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Business Techniques for Growth: More Tools for Small Business Success Paperback – March 25, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I specialize in analyzing companies to suggest improvements in strategy, operations, and results. After developing and applying this skillset in several Ameritech organizations and international acquisition targets, I started a consulting firm in 2001 to work with small business owners in many industries.
I see now that my toolbox of analysis and improvement techniques grew throughout my career. I must have absorbed examples and advice from trusted mentors, my own trial and error, and examples of what-not-to-do from troubled organizations.
Unlike The Who's "Tommy", I'm not sure what year I "became aware" of this critical mass of techniques, but I know the awareness was sparked by my consulting for small and medium businesses, and concurrent pro bono counseling for startups and small businesses through SCORE and the Turnaround Management Association.
The fascination I find in business is the intersection of ever-changing people, the problems they face, and their alternatives for solving them. Over the past 20 or more years I've discovered, absorbed, or learned some problem-solving techniques that small business owners can use to stack the odds in favor of successful outcomes. Now it seems like a good idea to share them with a wider audience. Check them out: see which ones work for the challenges you face today, and come back to find other techniques as new issues arise.

From the Inside Flap

Business Techniques for Growth: More Tools for Small Business is a new book explaining dozens of practical ways for small businesses to grow their customers and profits in today's fast-changing environment.
This is a how-to-do-it book using everyday language to examine all the levers to grow profits, from revenue to employee performance to operations improvement. Plus, it offers practical tips for negotiating and decision-making, and closes with a guide to selling a small business.
It's designed as a "toolbox" for hands-on owner-managers, so they can jump directly to a topic to find a proven technique. They can return again and again for more solutions as their business evolves.
This book is especially timely because small businesses produce most of America's new jobs, and jobs are the critical ingredient to sustain families and our budding economic recovery. Will small businesses keep pace and help America grow? With Gray's book, they can see all the levers and choose the path to growth that fits them best.
This book builds on Gray's first book, Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success, designed for start-ups. This new book continues the thread, targeting the need to build a sustainable and growing bottom line. Together, the two books form an invaluable set of clearly-explained real-world-tested solutions for the growth of small business in America.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas H. Gray Incorporated; 1 edition (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098867582X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988675827
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,450,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This guide for small business growth is most useful in that it gives the reader hands-on tools for business management. This MBA professor is a CTP or Certified Turnaround Professional, someone who has to be useful in today's often choppy business climate. He recommends WISC, which is a service from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.
He gets five stars because of his initial insistence on the need to treat employees right. The must feel valued and important. Disrespect drains motivation. Listen, delegate, set up for success, and give collective rewards. Why doesn't this happen more?
To improve your business, change something. Unfortunately, change is pain, and people resist change. If it's the management resisting, the business is doomed. Cost control, he says, is the safer way to grow business. Growing new customers is harder. He speaks at length about waste and reminds us that the customer doesn't care what it costs to produce the product or bring it to market. The business owner must be ever aware. In all, this is a useful reference with loads of charts, graphs, and techniques from a professional who knows his mission.
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Format: Paperback
Written by Thomas H Gray, this book aims to give tools and techniques for smaller business owners.

Book Structure:

Motivation - self and others
Compensation - for the owner and their team, Incentive plans and non financial rewards
Improving Employee performance - a series of tools and techniques to improve the productivity and engagement of your team members
Growing Revenue - Understanding where profit comes from, how to magnify key factors and techniques for revenue growth - both short term and long term fast and slow growth approaches
Attracting new customers and developing the business of existing customers
Dealing with changes, i.e. new growth strategies, opportunities and entering new markets, launching new products
Growing through operations - tools and techniques fort working smarter not harder.
Negotiating with suppliers and customers
Decision making techniques - suitable for operations, customer and people based situations
Selling the business - often people start businesses to realise the value you create, this section looks at the elements needed. If you are aware of this early on it can impact how you develop and grow your business.
Due diligence - understanding the process and risks

Whilst much of this book starts out with the goal of running the business to sell it, not all business owners will have this goal, however many of the tools and techniques are appropriate for business owners of all kinds

Style of the book
Throughout the book, not only are techniques outlines, but the reasons WHY to use such approaches are also included. This is a fresh approach, which many writers fail to address.
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Format: Paperback
Small business owners can face a myriad of challenges. Whether it's finding ways to retain employees, negotiating terms with a supplier, making key decisions or figuring out ways to increase revenues in tough markets, most business people can use tips and a framework to move ahead. Author Thomas Gray, in "Business Techniques for Growth", provides thorough, well-organized advice that addresses many of the issues a growing business will encounter.

Gray is an MBA Professor and a Certified Business Development Advisor. He has also written previous business books, including "Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success" (2013). Gray's experience and depth of knowledge shine through in his writing; it's clear he's "been there" in the business trenches and has counselled many managers and owners.

The book is divided into five parts. The first three deal with growing a business, whether through employees or operations or growing revenues generally. Part Four addresses negotiating and decision making techniques. Part Five, the longest section, is titled Selling Your Business.

A great strength of "Business Techniques for Growth" is its comprehensive, practical and step-by-step approach. As the introduction notes, it's designed for "hands-on" owner-managers. For example, when discussing non-cash rewards for employees, the book lists 30 options to consider, ranging from updating job titles to covering the costs of an employee family portrait. Need to improve your operations? The book outlines eight wastes to eliminate and then provides specific examples to look for in your company.

Gray writes in a straightforward style and leavens what could be dry material with quips, jokes and stories.
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