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The Street Smart MBA: 10 Proven Strategies for Driving Business Success

Book Description

Business schools have long enticed students into their MBA programs with the promise that, after a short stint spent studying the ins and outs of the business world, they will be able to step right into the upper echelons of management or launch a business that soon has them flitting about the world in a private jet. "Sounds great," you say. "Sign me up!"

Not so fast. Sure, business school might prove a necessary prerequisite for those aiming to gain employment at a large financial institution, land a job with a consultancy, or accelerate their journey to managerial superstardom at a Fortune 500 company. But for aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners alike, the truth of the matter is this: The ability to get a business off the ground and running successfully is not the byproduct of toiling away in a classroom, learning esoteric subjects like the economics of competition. Rather, all it takes to start and run a truly successful business are a few sensible, time-proven techniques that have been needlessly forgotten in business innovators' haste to reinvent the wheel. That's why, in The Street Smart MBA, Steve Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti, Jr., encourage you to ditch class—or, better yet, ditch b-school altogether—and go back to the business basics with a series of ten simple steps that will do more for your company than the letters M, B, and A ever will.

There are no forays into game theory in The Street Smart MBA, no parables, and no intellectualizing. Instead what you will find is a practical, easy-to-understand, step-by-step business strategy guide that encourages you to revive a handful of basic yet essential practices that many business owners have lost sight of, such as:

  • Building a brand that is so synonymous with quality that you'll be able to maximize your company's profits in no time;

  • Turning your company's products and services into profits by finding your company a niche, working with deadlines, and honoring your company's image above all else;

  • Dealing with customer complaints head-on so that you can turn gripes into opportunities;

  • Doing favors, mentoring, and sending gifts, in order to grow your business network;

  • And much more.

With its emphasis on ten simple yet time-honored principles that lead to business success, The Street Smart MBA is all the business education that entrepreneurs with great ideas and business owners with the drive to succeed will ever need.

What you'll learn

  • Practical, proven advice on building a brand that maximizes your company's profits

  • How to get people to help your company out and give you invaluable information (for free)

  • Simple steps and checklists for developing products and services your company can profit from

  • Marketing techniques that will turn your company's services and products into profits

  • Money-saving tactics that will save your company's bottom line

  • Practical pointers for minimizing your pain and maximizing your gain when managing people

Who this book is for

The Street Smart MBA is geared toward the tens of millions of businesspeople who own or run small, medium, and large businesses or are planning to do so in the future. Additionally, the book will appeal to college students and young professionals who are contemplating whether or not to attend business school; novice and seasoned entrepreneurs alike who want to position their new venture for business success; and even current undergraduate and MBA students who are thinking about starting up a company and have begun searching for an alternative business education that will help them do so.

Table of Contents

  1. Titlepage
  2. Contents
  3. About the Authors
  4. Introduction
  5. Summary of Summaries
    1. Chapter 1. Build a Superb Brand
    2. Chapter 2. Grow and Tap Your Network
    3. Chapter 3. Develop Products Customers Love
    4. Chapter 4. Sell Your Products and Services Cost Effectively
    5. Chapter 5. Control Your Costs and Increase Your Productivity
    6. Chapter 6. Take Charge
    7. Chapter 7. Recruit, Motivate, and Retain a Superior Workforce
    8. Chapter 8. Deal with Customer Complaints Head-On
    9. Chapter 9. Manage Yourself
    10. Chapter 10. Become a Better Negotiator
  6. Chapter 1: Step 1: Build a Superb Brand
    1. 1. Build your brand through an intense focus on quality.
    2. 2. Turn down business that risks damaging your brand.
    3. 3. Define and reinforce your brand with a well thought out tagline
    4. 4. Treat your customers with respect and do not jerk them around.
  7. Chapter 2: Step 2: Grow and Tap Your Network
    1. 1. Give a heads up and do favors.
    2. 2. Send a gift.
    3. 3. Mentor
    4. 4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  8. Chapter 3: Step 3: Develop Products Customers Love
    1. 1. Listen to your customers.
    2. 2. Before you proceed with a new product, have a plan that covers all the necessary elements for success.
    3. 3. Read everything.
    4. 4. Turn problems into new opportunities by seeing the problem a little differently.
    5. 5. Develop and sell product extensions.
  9. Chapter 4: Step 4: Sell Your Products and Services Cost Effectively
    1. 1. Nobody (with something to sell) knows anything about marketing.
    2. 2. Test it out and see if it works.
    3. 3. Track the results of your marketing efforts.
    4. 4. It’s the name, stupid.
    5. 5. Image is everything.
    6. 6. Understand how much a new client is worth.
    7. 7. Find yourself a niche.
    8. 8. Consider premium pricing.
    9. 9. Deadlines make things happen.
    10. 10. Offer a money back guarantee—and honor it.
    11. 11. When someone tries to sell you something, sell them something.
    12. 12. Pitch to your customers when their wallets are already open.
    13. 13. Capture and add to your database the names of potential customers.
    14. 14. Follow-up.
    15. 15. Make it simple and easy for your customer to buy from you.
  10. Chapter 5: Step 5: Control Your Costs and Increase Your Productivity
    1. 1. Do not fear technology; embrace it.
    2. 2. Shop around for the best deal and use vendors based in low-cost areas.
    3. 3. Develop long-term relationships with vendors.
    4. 4. Keep a low overhead and avoid large, fixed expenses or commitments.
    5. 5. Watch your vendors like a hawk.
    6. 6. Consider buying over renting.
    7. 7. Read the fine print.
  11. Chapter 6: Step 6: Take Charge
    1. 1. Watch the little details.
    2. 2. Answer your phone and return phone calls promptly.
    3. 3. Keep your eye on the ball.
    4. 4. Develop a protocol, along with a system of checklists to make sure you follow it.
    5. 5. Weigh likely benefits against potential risks, and don’t bet the farm.
    6. 6. Keep in contact with the competition, and cooperate where you can.
    7. 7. Win the war, not the battle.
    8. 8. Attack little problems aggressively and don’t let them turn into BIG problems.
    9. 9. Recognize what is and what is not your problem.
    10. 10. Do not rely exclusively on e-mail; pick up the phone.
  12. Chapter 7: Recruit, Motivate, and Retain a Superior Workforce
    1. 1. Give interviewees a test assignment.
    2. 2. No employee is ever too old—or too young.
    3. 3. Mercilessly get rid of the bad apples on your staff.
    4. 4. Overpay your staff.
    5. 5. Treat people you terminate with compassion and respect.
    6. 6. Be flexible with your staff.
    7. 7. Pay for performance.
  13. Chapter 8: Deal with Customer Complaints Head-On
    1. 1. Talk directly with your customers as much as you can.
    2. 2.Talk with unhappy customers on the phone or in person, and get back to them right away.
    3. 3.Get rid of problem clients so you can focus on your good clients.
    4. 4. Realize that you can never make EVERYONE happy.
    5. 5. Don’t say no. Focus on what you CAN do to help the unhappy customer.
    6. 6. Let your customers off the hook.
  14. Chapter 9: Manage Yourself
    1. 1. Take care of yourself.
    2. 2. Be persistent.
    3. 3. Don’t wait until the last minute.
    4. 4. Sleep on important decisions.
    5. 5. Have confidence in yourself.
    6. 6. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  15. Chapter 10: Become a Better Negotiator
    1. 1. In a win–win relationship, you win.
    2. 2. Build negotiating power by emphasizing the possibility of long-term business.
    3. 3. You are best off dealing with the decision maker, not an underling.
    4. 4. Information is power, so do your homework.
    5. 5. Develop an alternative to improve your bargaining position.
    6. 6. Beware of weak links in your negotiating team.
    7. 7. Be prepared to walk away.
    8. 8. Nothing should be agreed to until everything is agreed to.
  16. Index