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Reading Business Books – A Must-Do for Entrepeneurs

As a business owner, one of the most important things you can do to boost your business and improve your professional skills and knowledge is to take the time to keep up with the latest business literature.

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel like the challenges you face every day are unique to your situation. However, it is very likely that other professionals have faced, and overcome, many of the same challenges. There are so many great publications geared toward helping entrepreneurs just like you learn to deal with the day-to-day personal and professional challenges they face. Time you spend keeping yourself current with business literature is definitely time well spent. It is an investment in your business and in yourself.

Whatever your challenges are, you are likely to find great business publications, authored by successful professionals and consultants, that can provide valuable insight into dealing with whatever business challenges you are facing at any given time.

Suggested Topics Include:

The following list represents just a few of the many types of business literature that can help you hone your professional skills.

Business Networking: Books such as Million Dollar Networking and Nonstop Networking by Andrea Nierenberg provide great ideas for improving your business by learning to expand your network of business contacts.

Conflict Management: When you own or manage a business, dealing with conflict is an inevitable part of your job. Books such as the national bestseller Crucial Confrontations, written by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, provide sound guidance for learning how to deal effectively with conflict.

Entrepreneurship: Dive Right In, the Sharks Won’t Bite by Jane Wesman is a great resource for those who are in the process of starting a new business, as well as for those who want to continue to improve their existing businesses.

Hiring Employees: Every time business owners are faced with adding a new employee, they wish they knew more about how to make the best choices from among the pool of applicants. Hire With Your Head by Lou Adler provides invaluable information about how to build great teams by using performance based hiring strategies.

Public Speaking: Does the thought of speaking in front of a group of people make you nervous or even terrify you? As a business owner, cultivating powerful presentation skills can be an excellent way to promote your business in your community and via the media. Publications like The Confident Speaker by Harrison Monarth and Larina Kase can help you learn how to overcome your public speaking fears.

Tip for Fitting Business Reading Into Your Busy Schedule

Entrepreneurs are notorious for taking care of everything and everyone except themselves. Most entrepreneurs will benefit greatly from making the time to focus on their own physical and mental well being, and most are also adept at multi-tasking. Since you’re probably already very good at juggling multiple tasks, why not put some of that ability to work for yourself? It’s fairly simple to combine the exercise your body needs with acquiring knowledge that can help you lead your business in an even more successful direction.

Get a treadmill or elliptical trainer, and set aside thirty minutes each day for yourself. While you are exercising, listen to the latest business books on your MP3 player, or read if you are coordinated enough to handle a book and the exercise equipment at the same time. Your health and your stress levels are likely to improve dramatically, and you will be maximizing the use of your time!

Bottled Water and Government Small Business Set Asides – A Marketing Opportunity

The Federal Government and many State and Local Government agencies offer a valuable contract preference to bottled water companies who qualify as small businesses.

This preference grew out of the desire of the Federal Government to help small businesses capture government contracts for drinking water and the small business preference for bottled water companies can be very relevant and very valuable.

The home and office bottled water delivery business is dominated by two large companies and one is foreign owned which gives small American companies an additional advantage. The first large bottled water company is Nestle, a Swiss company, that bottles and markets water under many brand names like Deer Park, Poland Springs and Arrow Head among others.

The second company is DS Waters, a large business owned by the investment firm Kelso & Co. that markets under many brand names including Crystal Springs and Sparkletts.

Neither Nestle nor DS Waters qualify as small businesses.

It is a fact that, in the government purchasing world, agencies prefer American companies that qualify as small businesses.

The small business preference means that, if an opportunity is designated a small business set aside, only small businesses can bid and win government contracts. Even though large companies are extremely aggressive and often predatory in their pricing, they are legally precluded from bidding on small business set aside contracts. This is good business for small bottled water companies.

Approximately 25% of all Federal government opportunities are set aside for small business. Remember this is 25% of the total business and specific industries like bottled water may be higher. State and local set asides are also a large percentage of total business.

The small business preference is especially valuable for water manufactures because the Federal small business rules classify a water manufacturer as a small business as having less than 500 employees. Both Nestle and DS Waters have more than 500 employees.

Therefore if you are a water manufacturer with less than 500 employees you can bid and win Federal, State and Local contracts.

In addition, since water is heavy and distribution costs are a large part of the price to the customer, a small business water manufacturer has a natural advantage in capturing business if they are located near government offices or installations. Of course, government marketing is different from the standard rules of commercial marketing but Federal, State and Local procurement regulations are well documented and establish a level playing field for all bidders.

So, if your company is a small manufacturer, you should pursue government business at all levels. It is profitable and the best part is that you don’t have to compete with NestlĂ© or DS Waters!

Start A Shopping Online Business Selling Your Unique Products

Have you considered starting a shopping online business selling your products while working at home? Do you have a unique product or skill set? Do you feel there would be a huge demand from online shoppers for your product or service? This is a great time and opportunity to venture into making money online while at home. You will find many businesses on the internet selling their products and services, and quite a few are home-based. Why not start your own home-based business and reap the rewards financially and proudly with your talents.

Work at home advantage

To be able to work at home is a dream that many individuals truly desire. Yet, there are those that are living this dream and living it well. They set their own pace, schedules, and allow themselves free time (rewarding themselves for accomplishments such as a vacation, go to a movie, etc…). Bonding is also a plus because of the amount of quality time an individual is able to spend with family members. Add making money by selling your products or services online into the mix, you then have yourself the complete package.

Believe in your product

The single most important thing that you will need to look at in starting your business, is believing in your product and that you will be successful. Once you have reached that level of confidence, run a test with family and friends before your initial investment of time, money, and energy. Share with them your creation and be open to positive and negative responses. If the responses are unfavorable, ask questions as to what were the reasons. The answers may provide good insight in further development of the product.

You are not alone

Though you will be starting a home-based business, you do not have to feel you are doing this alone. There are many avenues to journey in search of those that are willing to give you support. The support may come from family, friends, internet, local county office, and so on. The information is available to assist you in getting a DBA, business license, help with advertising, marketing, and web service. If the task becomes overwhelming, take the option of outsourcing by hiring individuals or businesses specializing in the areas that need attention. Some services offered may be free of charge whereas others will set their fees. Explore what will work for you without draining your savings.

Manifest your dream of a successful online business

If you were giving a lot of thought about owning a successful online business throughout the course of the day, then the next logical step would be putting that thought into action. Why let your dream fade away, act on it. Once you set the wheels in motion, your dream is on the way to become reality. Trust that you are making the right decision and live each moment setting yourself up for success.