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Business Techniques in Troubled Times: A Toolbox for Small Business Success Paperback – April 12, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"I found a book that really gets it...There's a hard-core focus on getting results throughout the book...Very powerful stuff."
- J. D. Meier
Sources of Insight.com
"Real content...tactical, specific ideas for fixing and improving processes and policies...even family businesses!"
- Diane Helbig
Seize This Day Blog
"If you invest in one management book this year, this book would be the one"
The Sykes Group's OnPoint
Choose to use the whole collection of tools, or grab the one you need.
-Bruce G. Smith
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sunday, June 9, 2013
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.
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Top customer reviews
This book starts out with the premise that it is the availability of business advice not been the problem. The author pursues a real issues are around "how do I know I need help?" And "what advice can I trust?"
In his book Gray aims to provide solutions to both of these issues, helping the reader know when they do need help in the business and identifying the advice they can trust.
The book starts out in the traditional approach looking at business vision and business plan and target market along with competitor analysis and then starts looking into the broader issues of writing the business making sure the market knows that you're there and with these you can do and then he turns that once we know the remit marketplace and the people know what the daily into looking at what the business actually does on a day-to-day basis and how it can make that much more fluid. What's a business is running its own about growing the business maximising what is wanted to achieve for us and looking at what the exit options for business owners might be.
Flicking through the book
When I get a move of the first ignited his flick from cover to cover a look
I look at the design how the graphics are laid out, any whitespace, and the use of tables throughout. What immediately struck me about this book that is different from any others that I read recently is the way that the very back of the book is an index of topics and techniques.
Running over six pages and in four columns, is presented one of the neatest and practical book indexes I've seen for a very long time.
It is laid out in the following four columns
Where in the articles column, we are directed where to find the topic and technique in the book.
It's about more than the product
Traditionally many small business owners are experts in the production side of the businesses, they however are not experts in managing the business. Looking at the financial and operational results often reveals what works and what is not, and yet many small business owners tend to shy away from analysing the numbers.
The tools and techniques in this book "business techniques in troubled times" are perfectly designed to help those business owners who are focused on production to look at other aspects of their operations.
The business and the whole business
Unlike many business books that tend to focus on finance marketing operations, this book takes a measured approach at looking at the business as a whole rather than as a series of departments and functions. This is an approach that many small business owners have taken for many years and I hope that those readers that are involved in larger organisations also take some of these concepts into account.
While detail on some of the tools and techniques is a little on the light side, the book does put the tools and techniques into context for the business manager. It provides a starting point and a friend reference for anyone who is reviewing a business in troubled times.
This book is clearly aimed at the owners of small businesses, and for them this book is a great starting point. I would also suggest that this book is appropriate for anyone involved in marketing or human resources as within its 310 pages from cover to cover it provides a great strategic perspective on what it is functional specialists are supposed to be contributing towards