June 23, 2008

Good Book : Small Business for Dummies

This is a review of the book "Small Business for Dummies" by Eric Tyson and Jim Schell. I have the 2nd edition from 2003.

I personally like the "Dummies" series of books. They provide no nonsense guides for a variety of topics and put it into terms that everyone can understand. They generally provide good comprehensive overviews of topics. Some might be a little put off by the "Dummies" title since it implies the reader is a dummy, but lets not take it personal.

"Small Business for Dummies" covers all the basics of starting and running a small business. It starts with first by asking if running a business is for you and even gives a quiz to test yourself for "Small Business Owners Aptitude". Then it delves into finances about business with topics like covering your own health insurance and retirement and making sure you have personal assets to support yourself while you're in startup. Financing, organization (corporations and LLC), Buying a business, franchises, evaluating and negotiating to buy business.

The next major section of the book is on running a business. It focuses on operations including hiring employees, accounting, leasing property, marketing, dealing with customers, handling cash flow, managing inventory. The last major section of the book discusses keeping the business successful and afloat. They talk about hiring good employees and keeping them running, dealing with legal issues and obeying laws and regulations and then there's a chapter focused on tax issues.

The information in "Small Business for Dummies" is a good start if you are thinking of starting a business of your own. I'd recommend taking a look if you're interested in starting a business. Look for a copy in your local library.


  1. Nice post. I want to run my own business soon, so I'll remember this one. I know it'll be challenging, so I can use all the help and advice I can get. I've been thinking about buying a business lately instead of starting one from scratch. Maybe a franchise? I don't know. Do you have any suggestions or advice? Thanks!

  2. Lisa,

    The Dummies book is a good starting place. You can also check at your local library for other books on starting a business and they might have books about franchises specifically too. One good website I've seen about franchises is the Entrepreneur site:

    I haven't ran my own business myself though so I don't know much first hand.

    I wish you success in your efforts.


  3. @Lisa T. -- Yeah, regardless if you start one from scratch or buy an existing one, running your own business will be tough, but it’ll be rewarding in the end.

    I also agree with Jim. Small Business for Dummies will be really useful, along with other books and magazines. Good to stay up-to-date with this type of information.

    If you do take the buying route, there are a lot of sites you could check out for one. There's one called BizTrader.com. It's like this an online global marketplace where you can buy or sell a business. It has useful tips and advice, and you can also use it to find a lender or broker. Not bad at all.

    Then there are always the small business groups in your area. They should be able to provide help and advice. If anything, it doesn't hurt to network.

    Good luck!


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