Small Business Techniques Booklets
“Get It In Writing”
Small Business Techniques Booklets provide the written reference to support discussions at workshops and consulting sessions.
- Ten booklets collect the techniques for ten major business themes (e.g. growth, operations, managing people).
- Get the most relevant articles from Tom’s books and blogs, organized for easy reference.
- Each booklet contains 12 to 21 articles in a .PDF file you can download for $6.99.
Click the plus sign(+) below to see contents and order.
Starting a successful business depends on both the person and the idea. That idea is not just a product of service. It’s a Business Model, showing how you will marshal resources and partners to deliver something that fits customer needs and market trends profitably. When the person and the idea are right, good execution provides a chance for success.
This booklet explains techniques to assess both entrepreneurs and opportunities, from RESPICT to Business Model. It also explains how to set and evaluate your goals for the new business, and how to use cash flow and income statements to see how to meet those goals.
This booklet explains a powerful technique for envisioning your business (“Imagining Excellence”), and tells you how to write a business plan, analyze competitors choose your edge, and forecast sales. It explains business plan financials, and provides a roadmap covering all the steps needed to launch your business.
It takes money to make money – to build a business. But most of the money can come from others, you don’t need it all at the start, and some prudent cost management can make the amount manageable.
This booklet explains techniques for determining how much you need when, including borrowing to cover the cost of loan payments. It identifies many sources for cash, for both loans and equity investments (friends and family, angels, crowd-funding), and explains the kind of entrepreneur and deal each of them prefers.
In addition to good planning and adequate financing, effective marketing is the third key to business success or failure. Marketing is not just communications. It includes product variations, pricing and discounts, where the product is sold (location), and communications.
This booklet explains techniques for three of the famous 4 Ps: Product, Pricing, and Promotion, i.e. Communications. Learn how why and how to bundle services into tiers, set the shop rate, structure your pricing, and plan communications that don’t “break the bank.” Techniques for the other “P” (Place, or who sells where) are explained in the Sales booklet.
This booklet explains sales techniques such as finding distributors, B2B sales, managing salespeople, and sales support. It gives you winning negotiating techniques, from research to BATNA to style. And it explains how to use a disciplined framework for making decisions and assessing alternatives.
Happy employees please customers and keep them coming back. Unhappy employees drive away customers. This is especially true for small businesses due to their high interaction between employee and customer.
The least risky and most predictable lever for growing profits is managing employees so they do their best. Why? Because owners know their employees and can influence their behaviors more easily than they can influence prospects, customers, distributors, and suppliers.
This booklet explains techniques for motivation, compensation, the breakthrough conversation, setting employees up for success, delegation, goal-setting, and special techniques for special situations: family employees, new hires, leaders in the ranks, and departing employees.
Operations are the foundation of the business. Growth requires a firm foundation, so improve your operations before major expansion moves. The good news is that improving operations involves less risk than growing revenue, and the results happen much faster, because the owner has more control over operations than over the decisions of potential customers. The payoffs in efficiency and quality can help boost revenues, reduce costs, and raise profits. What else is there?
This booklet explains how to find improvement opportunities, measure quality, manage bottlenecks, map and improve processes, forecast workload, staff operations, and manage suppliers.
This booklet explains growth techniques ranging from low risk moves (“quick wins,” developing current customers, changing something to attract new ones) to the major efforts: new segment, new collector/aggregator, new market, and new product.
Turnarounds save distressed businesses — those running out of cash. More customers is their dream, but serving more customers with unprofitable products, inefficient processes, wasted resources, and unfocused management does not change the fundamental cause of distress. What’s needed is a review of the business model, marketing, and operations, all under the pressure of seemingly impossible cash demands.
This booklet explains early warning signs of distress and several turnaround techniques, starting with situation analysis. It looks at customer and branding issues as well as financing and restructuring alternatives, including how bankruptcy can provide the breathing room to reinvigorate the business.
The ultimate payoff for growing your business is the opportunity to sell it to fund either retirement or your next venture. Selling your business is the end result of a thoughtful process, beginning as early as the time you started or bought into the business. Unfortunately, the skills you developed to manage and grow the business do not prepare you to sell it.
This booklet explains the business sales process so you can prepare for yourself and the business to win the payoff for your life’s work. It shows you how to protect and project the value of your business through valuation, making the business ready for sale, choosing exit alternatives, due diligence, and negotiating key deal terms. A special section covers Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and their unique tax advantages.