Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Do You Have a "Knack" for Business?

Recently a publicist sent me a fascinating book that I believe will help entrepreneurs in their efforts to build their business. It is called “The Knack: How Street Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up” by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham. It is the compilation of the work of other successful entrepreneurs: their life stories, brilliant strategies, and “hands on” experiences.

The book isn’t scheduled for release until October 2, 2008, so you are getting a sneak preview of it in this blog post.

I receive many interesting books every month, several of which fall under the radar screen because of the large number of them. This one caught my attention. Frankly, the destructive power of Hurricane Ike has me thinking I might have to think differently about business.

What I like about it is that it is both profound and quite simple. It isn’t merely lofty strategies on business that you would find in the classroom, but “rubber meets the road” issues such as what to do when your customers stop paying in a timely manner, what to do with the problem of creeping expenses, how to keep customers when your competition pursues serious price cutting, and more.

However, the book is rich in areas that many (if not most) in business think about. In it the authors explain:

Why you should never confuse good sales with good cash flow
Why having competitors is better than being first to market
Why a “sales mentality” is dangerous to your business
Why it is smart to hire sales people from outside your industry
How to judge if your business is viable

What impresses me most about the authors is that they are, on the one hand, serious business writers with years of experience writing a column in Inc. Magazine. On the other hand they are serious entrepreneurs in their own right, having had mentored many successful business leaders.

I read a great deal of business literature for this blog and my radio show and over time it is pretty easy to cut through the rhetoric of those in academics that know little about business in the real world and the true business leaders that know exactly what they are talking about. Brodsky and Burlingham fall in the latter. When October 2 comes, get your copy.

Kevin Price articles frequently appear at ChicagoSunTimes.com, Reuters.com, USAToday.com, and other national media.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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