About the Book The question many ask is “do I want to be self-employed?” This book provides a thought provoking process on how to answer this question and how to react if your answer is “yes”. Dave begins with the chapter “why do you want to be self-employed?” If you hate your job, lose your job or experience a life change…or you simply have the urge….this book is for you. It provides an easy, non-text book read on the rewards and pitfalls of running your own business.
The book can be a valued tool for both for the potential entrepreneur and an effective reality check for those that have already ventured into self-employment.
Early in the book Dave introduces the three fundamentals of a successful business, the three-legged stool of entrepreneurship – operating, selling and finance and administration
Using both good and bad anecdotes from his own experiences – and those of his clients - Dave provides detailed comments on the three fundamentals and stresses that they are all of equal importance. An individual can be strong on operations but may need assistance with the selling, finance and administration side of running a business. Dave highlights the software and electronics to assist in these areas and advises on when you need to “go outside” the office to get help.
The chapter “what do you want to do?” suggests ways to decide what business may be good for you and the advantages of developing a niche in the market place. Dave follows with the importance of always, always, always marketing your business and delves into a variety of ways this can be done and cites four not-so-secret rules of finding success in building and running a business.
From the marketing and selling aspects Dave moves into the finance and administration sides of operating a business and the importance of having a good set of books to let you see how you are really doing. As any entrepreneur will reveal, cash flow and ways in which a cash flow crunch is handled (and you will have a cash flow crunch) will always be on your mind – and should be!
The second half of the book deals with the reason you are self-employed is to run the business – not let the business run you. This means that while you must work hard (that is a given) you must also work smart – smart as in choosing the right customers and clients, delegating work to others, be wary of but not afraid of the competition and be a good “juggler” of the operating, selling and finance and administration tasks as they arise. Dave shares the development of his “My Dashboard” – a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet - as his tool to allow him to juggle with a minimum of stress (and forgetfulness) in running his business.
The book winds down with chapters the importance of the value of your time - and tips on how to bill for it if in a service business - and the importance of integrating your life and business. Dave offers 10 life tips with the first being “do what you don’t want to do first” and the last “don’t wait for everything to be perfect”. These ten tips can be the source for an entrepreneur’s daily affirmation!
David wraps up with ideas on how to value a business you may be considering buying, the pros and cons of purchasing a franchise and what the terms “pension” and “retirement” mean to an entrepreneur.
The last chapter “do you still have the entrepreneurial itch” sums up the book and challenges the reader to answer the question.
Brian J. Quinlan, CA, CFP, TEP Co-Author Tax Tips for Canadians for Dummies