Saturday, May 27, 2006

My First Newspaper Review - Houston Chronical

In case you don't get the Houston Chronical, I thought you might like to check out what they thought of my new book, Running A 21st Century Small Business. I promise. I didn't pay this guy to say this.

Complex topics, digested easily

For The Chronicle

IN recent years it has become startlingly clear that while many of the biggest companies are constantly paring payrolls, the number of small companies is rising significantly.

But this statistic hides a lot of painful setbacks. Unfortunately, statistics on businesses with 10 or fewer workers show that 65 percent of them fail within the first five years.

With that in mind, Randy Kirk has revised his 13-year-old book to more reflect how the business world has changed. In 1993, he wrote "When Friday Isn't Payday". With this new guide, he has revised and updated the book to better reflect new information, tax laws and the growing importance of electronic commerce.

Kirk seemingly covers every aspect of operating a small business. The 300-plus pages are packed with lots of charts, lists and anecdotes about establishing and running a small business.

The book is divided into five stages of small business development, from the beginning to the process of growing and on into the future. The stages are titled: Before You Begin, Opening the Doors, The First Three Years, Managing Yourself and

Others and Managing Your Assets.

Each of these sections has subtopics that cover crucial aspects of successfully running a small business.

In section two, a subsection offers a comprehensive look at preparing a business plan.

It's obvious that Kirk has done his homework and has experience with running a business.

This book could serve as a textbook for how to run a small business.

Motley Fool

Tom and David Gardner are co-founders of the Motley Fool, which since 1993 has grown from a personal finance Web site into a media company with a syndicated newspaper column, radio shows and books.

"The Motley Fool's Money After 40" is their latest foray. This book addresses the 75 million Americans between 40 and 65 who are contemplating how they'll fare during retirement.

The authors have divided the topic into three sections: Having Enough, Having More Than Enough and Having It All.

Having Enough addresses the subject of organizing finances in order to preserve what one already has and how to calculate what is needed.

Having More Than Enough goes deeper, tackling Social Security and touching on estate planning, caring for elderly parents and teaching a child to be financially independent.

In Having It All, the authors take the whole concept a step further, showing the reader how to live a healthy, productive life, one with hobbies, adventures and another career.

The authors cover many subjects but never dwell on any of them at mind-numbing length. They hit the highlights and quickly move on, making it easy to comprehend.


"Running a 21st Century Small Business"

By Randy W. Kirk Warner Business Books, $14.95.

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