CHRISTOFF OOSTHUYSEN reviews the Bookstorm series edited by Eric Parker – Starting Your Own Business, Marketing Your Own Business, and Finance In Your Own Business.
When you start out in business, or decide to up your marketing game for the first time, or plan unusual steps such as buying a business, you’re faced with many new concepts to grasp.
The people you’ll deal with may have been involved in this field for decades and will be using words you have little understanding of, which may be a very disempowering experience for you.
But it does not have to be so. What if you could quickly learn what this new field is about where terms you’ll encounter are easily explained? What if you are introduced to how the people from this field operate?
This is exactly what the small business series of books published by Bookstorm and edited by Eric Parker is about – it offers you, the reader, a quick but comprehensive introduction to the applicable field.
Let’s first take Starting Your Business, first. Where could you go for advice when you decide that the best route for you will be to buy an existing business, rather than starting your own business from scratch?
Well, if you want to know how buying a business works in South Africa, you do not have many options, so the section in this book devoted to buying a business will come in very handy. Here you’ll find advice on issues such as valuation, negotiation and contracting. And most importantly, what to look out for from the buyer’s perspective.
Knowing Eric Parker as the South African “franchising guru”, Starting Your Own Business of course also covers what you need to do when you decide that buying a franchise is the best option for you.
This section is packed with practical and to the point tips on what to look out for and how to go about when buying a franchise so that you’re set up for success.
Marketing Your Own Business provides a comprehensive introduction to the topic – from defining your market, to branding your business, to advertising for increased sales. After reading this book, you will know almost every term used in the marketing field. This is however not a workbook, so do not expect to have a useful marketing plan ready by the time you finish the last page. You will however be equipped to move forward with the knowledge needed to take on marketing as an important element in your business.
Some sections of Marketing Your Own Business offer very handy tips, such as how to compile a creative brief when you need to make use of the services of graphic designers or advertising agencies. This is presented in an easy to follow bullet format of the most important elements of a brief, as well as an explanation of how to identify the best providers to deliver on your needs.
Finance In Your Own Business is aimed at business owners who are not strong on accounting, but who wish to understand the key financial elements of their businesses.
Again, a comprehensive coverage of accounting and financial reports are provided, including a focus on the 15 most important financial ratios of your business.
If you have not grown your business to the point where you use budgets and cash flow forecasts as important tools in making sure you remain profitable, then this book is for you. For instance, a whole section is devoted to explaining how you can compile and use budgets and forecasts to help you to succeed.
This series may not be ground-breaking in offering new ways of understanding business, but it surely does a good job of presenting comprehensive and easy to follow coverage of everything involved in starting, marketing and managing the finances of your business.