Friday, July 20, 2012

My first book on small business

I am excited to announce that I have just published my first small business related book that you can purchase here.  As some of you may know, for 15 years I managed a small family owned business.  A couple of years ago we closed the business due to poor sales.  As I have reflected on the reasons for that failure I was able to identify a number of poor management and leadership decisions of mine that contributed to that failure.  That is why I titled the book Mistakes: Avoiding the Wrong Decisions that Will Close Your Small Business.  The book not only details the mistakes I made to help small business owners avoid them, but it also gives a number of recommendations for how to do better in each of those areas.  I want my readers to be able to compare my practices as a business owner to those of people who have been successful in small businesses so they can enjoy the success and avoid the pain I have felt after closing our business.

You may be wondering why I released it as an e-book and not have it published as my ministry books have been.  Actually, there are several reasons.  One is that I could control the cost of the book this way and keep the price lower than if a publisher released a print version.  Any time a small business owner can save a few bucks it's a good day!  A second reason is that I could get it into the hands of the readers quicker.  My experience with print publishing is that there is at least a year's lead time by the time the writer sends a proposal letter to the publisher, the publisher agrees to publish the book, and the book actually hits the book shelves.  With our current economic times small business owners need help now.  They don't need to wait to get the information they'll find in this book a year from now.  A third reason is that a growing number of people download e-books today rather than going to bookstores.  I read at least 5-6 books on my NOOK for every physical book I read, and many others would say the same thing.

Probably the most important reason is that I wanted to have control of the material.  Out of all the books I've published, only one has the title I gave it.  Book publishers always maintain the right to title a book, and I haven't always been happy with the titles my publisher has selected.  (That is the only thing I've not been happy with, and I intend to continue to use my publisher for future ministry related books.)  I really didn't think most book publishers would want to release a book entitled Mistakes.  You don't find many books that dwell on the mistakes people make, especially books on leadership and business.  The shelves are full of books that promise amazing success and tell stories of how leaders defied the odds and built huge companies out of small ones.  I've got many of those kinds of books in my library.  What you don't find are books that honestly tell of the mistakes leaders and business owners make and how those mistakes impacted them and their businesses.  Believe me, I'm quite honest about my mistakes (and they are many!).  I take full responsibility for how our business ended.  I don't blame the economy, politics, our employees, our customers, our suppliers, or anyone else.  It's all on me, baby, and I just didn't think that was a message that would resonate with book publishers.  And, it's the message I wanted to send.

As the leader of your organization or business, the buck truly does stop with you.  You will make some great decisions and you will make some poor ones, but you own the end result of every decision you make.  My hope for this book is that as you read some of the poor ones I made you will avoid those and make better ones.  Throughout the book I point out what some of those better decisions would have been if I had only made them at the time.  At the end of the book I list a number of books that I believe every small business owner should read, and I believe you will find that list to be a valuable resource.  This book is over 200 pages of helpful information for anyone who currently owns a small business or is thinking about starting one.

As of today the book is only available for NOOK reading devices.  I plan to have it available on Kindle soon, but due to my schedule it will probably be a couple of weeks.  Again, if you are interested in ordering the book or want to read more about it, just go here.

Please let me ask one favor.  One huge disadvantage of self-publishing an e-book is the author is primarily responsible for marketing.  If you have friends who own small businesses I would appreciate it if you would foward this post to them so they would learn of this resource.  Thank you.

No comments: