Book of Lists Offers 'Streetwise' Business Advice

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Pawlak

"Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists" edited by Gene Marks, Adams Media, $19.95.

Whether you're thinking of starting a business or you own one, you need this book. Calling it a "Book of Lists" truly undersells its value as a reference tool for small business.

There's an abundance of "how to" and solid operational information in this tool, too. Here are some examples:

These days every small business needs a technology consultant. Yet, how many owners know enough about IT to ask prospective consultants the right questions?

The Geek Section (Chapter 6) provides 10 questions and explanations of what to look for in the answers. The chapter also contains information about setting up the "right" system for your business, how to use the Web and software choices. There's a list of small business resource Web sites, too.

Day-to-Day (Chapter 4) covers operations. For retailers, there's information about shopping for the best deal when it comes to set up costs and monthly fees for credit card and debit card processing. The card-processing equipment choices are mind boggling, too. The book's six simple questions and explanations demystify that process.

Your Customers and Prospects (Chapter 7) starts with B2B customer relationship management (CRM) programs. It explains what it takes to launch a successful CRM initiative and the missteps.

You'll find a list of 10 CRM vendors specializing in small and medium businesses. You'l find other lists, too.

On the B2B hiring side: interview questions for prospective sales managers and salespeople and reasons for using recruiting firms. On the sales force side: seven tips on closing deals, 11 on general prospecting and 10 on cold-calling.

Chapter 1, Starting Up, is an eye-opener. It includes a discussion of the seven typical characteristics of entrepreneurs: advance planning, advance organization, successful employee scouting, ability to delegate, ability to oversee work, setting standards, and determination. …