financing Starts with Yourself and Friends and Relatives 

Once you have decided on the type of venture you want to start, the next step on the road to business success is figuring out where the money will come from to fund it. Where do you start? 

  • Do It Yourself 
  • Friends and Family 
  • The Right Source
  • Putting It on Paper 
  • Taxing Matters
  • Keep ’em Happy 
  • How Much Is Enough? 
  • Go to the Crowd 
    • 1.Peer-to-peer lending (P2P).
    • 2.Crowdfunding.


How to Find and Attract Investors 

No matter what type of financing source you approach— bank, a venture capitalist, or your cousin Lenny—there are two basic ways to finance a business: equity financing and debt financing. In equity financing, you receive capital in exchange for part ownership of the company. In debt financing, you receive capital in the form of a loan, which must be paid back.

  • Equity Basics 
  • How It Works 
  • As Not Seen on TV 
    • 1.The 10-second rule.
    • 2.Be clear and concise.
    • 3.Know the problem and the market.
    • 4.Do the math—and do it well.
    • 5.Be willing to listen and learn from feedback. 
  • Venture Capital 
  • The Many Faces of Venture Capital 
    • Private venture capital partnerships
    • Industrial venture capital pools
    • Investment banking firms
    • Individual private investors
    • Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs)
    • Specialized Small Business Investment Companies (SSBICs)
  • Earth Angels
  • Where Angels Fly 
    • Professionals.
    • Business associates.
      • 1.Suppliers/vendors.
      • 2.Customers.
      • 3.Employees.
    • Competitors.
      • 1.Professionals.
      • 2.Middle managers.
      • 3.Entrepreneurs.
  • Make the Connection 
    • Advertising.
    • Business brokers.
    • Telemarketing.
    • Networking.
    • Intermediaries.
    • Matchmaking services.
  • Getting the Money 
    • Strong management.
    • Proprietary strength.
    • Window of opportunity.
    • Market potential.
    • Return on investment.


The Ins and Outs of Debt Financing 

Unlike equity financing, where you sell part of your business to an investor, debt financing simply means receiving money in the form of a loan that you will have to repay. You can turn to many sources for debt financing, including banks, commercial lenders, and even your personal credit cards. 

  • Types of Loans
  • Line-of-Credit Loans 
  • Installment Loans 
  • Balloon Loans 
  • Interim Loans
  • Secured and Unsecured Loans
  • Letter of Credit 
  • Other Loans
  • Sources of Financing 
  • Bank On It 
  • Second-String Funding Options 
    • 1.Equipment financing (aka asset-based or capital equipment loans).
    • 2.Credit card cash advances.
    • 3.Merchant cash advance.
  • Commercial Finance Companies
  • Give Yourself Credit 
  • Applying for a Loan 
  • The Loan Application
    • 1.Cover sheet.
    • 2.Cover letter.
    • 3.Table of contents.
    • 4.Amount and use of the loan.
    • 5.History and description of your business.
    • 6.Management team.
    • 7.Market information.
    • 8.Financial history.
    • 9.Financial projections.
    • 10.Collateral.
    • 11.Personal financial statements.
    • 12.Additional documents.
  • What Lenders Look For 
    • 1.Credit.
    • 2.Character.
    • 3.Capacity.
  • A Loan at Last 


How to Get Government Loans 

Where can you go when private financing sources turn you down? For many startup entrepreneurs, the answer is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The federal government has a vested interest in encouraging the growth of small business. As a result, some SBA loans have less stringent requirements for owner’s equity and col- lateral than do commercial loans, making the SBA an excellent financing source for startups. In addition, many SBA loans are for smaller sums than most banks are willing to lend. 

  • 7(a) Loan Program
  • SBA Express Program 
  • CAPLines 
  • Pre-Qualification Program 
  • MicroLoan Program
  • CDC/504 Loan Program 
  • Empowerment Zones/Renewal Communities 
  • 8(a) Business Development Program
  • Export Working Capital Program
  • Special Purpose Loans
  • Making the Most of the SBA
  • Granting Wishes 



Negotiating Successfully 

If you’re in business, you’re a negotiator. You have no choice. Business doesn’t happen unless two or more people enter into a transaction. This can be as simple as buying inventory or as complicated as a merger of two public companies. Without transactions, business doesn’t happen, and every transaction involves a certain amount of negotiation. 

  • What Is Negotiation? 
  • Preparing for Negotiation 
    • 1.Know your bargaining position.
    • 2.Know how the other side perceives its position.
    • 3.Assess your bargaining style.
  • What Do You Want? 
  • The Negotiation Process 
    • 1.Step one: State your position.
    • 2.Step two: Search for win-win compromises. 
    • 3.Step three: Do a little “horse trading.”
  • Everything Is Negotiable 


Choosing a Location for Your Business

Where should you locate your business? One expert will tell you location is absolutely vital to your company’s success; another will argue that it really doesn’t matter where you are—and they’re both right. How important location is for your new company depends on the type of business, the facilities and other resources you need, and where your customers are. 

  • Types of Locations
    • Homebased.
      • 1.Occasionally find a co-working space or a cafe. 
      • 2.Join mentoring groups and social media communities for local entrepreneurs.
      • 3.Plan team parties, and maintain a non-work related “fun chat.”
      • 4.Maintain regular work hours that include lunch breaks.
      • 5.Breakfast or lunch meetings.
      • 6.Schedule video conferences, business calls, and meetings early in the morning.
      • 7.Get daily exercise.
    • Retail.
    • Mobile.
    • Commercial.
    • Co-working.
    • Industrial.
  • Issues to Consider 
  • Style of Operation
  • Demographics 
  • Foot Traffic
  • Accessibility and Parking
  • Competition 
  • Proximity to Other Businesses and Services 
  • Image and History of the Site 
  • Ordinances
  • The Building’s Infrastructure
  • Utilities and Other Costs 
  • Room for Growth 
  • What Can You Expect to Pay?
  • Commercial Leases
  • Leasehold Improvements 
    • Flat lease.
    • Step lease.
    • Net lease.
    • Cost-of-living lease.
    • Percentage lease.
  • Negotiating the Lease 
  • It Still Comes Down to You 


Creating a Professional Image

These days, it is just not enough to create a terrific product, offer super service, and have a solid business plan to back you up. Your company image is equally important to the overall success of your business. 

  • Office Space
  • Everything in Its Place 
  • Designing a Logo
  • Secrets to Making Your Logo Stand Out 
    • 1.Simplicity.
    • 2.Brand consistency.
    • 3.Memorability.
    • 4.Remarkability.
    • 5.Market testing.
  • Business Cards 
  • Selecting Stationery 
  • Designing Your Sign 


The Lowdown on Inventory 

Where would an apparel company be without clothing? An auto supply store without auto parts? A computer company without computers? Nowhere, of course. Understanding and managing your inventory is one of the most critical factors in business success. 

  • Inventory Control 
  • Maintaining Enough Inventory 
  • Avoiding Excess Inventory 
  • Inventory and Cash Flow
  • Tracking Inventory 
  • Computerized Inventory Control 
  • Inventory Turnover
  • Inventory Accounting 
  • Buying Inventory 
  • Suppliers
    • 1.Manufacturers.
    • 2.Distributors.
    • 3.Independent craftspeople.
    • 4.Import sources.
  • Dealing with Suppliers 
  • Payment Plans 


Setting Up Mailing Systems 

Mail is one of the lifelines of your business, and depending on your industry, it can also be one of your biggest costs. That’s why it’s so important to figure out the most efficient, convenient, and economical ways to send mail. This chapter covers everything you need to know about mailing— from postage metering and sorting to letter- opening machines. 

  • Mailing Equipment 
  • Postage Meters 
  • Postal Scales 
  • Letter-Folding Machines
  • Letter-Opening Machines 
  • Mail Labelers 
  • Lease or Buy? 


Offering Your Customers Credit

Getting paid for your products or services is what business is all about. These days, there are more options than ever for accepting payment. Whether you are in a B2B or consumer-oriented industry, your choices can include extending credit, taking checks, and accepting credit or debit cards. And there are countless ways to accept payments that don’t involve a card—or a cash register. Options range from automatic bank transfers and online services like PayPal to devices like Square and other smartphone-based card-payment options, such as Apple Pay or tap-to-pay services. You could also delve into the realm of automatic transfer services like Venmo and Zelle for quick payments direct from a customer’s bank or another account. 

  • Establishing a Credit Policy 
  • Give ’em Credit
  • Payment Due 
  • Accepting Checks 
  • Start with the basics.
  • Be observant.
  • Be especially cautious with new checks.
  • Establish a waiting period for refunds. 
  • Consider getting electronic help.
  • Accepting Credit Cards 
  • Merchant Status 
  • Money Matters 
  • Getting Equipped 
  • Online Payments
  • Accepting Debit Cards 


Getting Business Insurance 

One of the most common mistakes startup busi- ness owners make is failing to buy adequate insurance for their businesses. It’s an easy error to make: Money is tight, and with so many things on your mind, protecting yourself against the possibility of some faraway disaster just doesn’t seem important. “Oh, I will get insurance,” you promise yourself, “one of these days.” Soon, “one of these days” comes and goes, and you’re still uninsured. 

  • Lost in Cyberspace 
  • Basic Insurance Needs 
  • Workers’ Compensation 
  • General Liability 
  • Auto Insurance 
  • Property/Casualty Coverage 
  • Umbrella Coverage 
  • Business Interruption Coverage 
  • Life Insurance 
  • Disability Insurance 
  • Choosing an Insurance Agent 
  • Type of Agent 
  • Finding an Agent 
  • Insurance Costs


Hiring Employees 

To hire or not to hire? That is the question in the mind of the new entrepreneur. You see, hiring even one employee changes everything. Suddenly, you need payroll procedures, rules regarding hours, and a policy for vacation pay. You’re hit with a multitude of legal requirements and management duties you’d never have to deal with if you worked solo. 

  • How to Hire 
  • Job Analysis 
  • Job Description
  • Writing the Ad 
  • Recruiting Employees
    • Tap into your personal and professional network. 
    • Contact school placement offices.
    • Post notices at senior citizen centers.
    • Use an employment agency.
    • List your opening with an appropriate job bank. 
    • Use industry publications.
  • Prescreening Candidates 
  • Interviewing Applicants 
  • Checking References 
  • After the Hire
  • Alternatives to Full-Time Employees 
  • Leased Employees 
  • Temporary Employees 
  • Part-Time Personnel 
  • Outsourcing Options 


Setting Employee Policies and Benefits

Once you have great employees on board, how do you keep them from jumping ship? One way is by offering a good benefits package. 

  • Benefit Basics 
  • Legally Speaking 
  • Expensive Errors 
    • Absorbing the entire cost of employee benefits. 
    • Covering nonemployees.
    • Sloppy paperwork.
    • Not telling employees what their benefits cost. 
  • Health Insurance 
    • A traditional indemnity plan, or fee for service. 
    • Managed care.
    • Self-insurance.
    • Health savings accounts.
  • Cost Containment 
  • Health Savings Accounts and Small Business
    • Compare prices.
    • Check the plan’s underwriter.
    • Make sure the company follows state regulations.
    • Ask the agent or administrator to show you what their commission, advance, or administrative cost structure is.
    • Get help.
  • Retirement Plans 
    • Individual Retirement Account (IRA) 
    • Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) 
    • Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan 
  • Where to Go 
  • Low-Cost Benefits 
    • Negotiate discounts with local merchants for your employees.
    • Ask a local dry cleaner for free pickup and delivery of your employees’ clothes.
    • Offer free lunchtime seminars to employees. 
    • Offer supplemental insurance plans that are administered through payroll but are paid for by the employee.
    • Offer a prepaid legal services plan administered through payroll but paid for by the employee. 
    • How about an interest-free computer loan program?
    • Let employees purchase excess inventory from your business at a significant discount via sample sales or employee auctions.
  • Employee Policies 
  • Paying Employees 
  • Nonexempt and Exempt Employees 
  • Tip Credits 
  • Overtime Requirements 
  • Workplace Safety 
  • OSHA Regulations 
  • Compliance with OSHA 
  • Put It in Writing 
  • Discriminatory Treatment? 



Business Equipment Basics 

When it comes to the day-to-day operation of your business, how you set up your office or work space is essential. Your goal is to create a work space that’s well-lit and will keep you as comfortable as possible, with access to business-related tools and equipment that will allow you to stay organized and productive. 

  • Maximize Technology, Networking, and Convenience by Sharing Space 
    • Networking and collaborating.
    • Breaking out of your comfort zone.
    • Professional space when you need it.
  • Cost Cutters 
  • Financing Plan 
  • When Lease Is More
  • Wise Buys 
  • Buying New Equipment 
    • Superstores.
    • Specialty stores.
    • Dealer direct sales.
    • E-tailers.
  • Buying Used Equipment 
  • Lemon Alert 
    • Know the market.
    • Try before you buy.
    • Bring a buddy.
    • Don’t buy if you don’t feel comfortable.


Using Technology to Boost Your Productivity 

If you’re like most business people, you probably have a main base of operations you call your “office.” It may not be an office per se; it could be a retail store, a factory floor, or a trailer on a construction site. It could also be a room in your home or a cubicle within a larger office complex. But it’s where you can usually be found 9 to 5 or whatever your typical office hours might be. 

  • Virtually on the Road 
  • Need An Assistant? Go Virtual 
    • SEO and social media.
    • Repeatable or template tasks.
    • Creative, but time-consuming.
  • Equipping Your Virtual Office
  • Being Well-Connected 
  • It Takes Two 
  • Serving It Up 
  • Networking
  • Choosing Partners 
  • Flying Business Class 
  • Take Note 
  • The Well-Dressed Computer
  • Office Productivity Software
  • Peripherals 


Building Your Company Website

Why put your business online? The answer is simple. In today’s business world, it’s essential that your business have an online presence if you want to stay competitive.

  • Sounds Like a Plan 
  • Steps to a Successful Web Business
    • Find a need and fill it.
    • Write copy that sells.
    • Design and build an easy-to-use website.
    • Use search engines to drive traffic to your site. 
    • Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
    • Follow up with your customers and subscribers via email.
    • Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
  • The Name Game 
  • Website Basics 
    • Content.
    • Structure.
    • Design.
    • Navigation.
    • Credibility.
  • Finding the Host with the Most
  • Ka-ching 
    • 1.Catalog.
    • 2.Shopping cart.
    • 3.Checkout counter.
    • 4.Order processing.
  • Final Check 


Using Technology to Stay Connected

These are exciting times for mobile entrepreneurs. Laptop computers have become smaller and far more powerful, and clunky cell phones have transformed from being devices simply for talking into sleek smartphones capable of a wide range of wireless interactivity.

  • Do Your Homework 
  • Just the Beginning 
  • Talk Is Cheap
  • Which Smartphone Is the Smartest? 
  • At Your Service 
  • Wireless Wonders 
  • I’m IMing
  • Web Calling
  • It’s Your Turn 



Building a Brand

Unfortunately, it’s a question too many small-business owners ask far too late, or never ask at all—not a good idea in a world full of savvy consumers and big companies that have mastered the branding game. Great brands are all around us, and it’s no accident they make us think of certain things.

  • What Is Branding, Exactly? 
    • Branding is your company’s foundation.
    • Branding creates value.
    • Branding clarifies your message.
    • Branding is a promise.
  • Creating an Awesome Brand 
    • 1.Consider how people see you.
    • 2.Amplify yourself.
    • 3.Weave your brand into all you do.
    • 4.Be consistent.
  • Building a Branding Strategy 
    • Step one. Set yourself apart.
    • Step two. Know your target customer.
      • Hire based on brand strategy.
      • Set expectations.
      • Communicate, then communicate some more.
    • Step three. Develop a personality.
  • Bringing It All Together 
  • Many Happy Returns? 
    • Keep ads brand-focused.
    • Be ruthlessly consistent in all you do.
    • Shed the deadweight.


Advertising and Marketing Your Business 

You may know how to build the perfect product or provide excellent service, but do you know how to market your business? If not, all your expertise won’t help keep your business afloat. Without marketing, no one will know your business exists—and if customers don’t know you’re there, you won’t make any sales. 

  • Creating a Marketing Plan
    • Step One: Begin with a Snapshot of Your Company’s Current Situation, Called a “Situation Analysis” 
    • Step Two: Describe Your Target Audience 
    • Step Three: List Your Marketing Goals 
    • Step Four: Develop the Marketing Communications Strategies and the Tactics You’ll Use 
    • Step Five: Set Your Marketing Budget 
      • Start Early—Earlier Than You Think 
      • 1.Make sure your product stands out.
      • 2.Speak your audience’s language.
      • 3.Evolve your strategy as necessary.
      • 4.Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings.
  • Where to Advertise 
  • Print Advertising 
    • 1.It should attract attention.
    • 2.It should appeal to the reader’s self-interest or announce news.
    • 3.It should communicate your company’s unique advantage.
    • 4.It should prove your advantage.
    • 5.It should motivate readers to take action.
  • Headlines That Work 
  • Ads That Stand Out
  • Ad Placement 
  • Radio and TV Advertising
  • Getting Help
  • Microtargeting 
  • Direct Mail 
    • Make sure your list is good.
    • Make them want to read.
    • Clean your mailing list.
  • Mailing Lists 
  • Brochures
  • Sales Letters 
    • 1.Start with a hook.
    • 2.Give them the facts fast.
    • 3.End persuasively.
  • Postcards 
  • Fliers 
  • Catalogs 
    • 1.Keep it simple.
    • 2.Borrow from the best.
    • 3.Choose a production route.
    • 4.Find the perfect printer.
  • Newsletters 
  • Recognition.
    • Image.
    • Specifics.
    • Enactment.
  • Classified Ads
  • Co-Op Advertising 
  • Measuring Advertising Effectiveness 
    • Run the same ad in two different publications with a different identifying mark on each one. 
    • Train everyone in your company who answers the phone to ask customers where they heard about you.
    • Offer a product at different prices in different magazines.
    • Advertise an item in one ad only.
    • Stop running an ad that you regularly run.
    • Always check sales results.


How to Promote Your Business 

Paid advertising isn’t the only way to spread the word about your business. In fact, one of the best ways to get your business noticed does not have to cost you a dime. We are talking about public relations. 

  • Getting Publicity 
    • 1.Write your positioning statement.
    • 2.List your objectives.
    • 3.Identify your target customers.
    • 4.Identify your target media.
    • 5.Develop story angles.
    • 6.Make the pitch.
    • 7.Follow up.
  • Talking to the Media
    • If a reporter rejects your idea, ask if they can recommend someone else who might be interested. 
    • Know exactly what you’re going to say before you call the reporter.
    • Everyone likes a compliment.
    • Be persistent.
    • Don’t be a pest.
    • Be helpful and become a resource by providing reporters with information.
    • Always remember that assistants get promoted. 
    • Say thank you.
  • Special Events
  • Grand Openings 
  • Social Graces 
    • Set goals.
    • Decide what cause you want to align yourself with.
    • Choose a nonprofit or other organization to partner with.
    • Design a program, and propose it to the non-profit group.
    • Negotiate an agreement with the organization.
    • Involve employees.
    • Involve customers.
  • Entertainment and Novelty Attractions
  • What Is Social Entrepreneurship? 
  • Holidays and Seasons 
  • Celebrity Appearances
  • Co-Sponsoring 
  • Anniversary Celebrations
  • Games and Contests 
  • Networking 
    • 1.Casual contact networks.
    • 2.Strong contact networks.
    • 3.Community service clubs.
    • 4.Professional associations.


Effective Selling Techniques

No matter what business you’re in, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in sales. “But I hate to sell,” you groan. You’re not alone. Many people are intimidated by selling—either because they’re not sure how to proceed or they think they don’t have the “right” personality to sell. 

  • Understanding Your Unique Selling Proposition 
  • Star Power
    • 1.Attitude.
    • 2.Tenacity.
    • 3.Follow-through.
  • Cold-Calling
    • 1.Personalize each call by preparing mentally.
    • 2.Perfect your phone style alone before making any calls.
    • 3.Create familiarity all around you.
    • 4.Use your imagination.
    • 5.Watch your tone of voice.
    • 6.Make your goal a fast “50 in 150”—that is, 50 calls in 150 minutes.
    • 7.Take five after 15.
  • Following Up 
  • Making Sales Presentations 
    • 1.Rapport: putting yourself on the same side of the fence as the prospect 
    • 2.Need: determining what factors will motivate the prospect to listen with the intent to purchase
    • 3.Importance: the weight the prospect assigns to a product, feature, benefit, price, or time frame 
    • 4.Confidence: your ability to project credibility, to remove doubt, and to gain the prospect’s belief that the risk of purchase will be less than the reward of ownership
  •  Before the Presentation
    • 1.Know your customer’s business.
    • 2.Write out your sales presentation.
    • 3.Make sure you are talking to the right person.
  • In the Customer’s Office 
    • Build rapport.
    • Tag-team-sell for evaluation purposes.
    • Record your telephone sales conversations. 
    • Read a chapter from a sales book aloud, and make an audio recording of it.
    • Videotape the first five minutes of your sales presentation.
    • Above all, be yourself.
    • Ask questions.
    • Take notes.
    • Be sure to write down objections.
    • Learn to listen.
    • Answer objections with “feel,” “felt,” and “found.”
    • Probe deeper.
    • Find the “hot button.”
    • Eliminate objections.
    • Close the sale.
  • After the Sale
    • Follow up.
    • Ask for feedback.
  • Speaking Effectively 


Offering Superior Customer Service

To the ordinary entrepreneur, closing and finalizing the sale is the completion of serving the customer’s needs. But for the pro, this is only the beginning. Closing the sale sets the stage for a relationship that, if properly managed by you, the entrepreneur, can be mutually profitable for years to come. 

  • Building Customer Relationships 
    • Let customers know what you are doing for them.
    • Write old customers personal, handwritten notes frequently.
    • Keep it personal.
    • Remember special occasions.
    • Pass on information.
    • Consider follow-up calls business development calls.
  • Customer Service 
    • Put your customer service policy in writing.
    • Establish support systems that give the employees clear instructions for gaining and maintaining service superiority.
    • Develop a measurement of superb customer service.
    • Be certain that your passion for customer service runs throughout your company.
    • Be genuinely committed to providing more customer service excellence than anyone else in your industry.
    • Share information with people on the front lines.
    • Act on the knowledge that customers value attention, competence, promptness, and dependability.
  • Interacting with Customers 
    • Attend trade shows and industry events that are important to your customers.
    • Nurture a human bond, as well as a business one, with customers and prospects.
    • Keep alert for trends; then respond to them. 
    • Ask for feedback.
  • Going Above and Beyond 



Online Advertising and Marketing

Your website is up, and you have promoted it on everything from business cards to T-shirts. Your check-out program is primed for action. And you’re ready to deliver on every order. There’s only one problem—nobody shows up. 

  • A Marketing Tool 
  • Attracting Visitors to Your Site 
  • Search Engines
  • Paid Search Services 
  • Local Search
  • Affiliates
  • Keeping Visitors at Your Site 
  • The Ad-Free Zone 


Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is simply using social sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, to market your business—and, when possible, to create a community of people excited about your brand. 

  • Engaging Online Tools
  • Video Marketing 
  • Overview of Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Content Marketing Online
  • Social Marketing Automation 


Social Media Networking

The days of in-person networking are quickly being overpowered by connecting on the internet. In the past five years, connecting on social networking sites has rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of internet users. 

  • High-Level Networking 
  • Target Market Connections 
  • Groups and Discussions 
  • Facebook Pages
  • Media Connections on Social Sites 
  • Center of Influence List 



The Basics of Bookkeeping 

Many small-business owners—from CEOs to solopreneurs—would rather focus on making and selling their products and services than on keeping their books and records in order. However, bookkeeping is just as important as production and marketing.

  • The Bookkeeping Advantage
    • 1.Accurate.
    • 2.Relevant.
    • 3.User-friendly.
  • Basic Accounting Principles 
    • 1.Competency.
    • 2.Consistency.
    • 3.Compatibility.
  • Accounting System Components 
  • Chart of Accounts
  • General Ledger 
  • Accounts Receivable 
  • Inventory
  • Fixed Assets
  • Accounts Payable
  • Payroll 
  • Cost Accounting
  • Under Control 
    • 1.You need a written policy that clearly spells out your internal control system.
    • 2.On a regular basis, review the internal control policy to ensure it is up-to-date.
    • 3.Make sure all employees take at least one week of vacation each year.
    • 4.Cross-train others in the company to handle bookkeeping.
    • 5.Perform background checks before hiring new employees.
    • 6.Use dual control.
    • 7.Have your CPA or outside bookkeeper perform unannounced spot audits.
    • 8.Be careful who you hire as an outside financial services provider.
    • 9.Back up your computer information regularly. 
    • 10.In the early stages of your business, you may be able to monitor much of the cash-control procedures yourself.
  • Financial Statements 


How to Create Financial Statements

In the last chapter, we explored establishing a good bookkeeping system for your new business. And while a well-organized bookkeeping system is vital, even more critical is what you do with it to establish your methods for financial management and control. 

  • Creating Financial Statements
  • Income Statement 
    • Sales.
    • Cost of goods sold.
    • Gross profit.
    • Operating expenses.
    • Depreciation.
    • Operating profit.
    • Other income and expenses.
    • Net profit before taxes.
    • Income taxes.
    • Net profit after taxes.
  • Balance Sheet 
    • Current assets.
    • Fixed assets.
    • Intangible assets.
    • Other assets.
    • Current liabilities.
    • Long-term liabilities.
    • Owner’s equity.
  • Cash-Flow Statement 
  • Balance Boosters 
    • Practice good inventory management.
    • Concentrate on higher margin items.
    • Take full advantage of trade terms.
    • Shop for lower-priced suppliers.
    • Control operating expenses better.
    • Extend bank loans on longer terms.
  • Cash-Flow Analysis 


Effectively Managing Your Finances

In this chapter, we will explore how to analyze the data that results from an effective financial management and control system. Additionally, we’ll consider the key elements of a good budgeting system.

  • Gross Profit Margin and Markup
  • Gross Profit Margin
  • Computing Markup
  • Break-Even Analysis
  • Solopreneur Plan of Attack 
    • Start with a plan.
    • Keep an eye on all expenses.
    • Hire help only when you need it.
    • Don’t quit your day job—yet.
    • Rely on automation where you can.
    • Keep building skills.
  • Working Capital Analysis 
  • Building a Financial Budget 
  • What Do You Budget? 
  • How Do You Budget? 
  • Sensitivity Analysis


How to Pay Yourself 

It’s your business and your budget—which means the size of your paycheck is entirely up to you. But while the freedom of setting your own salary sounds great in theory, in practice most business owners find it a tough call.

  • What You Need 
  • What Your Business Can Afford 


What You Need to Know about Your Taxes 

When it comes to taxes, there’s no way to get around the fact that you have to pay them regularly. Federal, state, and local taxes combined can take a big chunk out of your company’s money, leaving you with less cash to operate your business. 

  • First Things First 
  • Ins and Outs of Payroll Taxes
  • Declaration of Independents 
  • Selecting Your Tax Year
  • Filing Your Tax Return
  • Sales Taxes
  • Tax-Deductible Business Expenses 
  • Equipment Purchases 
  • Business Expenses 
  • Auto Expenses 
  • Meal and Entertainment Expenses 
  • Travel Expenses 
  • Home Office
  • Tax Deduction Organization Tips 
    • 1.Keep your receipts.
    • 2.Note what the purpose was on all business receipts.
    • 3.Scan receipts, and keep them at least six years. 
    • 4.Keep a daily business journal.
    • 5.Don’t rely on bank statements and cancelled checks.
    • 6.Avoid cash.
  • Tax Planning


Below are 22 qualities that make great leaders, gathered from various sources, including CEOs, authors, founders, a former governor, and others. Consider which qualities you possess and those you need to further develop. 

1.Focus. “It’s been said that leadership is making important but unpopular decisions. 

2.Confidence. “A leader instills confidence and ‘followership’ by having a clear vision, showing empathy and being a strong coach.

3.Transparency. “I’ve never bought into the concept of ‘wearing the mask.’

4.Integrity. “Our employees are direct reflections of the values we embody as leaders. 

5.Inspiration. People always say I’m a self- made man. But there is no such thing. Leaders aren’t self-made; they are driven.

6.Passion. “You must love what you do. In order to be truly successful at something, you must obsess over it and let it consume you.

7.Innovation. “In any system with finite resources and infinite expansion of population—like your business, or like all of humanity—innovation is essential for not only success but also survival.

8.Patience. Patience is really courage that’s meant to test your commitment to your cause. The path to great things is always tough, but the best leaders understand when to abandon the cause and when to stay the course.

9.Stoicism. “It’s inevitable: We’re going to find ourselves in some real shit situations, whether they’re costly mistakes, unexpected failures, or unscrupulous enemies. Stoicism is, at its core, accepting and anticipating this in advance so that you don’t freak out, react emotionally, and aggravate things further. Train our minds, consider the worst-case scenarios, and regulate our unhelpful instinctual responses—that’s how we make sure shit situations don’t turn into fatal resolutions.”

10.Wonkiness. Understanding the underlying numbers is the best thing I’ve done for my business. As we have a subscription-based service, the biggest impact on our bottom line was to decrease our churn rate.

11.Authenticity. It’s true that imitation is one of the greatest forms of flattery, but not when it comes to leadership—and every great leader in my life, from Mike Tomlin to Olympic ski coach Scott Rawles, led from a place of authenticity.

12.Open-mindedness. One of the biggest myths is that good business leaders are great visionaries with dogged determination to stick to their goals no matter what. It’s nonsense. The truth is leaders need to keep an open mind while being flexible and adjust if necessary.

13.Decisiveness. “In high school and college, to pick up extra cash, I would often referee recreational basketball games. The mentor who taught me how to officiate gave his refs one important piece of advice that translates well into the professional world: ‘Make the call fast, make the call loud, and don’t look back.’ In marginal situations, a decisively made wrong call will often lead to better long-term results and a stronger team than a wishy-washy decision that turns out to be right.”

14.Personableness. “We all provide something unique to this world, and we can all smell when someone isn’t being real. The more you focus on genuine connections with people and look for ways to help them— rather than just focus on what they can do for you—the more likable and personable you become. This isn’t required to be a great leader, but it is to be a respected leader, which can make all the difference in your business.”

15.Empowerment. “Many of my leadership philosophies were learned as an athlete. My most successful teams didn’t always have the most talent but did have teammates with the right combination of skills, strengths, and a common trust in each other. To build an overachieving team, you need to delegate responsibility and authority. Giving away responsibilities isn’t always easy. It can be harder to do than completing the task yourself, but with the right project selection and support, delegating can pay off in dividends. It is how you truly find people’s capabilities and get the most out of them.”

16.Positivity. “In order to achieve greatness, you must create a culture of optimism. There will be many ups and downs, but the prevalence of positivity will keep the company going. But be warned: this requires fearlessness. You have to truly believe in making the impossible possible.”

17.Generosity. “My main goal has always been to offer the best of myself. We all grow—as a collective whole—when I’m able to build up others and help them grow as individuals.”

18.Persistence. “A great leader once told me, ‘persistence beats resistance.’ And after working at Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft and starting my own company, I’ve learned two major lessons: all great things take time, and you must persist no matter what. That’s what it takes to be a leader: willingness to go beyond where others will stop.”

19.Insightfulness. “It takes insight every day to be able to separate that which is really important from all the incoming fire. It’s like wisdom—it can be improved with time, if you’re paying attention, but it has to exist in your character. It’s inherent. When your insight is right, you look like a genius. And when your insight is wrong, you look like an idiot.”

20.Communication. “If people aren’t aware of your expectations and they fall short, it’s really your fault for not expressing it to them. The people I work with are in constant communication, probably to a fault. But communication is a balancing act. You might have a specific want or need, but it’s super important to treat work as a collaboration. We always want people to tell us their thoughts and ideas—that’s why we have all these very talented people working with us.”

21.Accountability. It’s a lot easier to assign blame than to hold yourself accountable. But if you want to know how to do it right, learn from financial expert Larry Robbins. 

22.Restlessness. “It takes real leadership to find the strengths within each person on your team and then be willing to look outside to plug the gaps. It’s best to believe that your team alone does not have all the answers—be-cause if you believe that, it usu- ally means you’re not asking all the right questions.”


1.Self-awareness. Great leaders are deeply knowledgeable about themselves and committed to their own personal development. To be great, we must do the same. The most influential people on earth, those who have left the most significant impact, led from the heart. Empathy is not some- thing we learn from a book. It is gained through suffering.

2.Self-control. Empathy is most easily sacrificed when we’re upset, angry, or disappointed with another person. We tend to be the most hurtful and impatient in these situations. The important thing to try and practice is taking a moment to get clear before speaking. 

3.Communication. Empathy is the great healer of miscommunication. It is the emotion that moves people and situations through times of being stuck. Without empathy, solutions are forceful rather than powerful. Exceptional leaders count on empathy as a catalyst for change. It makes communication a two-way, collaborative, reflective process. It allows for vulnerability. With empathy, people feel seen and important. 

4.Other-centered. When we’re empathic, we care about how other people are. Exceptional leaders ask others how they are doing, what they need, and what they feel. This increases bonding, honesty, and connection. When we have a clear idea of how others feel about what they’re doing, we can better support and guide them. When others trust that we support them, they realize they’re not alone and without help. 

5.Boundaries. Exceptional leaders expect to face situations where they realize the only way a person on their team can grow is to either withdraw their support from that person or to set boundaries around their support in an effort to protect their generous nature. To remain empathic, great leaders know they must protect their hearts and put themselves first in negative situations. Through trial and error, we must also understand that there are people who can stay in our hearts but not in our lives or businesses.

6.Kindness. Great leaders lead from the heart. They live the wisdom that is the kindness of their spirit; how they treat, think about, and relate to others makes all the difference when it comes to developing a cohesive team driven to succeed. When we’re kind, we naturally come from a genuine and sensitive place. Exceptional leaders are kind and use empathy to guide their every word, deed, and action. When we have this, we are able to be kind—even to those we do not care for.

7.Selfless. Great leaders give back. They understand that they get more from giving than from getting. When we give back, it increases our own quality of life and our perception of what we have, and it reminds us to be thankful for our lives as we witness the impact we have on the lives of others. When we give back, we feel good. It reminds us of the love and abundance we have in our lives, inspiring us to continue to strive to succeed to have more and more to give back.

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Product details

  • File Size: 11524 KB
  • Print Length: 766 pages
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press; Sixth edition (January 19, 2015)
  • Publication Date: January 19, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00R3L71WE
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Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You'll Ever Need
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2 thoughts on “Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need By The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. and Jason Feifer Book Review

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