Before I started my business almost a decade ago, I did what many of us do who see ourselves as somewhat prudent and responsible. I read whatever books and articles I could find on the topic to help me feel better about taking that leap into the unknown world of entrepreneurialism and how to be successful at it.
The sheer breadth of it was overwhelming at times.
I worked through it, though, because I knew that even though I had years of experience in big corporate America with a lot of success in leadership roles for big companies, starting something from ground zero, building it up, and managing it as a small business was a totally different animal.
Nine years later, my small business is still alive and kicking, but I've learned that every business takes twists and turns - some predictable and planned and some not so predictable. As my business has evolved to places I thought it would go and to places I wouldn't have expected, I've continuously gone back to the proverbial drawing board and done more research to address whatever turns it is taking.
Those of us who run small businesses face this constant change and evolution as part of what it means to run a small business.
The challenge is that most small businesses aren't resource rich. Finding the time and resources to research whatever new thing that we've got to learn about often happens through sheer will. As a result, it often takes a huge amount of time to do it right.
Not that I'm out there looking for shortcuts, but many current or aspiring entrepreneurs are looking for practical resources that can help with point in time needs from people who have been there and done that part of running a business.
"Small Business Hacks - 100 Shortcuts To Success"
That's the title of the book co-authored by Rieva Lesonsky - former editorial Director for Entrepreneur magazine - and Barry Moltz - host of the AM 560 Business Insanity Talk Radio. The title effectively summarizes what it is, a veritable cliff notes for small business, covering topics from how to create a mission statement or price your products to how to know when to hire your first employee or when and how to sell your business when or if that time comes.
It is a practical resource guide supplemented by other small business industry experts from the likes of Joel Libava, "The Franchise King" to leading top executives from Bank of America who work with small businesses every day.
The book isn't a story that needs to be read in chronological order. It's more of a guide offering the readers the opportunity to select what is important and on the radar screen for them and their business right there and then. The "hacks", as they are aptly labeled for our modern world, are short, practical, and easily turned into action.
The Biggest Challenge Small Business Owners Face (That Many Aren't Even Aware Of When They Start Their Business)
When I spoke with Barry about what it means to be a small business owner, he summarized the challenges he sees with small business owners based on years of providing coaching and guidance:
"A lot of people that start and run businesses don't understand the sheer breadth of the issues they will face running a business."
Most of us know our industry backwards and forwards. Or we might have incredible levels of expertise regarding the services we provide. We might be strong in finance or strategy or marketing. Regardless, though, no matter how much we know, there are a huge number of things that we don't know about running the business. And many of us (myself included during parts of my journey so far) don't know that we don't know it until we face it.
Here's a book that is an excellent resource to help us when we do face it but also to educate us on what we might face down the road.