Starting and Running a Business All-in-One For Dummies

Starting and Running a Business All-in-One For Dummies

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Written by a team of business and finance experts, Starting & Running a Business All-In-One For Dummies is a complete guide to every aspect of setting up and growing a successful business. Featuring straight-talking advice on everything from business planning and marketing, managing staff and dealing with legal issues, to bookkeeping and taking care of tax obligations, this book is your one-stop guide to turning your business plans into profit. This amazing all-in-one guide brings together specialists in finance, bookkeeping,planning, marketing and sales, staffing, taxation and more, all of them eager to share their hard-won expertise with you. * Discusses ways to identify new business opportunities and how to put together a business plan * Get the scoop on securing the financing you need to get started * Includes tips on finding, managing, and retaining excellent staff * Offers information on marketing and selling your products or services
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Product details

  • Paperback | 694 pages
  • 191 x 235 x 38mm | 1,234g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd UK Edition
  • 1119152151
  • 9781119152156
  • 220,228

Back cover copy

Build your business from the ground up

Starting and running a business is a rewarding endeavour - after all, it's the culmination of your blood, sweat and tears. You'll have fun along the way, but you'll also put in a lot of hard work - and this one-stop guide is here to make it easier. Get ready to make better business decisions and turn your simple idea into your very own empire.

9 Books Inside... Understanding Business Accounting For Dummies Starting a Business For Dummies Small Business Marketing For Dummies Social Media Marketing For Dummies Business Plans For Dummies Small Business Employment Law For Dummies Starting and Running an Online Business For Dummies Social Media Engagement For Dummies Business Funding for Dummies
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Table of contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Book 1: Laying the Groundwork 5

Chapter 1: Preparing for Business 7

Getting in Shape to Start Up 8

Assessing your abilities 8

Discovering a real need 9

Checking the fit of the business 10

Confirming Viability 11

Researching the market 11

Doing the numbers 12

Raising the money 13

Writing up the business plan 14

Going for Growth 15

Gaining economies of scale 16

Securing a competitive advantage 16

Retaining key staff 16

Gaining critical business mass 17

Chapter 2: Structuring Your Business 19

Going into Business 20

Settling on sole trader status 22

Forming a partnership 22

Opting for a limited company 25

Finding your way to franchising 26

Popping into a pop-up 30

Safeguarding Your Business Assets 30

Naming your business 31

Looking at logos 32

Protecting patents 32

Registering a trademark 32

Detailing your design 33

Controlling a copyright 34

Assisting inventors 34

Getting Help 35

Accessing national and regional support 35

Choosing small business associations 38

Entering incubators or accelerators 41

Chapter 3: Can You Do the Business? 43

Deciding What You Want from a Business 44

Gaining personal satisfaction (or, entrepreneurs just wanna have fun) 44

Making money 45

Saving the planet 45

Exploring Different Types of Business 46

Selling to other businesses 46

Opening all hours 47

Making products 47

Servicing customers 48

Assessing Yourself 48

Discovering your entrepreneurial attributes 49

Working out a business idea that's right for you 50

Figuring out what you're willing to invest 51

Weighting your preferences 52

Chapter 4: Preparing the Business Plan 55

Finding a Reason to Write a Business Plan 56

Building confidence 56

Testing your ideas 56

Showing how much money you need 57

Providing planning experience 57

Satisfying financiers' concerns 57

Writing Up Your Business Plan 60

Defining your readership 60

Creating the plan 60

Maintaining confidentiality 65

Doing due diligence 65

Using Business Planning Software 66

Recognising the limits of software 66

Reviewing packages 68

Presenting Your Plan 68

Starring in show time 69

Handling feedback 70

Making an elevator pitch 71

Chapter 5: Establishing Your Starting Position 73

Introducing SWOT Analysis 74

Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses 74

Frames of reference 76

Capabilities and resources 77

Critical success factors 79

Analysing Your Situation in 3-D 81

Taking a glance at your competitors 81

Completing your SWOT analysis 82

Chapter 6: Researching Your Customers and Competitors 85

Anatomy of a Customer 86

Collecting customer information 87

Geographics: Locating your market areas 91

Demographics: Collecting customer data 92

Psychographics: Customer buying behaviour 93

Determining Which Customers Buy What 94

Viewing your sales by market segment 94

Matching customers with distribution channels 97

Seeing Your Product through Your Customers' Eyes 99

When service is your product 100

Your product is what Google says it is 101

Illogical, irrational and real reasons why people buy what you sell 101

Buying decisions: Rarely about price, always about value 102

Sizing Up Competitors 104

Calculating Your Market Share 105

Sizing up your target market 105

Doing the sums 106

Introducing Market Research 108

Budgeting for your research 108

Doing the preliminary research 108

Conducting the research 114

Book 2: Sorting Out Your Finances 119

Chapter 1: Finding the Money 121

Assessing How Much Money You Need 122

Projecting receipts 123

Estimating expenses 124

Working out the closing cash balances 124

Setting out your cash-flow projection 124

Testing your assumptions 125

Reviewing Your Financing Options 126

Deciding between debt capital and equity capital 127

Examining your own finances 129

Determining the Best Source of Finance for You 130

Considering the costs 130

Sharing ownership and control 130

Limiting personal liability 131

Going for Debt 131

Borrowing from banks 131

Going with the government 134

Financing cash flow 135

Getting physical 135

Uniting with a credit union 136

Borrowing from family and friends 136

Sharing Out the Spoils 138

Benefiting from business angels 138

Going for venture capital 139

Looking to corporate venturing 140

Understanding due diligence 142

Chapter 2: Seeking (Nearly!) Free Money 143

Researching and Obtaining Grants 145

Applying for Awards 148

Starting off with a SMART award 148

Gaining expertise with Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 149

Being nurtured by Nesta 150

Winning European awards 152

Raising Money from the Crowd 154

Starting up with Kickstarter 156

Moving up with Indiegogo 156

Comparing Accelerators and Incubators 157

Incubators 157

Accelerators 157

Chapter 3: Keeping Track of Finances 161

Understanding Your Accounts 162

Forecasting cash flow 162

Reporting your profits 162

Balancing the Books 167

A balance sheet 168

Categorising assets 168

Accounting for liabilities 169

Understanding reserves 170

Analysing Performance 171

Using ratios 171

Gearing down 174

Accounting for Pricing 174

Breaking even 175

Pricing for profit 176

Building in more products 178

Handling price changes 178

Chapter 4: Budgeting for Beginners 181

Constructing a Budget 182

Setting the guidelines 182

Analysing the variances 182

Exploring Budgeting Alternatives 185

Budgeting from zero 185

What-if analysis 185

Capital Budgeting 188

Deducing payback 189

Discounting cash flow 190

Calculating the internal rate of return 191

Arriving at the cost of capital 192

Book 3: Finding and Managing Staff 193

Chapter 1: Staying on the Right Side of the Law 195

Cutting Through the Red Tape 196

Working Out What the Law Expects from You 197

Going the Extra Distance 198

Deciding Who Has Rights 199

Employees 199

Self-employed 201

Consultants 202

Agency workers 202

Home workers 202

Exemptions 203

Young people 204

Deciding What to Put in the Contract 204

Drawing Up Other Employment Policies 204

Managing Without an HR Department 205

Getting Help and Advice 206

Chapter 2: Finding Person Friday - Advertising and Interviewing 207

Filling the Gap 208

Getting It Right from the Start 209

Deciding on full- or part-timers 209

Coming up with the job description 210

Advertising - what you can and can't say 211

Placing your ads 212

Using an agency 213

Recruiting over the Internet 213

Using Jobcentre Plus 214

Following up recommendations - and remembering to be fair! 215

Considering Diversity 215

Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff - CVs and Application Forms 216

Drawing up your shortlist 217

Dealing with the ones that don't make the shortlist 218

Handling the Practicalities of Interviews 218

Making flexible appointments 219

Making sure everyone can get into the building 219

Paying for expenses 220

Planning the Interviews 220

Working out what to ask 221

Setting tests 222

Taking notes 222

Checking Up on Your Chosen One 222

Following up references 223

Proving that potential staff are entitled to work in the UK 224

Checking convictions 224

Checking health 225

Checking qualifications 226

Offering a Job to Your Dream Candidate 226

Making an offer that can't be refused 226

Setting the start date 227

Withdrawing a job offer 227

Chapter 3: Employing People Successfully 229

Motivating and Rewarding Employees 229

Getting the best out of employees 230

Dealing with difficult or demotivated employees 231

Keeping motivation in the family 231

Rewarding achievements 233

Managing the Admin 237

Keeping employment records 237

Preparing contracts of employment 239

Working legal hours 240

Granting leave 240

Avoiding discrimination 241

Keeping the work environment healthy and safe 243

Chapter 4: Disciplining and Dismissing Staff 245

Resolving Disputes 246

Following a disciplinary procedure right through to dismissal 246

Calling in the arbitrators 248

Dismissing Staff - the Right Way 248

Having fair grounds to sack an employee 249

Applying your decision 249

Giving written reasons for dismissal 250

Giving notice of dismissal 250

Dismissing for gross misconduct 251

Dismissing for underperformance 252

Dismissing Staff - the Wrong Way 253

Avoiding wrongful dismissal 253

Steering clear of constructive dismissal 254

Automatic unfair dismissal 254

Tying Up the Loose Ends 255

Handing over paperwork to a new employer 255

Sorting out outstanding payments 256

Paying instead of allowing staff to work their notice 256

Dealing with pensions 257

Restricting what employees can do after leaving 257

Giving references 257

Facing Tribunals - Something to Be Avoided 258

Chapter 5: Inspiring Employees to Better Performance 259

Introducing the Greatest Management Principle in the World 260

Recognition isn't as simple as it looks 261

Biscuit motivation 261

Discovering What Employees Want 263

Creating a supportive environment 266

Having a good game plan 267

Deciding What to Reward 268

Starting with the Positive 269

Making a Big Deal about the Little Things 271

Considering Money and Motivation 272

Compensating with wages and salaries 272

Realising when incentives become entitlements 272

Working out what motivates your staff 273

Realising that you hold the key to your employees' motivation 275

Chapter 6: Coaching and Development 277

Playing a Coach's Role 278

Coaching: A Rough Guide 280

Coaching Metaphors for Success in Business 281

Tapping into the Coach's Expertise 282

Developing and Mentoring Employees 284

Explaining How Employee Development Helps 284

Personal Development Plans 286

Helping Employees to Develop 287

Chapter 7: Being an Expert at Performance Appraisal and Management 291

Taking the First Steps 292

Developing a System for Providing Immediate Performance Feedback 294

Setting your checkpoints: The milestones 294

Reaching your checkpoints: The actions 295

Acting in sequence: The relationships 296

Establishing a timeframe: The schedules 296

Reducing Shrinkage 297

Reading the Results 298

Appraising Performance: Why It Matters 299

Spelling Out the Performance Appraisal Process 301

Preparing for the No-Surprises Appraisal 304

Book 4: Keeping On Top of the Books 307

Chapter 1: Recording the Financial Facts 309

Keeping the Books 310

Recording financial information 310

Starting simple with single entry 311

Dealing with double entry 312

Choosing the right accounting program 312

Outsourcing bookkeeping 313

Keeping the Right Paperwork 314

Creating a filing system 315

Working out what to keep and for how long 316

Filing Your Accounts 317

Managing Your Accountant 318

Protecting Your Business Against Internal Fraud 319

Facing the reality of financial fraud 319

Dividing staff responsibilities 320

Balancing control costs 321

Insuring Your Cash through Fidelity Bonds 323

Chapter 2: Managing Your Tax Position 325

Tackling Taxes for Different Types of Businesses 326

Figuring out sole traders and partnerships 327

Looking at levies on companies 328

Assessing the best legal structure 329

Paying Taxes 329

Valuing VAT 329

Minimising tax on profit 333

Handling Employment Taxes 334

Surviving a Tax Investigation 335

Chapter 3: How Investors Read a Financial Report 337

Analysing Financial Reports with Ratios 338

Gross margin ratio 340

Profit ratio 341

Earnings per share 342

Price/earnings ratio 342

Dividend yield 343

Book value per share 343

Return on equity ratio 344

Using combined ratios 345

Appreciating the limits of ratios 345

Finding Financial Facts 347

Public company accounts 347

Private company accounts 347

Scoring credit 348

Using FAME (Financial Analysis Made Easy) 348

Introducing the Audit Report 349

Digging Deeper into the Audit Report 351

Seeing what's in an auditor's report 352

True and fair, a clean opinion 352

Wondering whether audits always catch fraud .353

Frolicking through the Footnotes 353

Book 5: Marketing and Advertising Your Wares 355

Chapter 1: Taking a Closer Look at Customers 357

Checking Out Who Your Customers Are 358

The good customer 358

The bad customer 359

The other guy's customer 360

Discovering Why Your Customers Buy 361

Understanding needs 362

Determining motives 363

Finding Out How Your Customers Make Choices 364

Perceptions are reality 364

The five steps to adoption 365

Remembering the Big Picture 366

Dealing with Business Customers 367

Secondhand demand 368

Decision making as a formal affair 369

Forces to be reckoned with 369

Chapter 2: Considering Your Business Mission, Vision and Objectives 371

Developing Your Concept 372

Composing Your Mission Statement 372

Seeing the Vision Thing 374

Setting Objectives and Goals 374

Chapter 3: Marketing and Selling Your Wares 377

Making Up the Marketing Mix 378

Defining Your Product or Service Parameters 379

Using Advertising to Tell Your Story 379

Considering the customer's point of view 380

Making an exhibition of yourself 381

Setting advertising objectives 381

Deciding the budget 382

Defining the message 382

Choosing the media 383

Choosing the frequency 384

Writing a leaflet 384

Using the Internet for viral marketing 385

Providing opportunities to see 386

Figuring your bang-for-the-buck ratio 387

Getting into the News 388

Deciding who to contact 389

Following through 389

Using Blogs and Social Networks 390

Selling for Business Success 390

Telling the difference between selling and marketing 391

Selling yourself 391

Outsourcing selling 392

Measuring results 394

Settling on a Price 394

Caring about business conditions 394

Working to your capacity 395

Understanding consumer perceptions 395

Skimming versus penetrating 395

Avoiding setting prices too low 396

Pondering Place and Distribution 396

Choosing a location 396

Working from home 397

Selecting a distribution channel 398

Considering the Newer 3Ps 399

People 400

Physical evidence 400

Process 401

Looking at Legal Issues in Marketing 402

Naming your business 403

Looking at logos 403

Protecting patents 403

Registering a trademark 404

Detailing your design 404

Controlling a copyright 405

Abiding by fair business rules 405

Setting terms of trade 406

Describing your goods 407

Dealing with payment problems 408

Chapter 4: Creating and Placing Ads 409

Deciding on Your Budget 410

Writing and Designing Your Ads 411

Packing power into headlines 412

Writing convincing copy 414

Making design decisions 415

Translating ad production terminology 418

Making Sense of Print Media Rates 418

Placing Newspaper and Magazine Ads 420

Scheduling your placements 420

Using small-budget, small-size ads 421

Requesting your ad placement 422

Finding value in the classified section 423

A few special pointers for placing magazine ads 423

Considering Yellow Pages, Directories and Their Digital Alternatives 426

Broadcasting Your Message on Radio, TV and Online 428

Producing radio ads 428

Producing TV ads 429

Logging in to webinars 430

Snail-Mailing and Emailing Your Customers Directly 431

Using one-to-one marketing 432

Marketing with direct mailers 433

Producing brochures, fliers and more 434

Using Billboards and Other Out-of-Home Ads 436

Chapter 5: Public Relations and Publicity 439

The Relationship between Public Relations and Publicity 440

Taking a wide-angle view of public relations 440

Focusing on publicity 441

Becoming a News Source 442

Creating a media kit and online media centre 442

Establishing and maintaining an all-important list of media contacts 443

Getting real with publicity expectations 445

Spreading Your News 446

Preparing news releases 447

Managing media interviews 453

Staging news conferences - or not 454

Crisis Communications: Dealing with Bad News 454

Chapter 6: Doing Business Online 457

Appreciating the Power of the Internet 458

Ruminating on richness versus reach 458

Checking out clicks and bricks 459

Recognising the limits - you have none! 460

Reviewing What You Can Do Online 461

Generating advertising revenue 461

Recruiting staff 461

Answering frequent questions 462

Carrying out market research 462

Making money from affiliates 462

Establishing an Internet Presence with a Website 463

Deciding on content 464

Designing the website 464

Checking out competitors 466

Using a consultant 466

Registering domains 467

Hosting your website 468

Selling Goods and Services 469

Using third-party websites 469

Building a store front 470

Getting paid online 471

Fulfilling orders 471

Gaining and Monitoring Visibility 472

Understanding search engines 472

Optimising your website 473

Tracking traffic 475

Making the move to mobile 476

Practising Safe Online Business 477

Building security up front by installing a firewall 477

Preparing for the worst 478

Keeping your wireless network secure 479

Using low tech helps too 481

Chapter 7: Social Media Engagement 483

Explaining the Why, Who and How of Social Media Engagement 484

Seeking the benefits of social media engagement 484

Seeing how people and organisations engage with social media 488

Setting goals for social media engagement 490

Assessing the impact of social media engagement 491

Measuring value-setting benchmarks to evaluate progress 493

Using Words and Pictures 495

Managing email, forums, websites and blogs 495

Featuring with Facebook 497

Developing Twitter 498

Driving Pinterest 499

Linking to LinkedIn 499

Going for Google+ 500

Leveraging Audio and Video for Engagement 501

Enhancing with audiocasting or podcasting 501

Videocasting or video podcasts 502

YouTube 503

Offering webinars and teleseminars 504

Considering Other Social Media Engagement Tools 506

Mobile applications 507

Location-based services 507

Book 6: Growing and Improving Your Business 511

Chapter 1: Thinking Strategically 513

Making Strategy Make a Difference 514

What strategy means 514

When strategy works 515

Applying Off-the-Shelf Strategies 516

Low-cost leadership 518

Standing out in a crowd 521

A focus on focus 525

Checking Out Strategic Alternatives 528

Up, down or sideways 528

Leading and following 530

Coming Up with Your Own Strategy 532

Chapter 2: Managing More than One Product 533

Facing the Product/Service Life Cycle 534

Starting out 535

Growing up 536

Middle age 537

Senior stretch 537

Determining where you are now 538

Milking cash cows 539

Finding Ways to Grow 539

Same product/service, same market 542

New market or new product 543

New product and new market 546

Understanding the adoption cycle 549

Managing Your Product Portfolio 549

Considering strategic business units 550

Aiming for the stars 551

Extending Your E-Penetration 555

Buying Out Competitors 556

Knowing why you want to buy 557

Understanding what you want to buy 557

Starting to look 558

Investigating and approaching 559

Valuing the business 560

Limiting the risks 560

Managing the acquisition 561

Chapter 3: Improving Performance 563

Checking Your Internal Systems 563

Retaining Customers 564

Realising why retaining customers matters 565

Working to retain customers 566

Improving Productivity 571

Trimming expenses 571

Increasing margins 572

Working smarter 573

Rewarding results 573

Chapter 4: Franchising for Growth 575

Defining a Franchise 575

Considering Your Franchise Options 577

Adding a franchise 577

Taking out a master franchise 577

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages 578

Doing the Pilot 579

Finding Franchisees 580

Rolling Out the Franchise 581

Chapter 5: Funding Expansion 583

Dealing with Financiers Post-Investment 584

Sharing your business 584

Bringing a valuable resource to the business 585

Funding with debt 588

Investing in Future Rounds 588

Looking at debt rounds and reasons 588

Equity rounds, reasons and investors - a typical growth journey 589

Considering a Public Listing 590

Looking at reasons for an IPO 590

Determining if your company is ready for an IPO 591

Knowing where stocks are traded 592

Preparing for an IPO 592

Recognising the Rise of Alternative Funding and Online Platform Funders 593

Bank versus non-bank finance 595

Debt and equity online platforms 596

Online peer-to-peer platforms 597

Crowdfunding platforms 599

Looking at Differences in Digital Funding 604

Considering the risks 604

Living with the higher costs 605

Chapter 6: Becoming a Great Manager 607

Building a Team 608

Identifying a successful team 608

Founding principles 609

Coaching and Training 610

Appraising Performance 613

Developing a Leadership Style 614

Understanding leadership 614

Delegating 615

Evolving leadership styles for growth 618

Managing change 619

Measuring Morale 621

Index 625
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About Colin Barrow

Colin Barrow is a strategic advisor and the author of more than 30 books. He has held senior staff and line positions in business and was head of the Enterprise Group at Cranfield School of Management for ten years. He was also a non-executive director of a high-tech venture capital fund and has served on government task forces.
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