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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart business owners are powerful, are you?
Smart Business, Stupid Business is a compelling read and a great resource. It has already found its way to the daily 'go-to' resource books that are sitting on my desk. It has joined the ranks of my 'dog-earred' collection of well used reference books which include: Hill's Law of Success, Fisk & Baron's The Official MBA Handbook, and Graham's Intelligent Investor. Why...
Published on March 18, 2010 by Randall Thompson

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some practical advice
According to the forward a smart business is one that has a business license, liability insurance, and good bookkeeping. If that sounds boring - it is. Some of it is necessary, of course. And there are parts of the book that have some pretty good detail on how to prevent fraud, and things to consider in a partnership.

However, some chapters are just overviews...
Published on April 25, 2010 by John Seiffer


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart business owners are powerful, are you?, March 18, 2010
By 
Randall Thompson (Lake Geneva, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
Smart Business, Stupid Business is a compelling read and a great resource. It has already found its way to the daily 'go-to' resource books that are sitting on my desk. It has joined the ranks of my 'dog-earred' collection of well used reference books which include: Hill's Law of Success, Fisk & Baron's The Official MBA Handbook, and Graham's Intelligent Investor. Why? because this book not only addresses the mindset that small business owners and entrepreneurs should embrace, but also gives clear direction on what we should focus on to make more money and pay less tax.

Kennedy and Hughes lay the foundation that entrepreneurs, small business owners and seasoned business folks can follow to start, run or purchase a new business correctly. Smart Business, Stupid Business effectively explains the big whys of tax reduction, cash flow, risk elimination, and moving to a passive income model. These are things that I deal with everyday while running my 11 companies and having this resource nearby allows me the information I need to make informed decisions.

This book clearly, and almost informally, discusses choosing a partner, building business credit, selecting the right corporate structure and even explores business exit strategies. The style is refreshing in that it feels like they are talking directly to me. Every time I start, merge or acquire a company, I have to consider many of the things covered in this book, it is quite comprehensive. The content is primarily focused on building a business and has actually given me some ideas that I had not considered in running my own companies.

Smart Business, Stupid Business also includes many checklists, links, examples and planning discussions/forms for improving company ROI and reducing tax, many of which are downloadable through a link and special code found in the back of the book. It also gives you free access to Diane Kennedy's US Tax Aid teleseminar series. I have personally attended a few of these and they are content rich with great guests. I usually come away from them with positive and clear action items that I can implement right away.

One area of the book that I have tagged with stickies and notes are the sections on implementing legitimate, current tax reduction strategies. These strategies are not stupid or ridiculous or irrelevant (as I have found in other books with similar promises) and I have implemented several of them that I was unaware of that are found in the new tax code. My CPA didn't even know about them yet!

This review is already too long, but the pages on improving your ROI and protecting your assets are also rapidly becoming 'dog-earred' and well worn because the info is just that good.

Sorry for the long review, I just haven't come across a good reference book in a while that conveys real world practical application for my businesses. Seems like everything is about social media or marketing these days. Well, Kennedy and Hughes's Smart Business, Stupid Business gets a high recommendation from me. Are you a powerful small business owner? You can be; just take the time to utilize the correct resources. This is one of them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clean up your SMB financial act, June 8, 2010
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This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
In "Smart Business Stupid Business," Kennedy and Hughes provide tips, recommendations, and real-life anecdotes help you avoid common business mistakes. Their recommendations are based on years of experience in the bookkeeping and legal industries. "Smart Business Stupid Business" fills in the tax, bookkeeping, and legal knowledge gaps that most small business owners have somewhere in their organization. The end result, ideally, is that you prevent yourself from experiencing stupid mistakes at all.

Here's a quick summary of what's inside the book:

The book is divided into seven sections. Each section is comprised of several chapters.

The first section is one of the few parts of the book that doesn't talk about bookkeeping, accounting, or legal aspects of running a small business. Here, you learn about building an entrepreneurial foundation for your business, including how to devise a mission and values.

Section 2, on the other hand, dives into the kinds of details that make up the meat of Smart Business Stupid Business. This section tells you how to cover your butt if the IRS takes an interest in you, fund options for your business, make projections, recognize and manage cash flow, select good partnerships, boost your business credit, and recognize employee embezzlement.

Section 3 teaches you bookkeeping basics that every small business owner should know. In Section 4, you learn about financial statements and financial scorecards. Section 5 jumps into more advanced asset protection strategies, such as the benefits and drawbacks of C- vs. S-corporations.

The next two sections include chapters that veer away from the book's bookkeeping core. In Section 6, you read about pricing your time right, creating systems that allow employees to replicate your own functions, and creating and managing passive income. Section 7 tells you about exit strategies, buyouts, and building your legacy.

The authors list Action Steps (exercises you can do) and resources at the end of each chapter. The book is best read with a notebook, so that you can jot down answers to exercises and notes as you go.

My thoughts:

It's not clear from the book's title or back-of-jacket summary that "Smart Business Stupid Business" mostly covers taxes, accounting, and legal issues. Though it dives into some entrepreneurial content at the beginning, the book doesn't tell you anything about growing your customer base, marketing, relationships, or many other crucial entrepreneurial steps. To me, this means you should already have a good business and good product before reading this book (unless you're in the accounting business).

I did, however, find some of the book's tips original and valuable. For example, the chapters on projections and embezzlement gave me insights I'd never read about before. I learned about new types of 401(K) plans, too. And after reading the book, I had a general idea of what could go wrong with my business down the line if I don't pay attention to my paperwork.

The authors also have online resources to help you learn to streamline and organize your business. These resources look useful, but be forewarned: The authors promote them (and themselves) a lot in the book, more than most other business books I've read.

I'd recommend "Smart Business Stupid Business" for people who already have a small business, but need to get it organized in a clean, financially sustainable way.

(Book review by Drea Knufken)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for business owners and beginners!!, March 17, 2010
This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
If you are starting a new business or wanting to propel your already established business to the next level this book will be your best friend. It is filled with practical, easy to understand advise on a wide range of topics from idea conception, to choosing a business structure, obtaining financing, performing market research, basic accounting, and creating the optimal exit strategy. This book leaves out nothing, every topic related to starting and managing a smart, profitable business is covered.

For years I have dreamed of starting my own business, but haven't for fear of failure. With this book in hand I am ready to conquer that fear and become not only a business owner, but a Smart Business owner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense for business owners, June 18, 2012
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This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
Good stuff. I should have read it before started many ventures.... It should be mandatory reading for high school students... This and Gerber (The E-Myth) will make many more business owners successful and happy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent...Easy to Understand, October 14, 2011
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This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
Diane Kennedy, in my opinion, is the best published CPA in the nation. She & Megan break down a lot of complicated stuff into everyday language that most business owners (or potential B.O.'s) can understand. I have heard both of these ladies speak in person & this book does a great job of bringing together everything they speak about. I've always said, "the best way to give yourself a raise is to pay less taxes". This book will help you do that & more. About anyone can OWN a business but not everyone can RUN a business. This book will help you RUN your business in the most efficient way.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some practical advice, April 25, 2010
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This review is from: Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business (Paperback)
According to the forward a smart business is one that has a business license, liability insurance, and good bookkeeping. If that sounds boring - it is. Some of it is necessary, of course. And there are parts of the book that have some pretty good detail on how to prevent fraud, and things to consider in a partnership.

However, some chapters are just overviews that point to other people's websites for the real detail.

The book seems to be geared toward the person starting the business, but this is not the stuff you need to think about until you've got something people want to buy. And this kind of detail takes all the passion out of running a company if you focus on it too early.
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Smart Business, Stupid Business: What School Never Taught You About Building a SUCCESSFUL Business
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