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201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-91966-8
336 pages
May 2011
201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, 3rd Edition (0470919663) cover image
Completely revised and updated edition of this very popular and successful small business book

The first edition of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business was hailed by management guru and author Tom Peters as "Brilliantly researched. Brilliantly written. A gem of priceless value on almost every page. Read. Inhale. Absorb. Great Stuff!"

In this completely updated third edition of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, renowned small-business expert and consultant Jane Applegate shares new, powerful, creative, simple, and proven approaches for building a better small business.

  • Details how business owners can use online marketing and social networking more effectively
  • Offers timely strategies for thriving in challenging economic times
  • Includes scores of real-life success stories and all-new interviews with small-business owners, experts, and VIP's including Guy Kawasaki, Kay Koplovitz, and Michael Bloomberg

It may be small, but your business is a big deal to you, your customers, and employees. 201 Great Ideas provides lively, practical strategies to help you manage, grow, and promote your business.

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Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Management Strategies 1

1. Always Deal with Decision Makers 2

2. Never Work with Anyone Who Gives You a Headache or a Stomachache 3

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Reinvent Your Business 5

4. Add Spirituality to Your Business Life 7

5. Ask for a Quick “Yes” or “No” 9

6. Say Goodbye to Corporate Life 10

7. Create an Informal Advisory Board 12

8. Move Your Business into an Incubator 14

9. Organize a Company Retreat 16

10. Create a Greener and Safer Workplace 17

11. Think Ergonomically 19

12. Make Meetings More Productive 21

13. Meet Clients in Elegant Public Places 21

14. Work the Phones or Walk the Floor 22

15. Join or Create a Peer Support Group 23

16. Know When to Reach Out for Help 26

17. Hire a Great Lawyer 27

18. Seek Help from a Restaurant Consultant 29

19. Thank Everyone You Work With 32

20. Move Your Business into a Main Street Revitalization Zone 32

21. Ask Your Staff to Evaluate You 34

22. Cross-Train Your Employees 35

23. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan 36

Chapter 2 Money Matters 39

24. Become a Profit Enhancement Officer 41

25. Write a Killer Business Plan 42

26. More Insider Tips to Woo Investors 43

27. Find Yourself an Angel 44

28. Hire a Virtual Chief Financial Offi cer 47

29. Choose the Right Bank 48

30. Create a Sensitivity Analysis 50

31. Find a Good Accountant 50

32. Work with an Enrolled Agent to Do Your Taxes 52

33. Find a Strategic Partner to Invest in Your Company 53

34. Even Out Your Cash Flow 55

35. Consider Buying a Franchise 56

36. Franchise Your Business Concept 57

37. Barter for Goods and Services 59

38. Seek Vendor Financing 60

39. EB-5 Visas for Foreign Investors 61

40. Invest in Yourself by Tapping Your 401(k) 63

41. Apply for a Government-Backed Bank Loan 64

42. Invoice Bimonthly and Add an Overhead Charge 65

43. Ask for a Deposit 66

44. Lock Your Supply Cabinet 66

45. Set Up a Retirement Plan 67

46. Establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) 68

47. Find a Good Independent Insurance Broker 69

48. Buy Disability Insurance 70

49. Hire a Debt Arbitrator 72

50. Collect the Money People Owe You 73

51. Accept Credit Cards 74

52. Work Part Time to Support Your Business 75

53. Expand Your Vendor Network 77

54. Check Out Economic Development Incentives 78

55. Produce an Independent Film 79

56. Buy Prepaid Legal Insurance or Make a Deal with a Law Firm 82

57. Find the Right Offi ce Space 82

58. Hire a Savvy Real Estate Broker 84

59. Share Space with a Compatible Business 85

60. Buy Used Offi ce Furnishings 86

61. Sell Your Business at the Right Time and Price 87

62. Sell Your Company to an Industry Giant 88

Chapter 3 Technology and Telecommunications 91

63. Twitter for Business: Tips from Guy Kawasaki 94

64. Facebook Tips for Business Owners 95

65. Use Skype for Business 96

66. Set Up a Teleconference 97

67. Make the Most of Voice Mail 99

68. Don’t Let E-Mail Rule or Ruin Your Life 100

69. Take This Technology Checkup 101

70. Smart Technology and Telecommunication Toys to Buy for Your Business 102

71. Post Videos and Photos on Your Web Site 103

72. Consider a Cloud-Based Telephone Service 103

73. Create a Dynamic Web Site 104

74. The Truth about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 106

75. Hire a Great Web Designer 107

76. Run Your Business in the Cloud 109

77. Use Online Mailing Solutions 110

78. Train Employees Online 111

79. Sell Products Online 112

80. Visit My Favorite Web Sites 113

Chapter 4 Develop and Launch New Products and Services 115

81. Create a Fad 117

82. Import Something New and Diff erent 118

83. Turn Your Hobby into a Successful Business 119

84. Become an Exclusive Importer 121

85. Launch a Green Product 123

86. Build a Working Model of Your Product 124

87. Make a Model with 3-D Software 126

88. Serve the High and Low Ends of the Market 127

89. Partner with a Big Company for Distribution 129

90. Take Advantage of an Online Technology Exchange 130

91. Have Your Product Mandated for Use by the Government 134

92. Create a Business Based on a Personal Challenge 135

93. Sell Your Wares in a Farmer’s Market 135

94. Set Up a Cart in a Shopping Mall 137

Chapter 5 Marketing Strategies 141

95. Strike a Deal with a Giant 143

96. Look Bigger Online 144

97. Take Advantage of Co-op Advertising 145

98. Market to Callers on Hold 147

99. Consider Multilevel Marketing: Send Out Cards 148

100. Cross-Promote Your Products or Services 150

101. Sell through a Dealer Network 152

102. Create a Cool Business Card 153

103. Create a Dynamic Database 154

104. Package Your Products for Success 155

105. Give to Charity 156

106. Use Coupons to Attract Customers 158

107. Use Food as a Selling Tool 159

108. Set Up a Strong Referral Network 160

109. Give It Away 161

110. Design a Great Sign for Your Business 162

111. Produce an Infomercial 163

112. Put a Pig in Your Window 165

113. Put Your Company Name on Everything 166

114. Free Up Your Sales Team to Sell 167

115. Hire a Celebrity Spokesperson 168

116. Publish a Newsletter or Blog 169

117. Market Your Consulting Services 170

118. Host an Open House 171

119. Use Great Public Relations to Promote Your Business 172

120. Coproduce a Seminar 175

121. Ask for Two Business Cards 176

122. Treat Your Best Clients Well 176

123. Invite Associates to a Trade Show 177

124. Know Your Competition 178

125. Tap the Growing Hispanic Market 181

126. Make Your 800 Number Ring 182

127. Attend Charity Events to Make Contacts 183

128. Publicize Your Specialty Food Business 184

129. Market to Uncle Sam and Other Agencies 185

130. Get Certifi ed as a Woman- or Minority-Owned Business 187

131. Don’t Forsake the Yellow Pages 188

132. Send Pizza to Potential Clients 189

133. Think BIG—Why Not? 189

Chapter 6 People 193

134. Cast a Wide Net to Attract Good Employees 195

135. Write Clear Job Descriptions 196

136. Know What Not to Ask Job Applicants 197

137. Recruit Great Employees 198

138. Look Far and Wide for the Best Person 199

139. Work with People You Like 200

140. Hire Talented Seniors 201

141. Hire Teenagers 202

142. Use the BATH System for Hiring 203

143. Perform a Personnel Checkup 204

144. Hire a Welfare Recipient 206

145. Hire Ex-Cons 207

146. Telecommuting as an Option 209

147. Tailor Benefi ts to Employees’ Needs 210

148. Off er Classes in English as a Second Language 211

149. Find Out How Disney Does It 211

150. Ask Your Best Clients to Meet Key Job Candidates 213

151. Hire an Experienced Labor Attorney 214

152. Hire an Interim Executive 215

153. Train Your Employees 217

154. Off er Employees the Right Incentives 218

155. How to Deal with Domestic Violence 219

156. Be Serious about Your Sexual Harassment Policy 221

157. Rely on Temps and Freelancers 222

158. Work with a Virtual Talent Agency 223

159. Send Gifts to an Employee’s Spouse 225

Chapter 7 Time and Personal Management Ideas 227

160. Get Organized—Right Now 228

161. Appoint a Personal Information Offi cer 231

162. Plan “In” Days and “Out” Days 231

163. Beat Your Deadlines 232

164. Spend an Hour a Day Thinking 233

165. Five Quick Time Management Tips 234

166. Work Hard and Play Harder 234

167. Tell the Truth 235

168. Overcome a Fear of Public Speaking—Join Toastmasters 236

169. Find a Mentor and Be a Mentor 237

170. Do Something to Reduce Stress 239

171. Put on a Happy Face 240

Chapter 8 Customer Service 243

172. Customer Service the Zappos Way 244

173. Quick Customer Service Quiz 246

174. Hire a Mystery Shopper 246

175. Listen to the Telephone Doctor 248

176. Don’t Make Your Customers Angry 249

177. Make House Calls or Have a Trunk Sale 250

178. Make Apparel to Order 251

179. Demand Great Service from Vendors 253

180. Get to Know Your Customers Personally 253

181. Wrap It Up 255

182. Customer Service at Its Best 256

Chapter 9 Going Global 259

183. Return to Your Homeland to Export Products 261

184. Move Your Manufacturing to Mexico 263

185. Forge an International Alliance 265

186. Do Business in India 266

187. Explore Opportunities in Russia 268

188. Do Business in China 269

189. Meet U.S. Safety Rules for Products Made Abroad 270

190. Learn about a Culture before Going Abroad 271

191. Translate Your Marketing Materials 272

192. Abide by the Etiquette of International Trade 273

Chapter 10 Great Ideas and Insights from VIPs 275

193. Herb Kelleher—Be a Maverick 275

194. Lynn Tilton—Be a Modern Industrialist 277

195. Mike Bloomberg—Keep It Simple 278

196. Tom Peters—Forget Credentials 282

197. Kay Koplovitz—Leverage a New Technology 283

198. Wally Amos—Reinvent Yourself 284

199. Lillian Vernon—Advice from the Mail-Order Queen 285

200. Charles Shackleton—Follow Your Passion 287

201. Set Your Ego Aside and Ask for Help 288

Conclusion 289

Resources 291

About the Author 305

Index 307

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JANE APPLEGATE is one of the nation's most respected business journalists and an award-winning writer and producer. A successful small business owner in her own right, she is the CEO of The Applegate Group, a multimedia communications and production company that produces original small business content for clients, independent films, documentaries, promotional videos, and events.
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