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90 Days to Success as a Small Business Owner

Book Description

While successful businesses may begin with a great idea, they need more than a great idea to grow and prosper; they need 90 DAYS TO SUCCESS AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER. Built upon the principle that a keen understanding of business and marketing principles is vital to small business success the book will offer you the essential tools for gaining a solid understanding of these core concepts. Topics range from product positioning, pricing, and advertising to employee management, customer service, and brand loyalty. With an emphasis on proven methods and concrete action items, the book also includes quick-reference checklists and other handy features that will quickly make this an invaluable addition to the library of any business owner.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. About the Author
  3. Introduction
    1. The Perks
  4. 1. In the Beginning
    1. Getting Creative Ideas
    2. What Are You Waiting For?
    3. What Does It Take?
    4. The Goals of Marketing
    5. The Commandments of Business Marketing
    6. Join Up
    7. Common Business Mistakes
    8. Action Plan
  5. 2. Smart Guide to Startup
    1. Home Business Setup
    2. Small Office Startup
    3. Your New Retail Store Location
    4. Mission Statement
    5. What’s Your Marketing Plan?
    6. Naming a New Business
    7. Merchant Services for Credit Cards
    8. Startup Blues: Nothing Will Happen without Marketing
    9. Jump-Starting Your New Business before It Opens
    10. Making a Wish List
    11. Making a Bigger Impression
    12. Working with Suppliers
    13. Finding New Suppliers
    14. Pursuing New Customers
    15. Action Plan
  6. 3. Franchises
    1. What Franchise Should You Choose?
    2. Where Do You Find a Franchise?
    3. Questions about Buying a Franchise
    4. The Franchise Agreement
    5. The Franchise Manual
    6. The Training Period
    7. Big Brother Is Watching
    8. Is There Any Risk?
    9. Action Plan
  7. 4. Advertising
    1. Setting an Advertising Budget
    2. Advertising to Four Levels
    3. Print Ad Copy Questions
    4. Headlines
    5. Hot Words
    6. Where’s My Ad?
    7. Is It an Ad?
    8. Competitors’ Advertising
    9. An Advertising Agency
    10. Where’s Your Business Card?
    11. Sign of the Times
    12. Do It Outdoors
    13. Your Moving Billboard
    14. TV Direct Response
    15. Let’s Try an Infomercial
    16. Message on Hold
    17. Piggyback—Cheap!
    18. Co-Op Advertising
    19. A Final Thought on Advertising
    20. Action Plan
  8. 5. Publicity
    1. Publicity versus Advertising
    2. Press the Press
    3. Tips for Getting Publicity
    4. If a Reporter Calls
    5. On-the-Air Publicity
    6. Publicity by Speaking
    7. Publicity by Writing
    8. Do Something Outrageous!
    9. Action Plan
  9. 6. Direct Mail
    1. Mail Your Customers
    2. Effective Direct Mail
    3. Mailing Lists
    4. Consumer Targets
    5. Consumer Direct Mail
    6. Business Direct Mail
    7. Layout and Design
    8. Evaluate Your Response
    9. Direct Mail Timing
    10. Co-Op Direct Mail
    11. Action Plan
  10. 7. Business Promotions
    1. Coupons versus Rebates
    2. Show Off Your Logo
    3. Collaborate with Your Strip Mall Neighbors
    4. Special Discount Days and Nights
    5. Fast-Food Delivery Convenience
    6. Stick with Magnets
    7. Sponsor a Nonprofit
    8. Nonprofit Your Way to Profits
    9. Cross-Promotions
    10. Have a Contest
    11. Don’t Be Unoccupied
    12. Celebrate Your Anniversary
    13. A Weekend at the Mall
    14. Some Other Fun, Profitable, and Outrageous Promotions
    15. Action Plan
  11. 8. The Website
    1. Purpose of Your Website
    2. Some Design Ideas
    3. Website Don’ts
    4. Promoting Your Site
    5. Lure Visitors Back with Interesting Bait
    6. Order Follow-Up
    7. Getting Attention
    8. Don’t Let Your Site Get Stale
    9. Be Charitable
    10. Social Media
    11. Blogs
    12. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
    13. Asking Permission First
    14. Action Plan
  12. 9. Pricing Strategies
    1. Pricing Headaches
    2. Higher Prices!
    3. Raising Prices
    4. Lowering Prices
    5. Pricing Strategies
    6. Offer Platinum, Gold, and Silver Levels
    7. Being the High-Priced Brand
    8. Loss Leaders
    9. Customer Quotes
    10. Price and Quality
    11. Prices on Window Items?
    12. Action Plan
  13. 10. Face-to-Face Selling
    1. What Is a Sales Professional?
    2. The Decision Maker
    3. Ears before Mouth
    4. Some Good Things to Know
    5. Don’t Ignore the Advisors
    6. Closing Signals
    7. Make Lunch Pay Off
    8. The Honeymoon Is Over?
    9. Should You Take the Small Order?
    10. Ready to Buy?
    11. Your Personal Billboard
    12. Break the Ice!
    13. Play Your Cards Right
    14. Dress for a Sale
    15. Qualify the Buyer
    16. Sales Rejection
    17. I’m Still Waiting...
    18. Ace in the Hole
    19. Don’t Lose More Than the Sale
    20. No Ceiling on Sales Commission
    21. Reduce Your Sales Staff
    22. Be a Yankee Peddler
    23. Action Plan
  14. 11. Retail Sales
    1. Why Should Customers Shop at a Small Store?
    2. Finding Retail Employees
    3. Hiring Part-Time Employees
    4. Entice Customers to Visit the Store
    5. Be Customer Friendly
    6. Customer Satisfaction
    7. So You Want to Have a Sale
    8. Overstocks, Deals, and Consignments
    9. When Goliath Moves into Town
    10. Why Offer a Discount?
    11. Use Gift Cards
    12. Offer a Big Selection
    13. Senior Sales
    14. The Unfriendly Customer
    15. The Indecisive Customer
    16. Impulse Buyers
    17. Slow-Day Marketing Ideas
    18. Hey, I’ve Got a Coupon!
    19. Get Visitors’ Business
    20. Retail Payment Choices
    21. Let Their Fingers Do the Walking
    22. Store within a Store
    23. Keep It Clean
    24. Free Displays and Signs
    25. Action Plan
  15. 12. Business-to-Business Sales
    1. Finding New Business
    2. Respond Quickly
    3. You Score Better in Your Ballpark
    4. You Must Follow Up
    5. The Lowest Bidder?
    6. Be Their Associate Buyer
    7. Reorder Reminders
    8. All Your Eggs in One Basket
    9. Taking the Order and Billing
    10. Late Deliveries and Problems
    11. Coupons, Bells, and Whistles
    12. Host a Seminar
    13. Letters of Recommendation
    14. Problem Customers
    15. Action Plan
  16. 13. Tradeshows
    1. Finding the Right Shows
    2. Reasons for Exhibiting
    3. Tradeshow Expenses
    4. Selecting a Space
    5. Getting Your Exhibit/Display
    6. Generate Tradeshow Traffic
    7. Working Your Booth
    8. Lead a Seminar
    9. After the Show
    10. Getting the Most out of Attending a Tradeshow
    11. Action Plan
  17. 14. Telemarketing
    1. Inbound Telemarketing
    2. Outbound Telemarketing
    3. Hiring Telemarketing Employees
    4. Planning and Making the Call
    5. Telesales Lead Finders
    6. Cold-Call Fears
    7. Voicemail Smarts
    8. Is Telemarketing Paying Off?
    9. Check the Laws
    10. Some Final Telemarketing Don’ts
    11. Action Plan
  18. 15. Customer Loyalty
    1. Get Close to Your Customers
    2. Ways to Create Loyalty
    3. Ways to Destroy Loyalty
    4. Your Business Personality
    5. What’s Your Brand?
    6. Customer Cards and Tracking
    7. Loyalty Breeds Referrals
    8. Tell How or Tell Who
    9. A Doctor’s Loyalty
    10. Action Plan
  19. 16. Customer Service
    1. Keep Your Customers
    2. Wear Your Customers’ Shoes
    3. The Customer Is Angry
    4. Customer Service Don’ts
    5. Look Down to See the Profits
    6. Rally the Troops
    7. Reward Great Service
    8. Employee of the Month
    9. Don’t Lock ’Em Out
    10. Pay Attention
    11. One-Hundred Percent Satisfaction
    12. Transaction Time
    13. The Good, the Bad, and the Real
    14. Action Plan
  20. 17. Financial Crisis
    1. Financial Crisis Planning
    2. Know What You Need
    3. Unemployment Numbers and You
    4. Banks and Small Business
    5. Hold Your Prices
    6. Defer Debt
    7. Reduce Fixed Expenses
    8. Sell Off Anything
    9. Keep Marketing
    10. Network, Network, Network
    11. Contingency Plans
    12. Action Plan
  21. 18. In the End
    1. Know Your Competitors
    2. Cultivate Your Ideas
    3. Risk Taking
    4. Small-Business Networking
    5. Cornucopia of Information
    6. Buy Your Umbrella When the Sun is Shining
    7. Why Businesses Fail
    8. Strength in Numbers
    9. A Final Thought
  22. A. Myths of Small Business
  23. B. Additional Resources