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TitleThe Small Business Bible
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Document Text Contents
Page 2

Small Business


You Need to Know

to Succeed in

Your Small Business

Steven D. Strauss

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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how your phone is answered or how you deal with complaints to your
signs, logos, letterhead, and promotions. Whereas advertising essen-
tially brings in new clients, marketing not only does that, but it helps
keep them around. Marketing, more than anything else, is what
builds your brand, and an identifiable brand is the hook that gets
people to remember your business. And if they remember you, they
will likely buy from you. That is why marketing and branding are so

Think of it this way: Your business identity, your brand, is your
business personality. It is what people remember. Just as we some-
times meet easily forgettable people with blah personalities, so, too,
do we all run across far too many small businesses with little, if any,
personality. Forgettable businesses—what a waste. But by the same
token, when you meet someone with a large, identifiable personality,
you remember them, just as you do when you run across a business
with a distinctive personality.

Peter Drucker, the guru of modern business, says that marketing
is what your business is as seen through the eyes of your customers.
So what do your customers see when they look at your business? A
law office must be stately because the issues people need lawyers for
are serious. Legal clients want to see excellence, so the law office
needs an embossed letterhead, a prestigious address, and a proficient


Does Starbucks have a personality? You bet—hip, a bit laid back, friendly. How

did Starbucks create that brand? By consistently reinforcing it with everything

they do. From the décor of their stores to the personality of their baristas to

the choice of music they play and sell (oh yes, and their coffee), Starbucks con-

sistently tells you that theirs is a cool place to hang out, even if it does cost a

bit more. That is what you want. You create that distinctive personality, that

memorable brand, by marketing a consistent theme.

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receptionist, for starters. Their marketing materials must be profes-
sional and elegant. All are different aspects of the interwoven mar-
keting campaign intended to get clients to believe in the firm enough
to hire it.

So marketing is the process of getting customers and potential cus-
tomers to perceive value in what you offer. There are so many different
marketing methods available that it is impossible to cover them all in a
single chapter. This chapter, therefore, is devoted to relaying some of
the more powerful, easily implementable ones. Chapter 35, Marketing
on a Shoestring, covers scores of other ways to promote and grow your
business with little money.

Marketing Plans

A marketing plan should not be new to you, but it probably is. If you
drafted a business plan, your marketing plan is a major section, and it
should be reviewed. However, the fact is, if yours is like most other
small businesses, you have neither a business nor a marketing plan.
That is fine. It is not required. The five-step process discussed in the
previous chapter can easily be adopted here as well.

1. Think ahead: What is the purpose, size, and budget for your mar-
keting campaign?

2. Decide what media might work best for your business, brand, and

3. Come up with some marketing materials that build on that brand.
4. Test the materials, if applicable.
5. Once you are convinced that you have a marketing method that

works, roll it out.

Just as you were advised to come up with an ad campaign and
test it out before expanding on it, so, too, should you do the same

Marketing Muscle 211

According to the , only 14 percent of small businesses have

a written business plan.

Wall Street Journal

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Page 450

Sole proprietorship, 57–58, 64
investors and, 76
self-payment and, 145

Solo 401(k), 170, 171
Spyware, 118
Startup costs. See Expenses, startup

Stock options and ownership, 261–262
Strategic partnerships, 215–216
Strengths assessment, 3–8
Structure of business. See Legal structure
Succession planning, 237–239

financing from, 342, 345–346
finding good, 96–98

System, for running business, 371–374

Tax issues, 61, 63, 165–174
C corporation, 62
deductions, 166–167
filing deadlines, 169
insurance premiums, 161
limited partnerships, 60, 63
property taxes, 169
retirement plans, 170–171
sales tax, 167, 168
S corporation, 62
tips for, 171–172
tips for handling audit, 173–174

Technology, 111–118. See also Software
computer security, 117–118
interconnected office, 111–112
intranet, 113, 116
mobility tools, 114–116
wireless office, 112–114

Telemarketing, 38–39
Television advertising, 200–202, 353
Trade associations:

market research and, 35–36
suppliers and, 97

Trade magazines:
businesses for sale in, 24
market research and, 36
suppliers and, 97

Trademarks, 181
Trade secrets, 182–183. See also

Noncompete/nondisclosure agreements
Trade shows:

market research and, 36
suppliers and, 97–98

Traffic, location choice and, 82
Training of employees, 269–275
Travel expenses, 166, 174

Unfair trade practices, 189–191
Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC),


Vacation benefits, 265–267

exit strategy and, 240
of for-sale business, 27–29

Venture capital, 75–76, 153
Videoconferencing, 115–116
Virtual assistants, 329–330
Vision, for business, 375–380

Web site, 225–236. See also Internet
eBay and, 234–236
e-mail marketing and, 236
getting traffic to, 225–228
handling shipping, 232–234
motivating customers to buy, 231–232
search engine placement, 228–231
software for creation of, 125–126

Wireless office, 112–114
Withholding, of employee taxes, 167–168
Worker’s compensation insurance, 159

Yellow Pages, 203–204, 354

Index 435

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Page 451

About the Author

Steven D. Strauss is the country’s leading small business expert. An in-
ternationally recognized lawyer, business columnist, and speaker, Steve
is also the author of a dozen books. Steve’s business column, Ask an Ex-
pert, appears weekly at and is one of the most highly
syndicated small business columns in the world. You can read his col-
umn every week at

A highly sought-after commentator and media guest, Steve has
been featured on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, The O’Reilly
Factor, MSNBC, Court TV, the BBC, and ABC News. He has been
seen in many magazines, including Time, Inc., New York, and Entrepre-
neur. He has been featured in many newspapers, including Investor’s
Business Daily, USA Today, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles
Times, the Detroit Free Press, and the Chicago Tribune.

Steve speaks to business groups the world over, including a recent
visit to the United Nations. He consistently receives rave reviews for his
humor, friendliness, energy, insight, and delivery.

A small business owner himself, Steve is the president of The
Strauss Group (Strauss Law Firm, Strauss Seminar Company, Ask an
Expert column syndication, and He graduated from
UCLA, the Claremont Graduate School, and the McGeorge School of
Law. If you would like to receive Steve’s free newsletter Small Business
Success Secrets, have him speak to your organization, or otherwise get
in contact with him, visit his web site,


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