Monthly Archives: August 2016

Books for Small Businesses

If you’re running or helping to run a small business, you’ve encountered unique challenges (and, we hope, many unique rewards!). It can feel like you’re doing it all yourself–which means you could use as much help as you can get from the experts. Below, check out some of our most helpful recent books for small businesses.

The Crowdfunding Handbook: Raise Money for Your Small Business or Start-Up with Equity Funding Portals by Cliff Ennico

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Until May 2016, the act of offering securities (stocks, bonds, and more) in exchange for investment was extremely limited. The arduous and expensive process for companies and the strict regulations for investors left countless hopefuls out. That has now changed with equity crowdfunding. This isn’t your average Kickstarter campaign–you’ll need Cliff Ennico’s comprehensive handbook–but, if the timing is right for your small business, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small by Nick Westergaard

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While Get Scrappy‘s digital marketing wisdom applies to businesses of any size, small businesses will find it especially crucial. Marketing without a significant budget may feel like an uphill climb, but you can see results without a gargantuan budget if you follow Nick Westergaard’s essential advice on constructing your brand, sticking to your strategy, creating content that answers your potential customers’ most urgent questions, measuring your results accurately to hone your tactics, and more.

75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees by Paul Falcone

Jacket cover of 75 Ways by Paul Falcone

Not all small businesses have human resources departments, but that doesn’t mean the procedures and issues that HR departments handle just disappear. HR rock star Paul Falcone‘s new book delivers key human resources strategies to managers and executives. Small business owners will appreciate Falcone’s attention to each step in the employee cycle, readable explanations of the legal implications of key management decisions, and focus on hiring and managing effectively in the first place (because it’s much harder for small businesses to bounce back when hiring goes wrong).

When the Pressure’s On: The Secret to Winning When You Can’t Afford to Lose by Dr. Louis S. Csoka

Jacket cover of When the Pressure's On

Small business owners face an extraordinary amount of stress, and with the weight of a whole company on their shoulders, it’s not always possible to shrug it off. No one knows how to manage stress better than Dr. Louis S. Csoka, founder of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance and creator of the first ever Peak Performance Center for a Fortune 500 company. He shared his five-pronged strategy for performing under pressure–which small business owners face regularly–in his remarkable book, When the Pressure’s On.

Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale by Paul Smith

Jacket cover of Sell with a Story by Paul Smith

Small businesses pitching products might not always be able to offer the lowest price right away, and they might not have the highest brand recognition–so what’s going to get their prospects interested? The most important tool in any salesperson’s kit, but especially that of a salesperson from a smaller firm, is the story. In Sell with a Story, acclaimed author Paul Smith details how to craft narratives that will strengthen relationships, make the product memorable, increase product value (really!), and more. When it comes to storytelling, small businesses likely have a leg up on the competition–take advantage of it!

 

AMA Talks with Ed Wallace, author of THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE

Ed Wallace, author of the forthcoming THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE: Connecting with the People who Power Your Business (AMACOM October 2016), recently visited the American Management Association offices to discuss the importance of business relationships and how to strengthen yours.

Ed Wallace is president and chief relationship officer of The Relational Capital Group, a consultancy that serves many Fortune 500 clients. He is also on the Executive Education faculty at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s Program.

Enjoy! For more AMA Talks with AMACOM authors, please click here.

 

Back-to-School, With an EpiPen or Without

Mireille Schwartz and daughter with epipen

Author Mireille Schwartz and her daughter consider the EpiPen

The following is a guest post from Mireille Schwartz, author of the forthcoming When Your Child Has Food Allergies: A Parent’s Guide to Managing it All–From the Everyday to the Extreme (AMACOM April 2017), on this year’s back-to-school pharmacy visit and its collision with the recent EpiPen price controversy.

Two weeks ago, as part of my family’s back-to-school ritual, my daughter and I made an annual trip to our local pharmacy in order to refill her epinephrine auto-injector two-pack prescription. When your child has food allergies, there are certain times each calendar year that are pivotal touchpoints for safety: the birthday party, Halloween, winter holidays, and back-to-school. Families with food allergies survive and thrive with plenty of planning, and with strategies firmly in place to handle and manage the inevitable allergen exposures along the way. The epinephrine auto-injector is a huge part of this strategy.

Once a severe allergic reaction starts, epinephrine is usually the first line of defense to treat the situation. It’s a synthetic adrenaline that can reverse the severe symptoms of an allergic reaction in – literally – seconds. The medication is loaded up into an auto-injectable device, commonly referred to as the ‘EpiPen’ after the best-known brand, and one shot can stop an allergic reaction in its tracks. It’s considered the first and best solution in combating food allergies once they have been triggered. The epinephrine raises dangerously low blood pressure by tightening the blood vessels. The lung muscles relax, breathing eases, and swelling reduces in the throat and face. Then the heart rate increases as blood pressure rises, delivering the epinephrine faster to the whole body.

Unlike antihistamine tablets and syrups like Benadryl – also useful, but not as fast-acting – epinephrine is available by a prescription only, and the shelf-life of the medication is slightly more than 12 months, meaning that refills are needed annually. The back-to-school season is a natural time to re-up: school is the ultimate zone for those inevitable allergen exposures.

The end-of-summer trip to the pharmacy is typically pretty boring, with some waiting around, then the polite small talk with our pharmacist followed by the handoff. This time, however, while we waited, we could see a buzz building behind the counter. Our pharmacist scowled at his computer screen, clicking a button over and over on his keyboard. Our eyes met, he quickly looked away, and he summoned over the head pharmacist. Together they began a quiet and heated discussion with the monitor’s glow on their frowning faces. Next, a third pharmacist walked up and tried her hand at the computer keyboard, while the three conferred in hushed tones.

My daughter and I are dependent on these EpiPens. As inconceivable as it was for me to consider, I had to ask: “Is there a problem with our prescription?” The head pharmacist was apologetic as he told me and my daughter, “I’m sorry, but even with your EpiPen coupon, the charge for your daughter’s medication today is $700.” He was clearly uncomfortable and caught off guard. I asked all of the questions a parent asks: was this for ALL the refills available for the entire year? Was this an error of some kind? The pharmacist couldn’t explain it, and he was as astounded as I was.

For Mylan, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the EpiPen, back-to-school is the ultimate time to gouge the customer—a customer desperate and dependent on the product. This price hike also happened directly following the removal of the other leading epinephrine auto-injector, Sanofi’s Auvi-Q that “talked you through” its use, from the market. A generic alternative has not yet arrived for consumers. And so it looks like Mylan, the EpiPen manufacturer, has done the cold and calculated unthinkable to us.

This week I’ve heard countless stories from families dejected to hear the same bad news at their own pharmacies all across the country. In some towns the EpiPen price surpassed $1,000. Families were frightened, many left without their child’s medications. No lifesaving medication for the school year.

Earlier this week, I met with my daughter’s school and handed them her brand new EpiPen two-pack. I also swapped out the soon-to-expire EpiPen two-pack in her personal emergency bag, carried daily in her backpack.

How many other families this week did not?

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Food allergy expert & author MIREILLE SCHWARTZ imparts wisdom gathered during her lifetime with food allergies in her upcoming book, When Your Child Has Food Allergies (AMACOM April 2017). She’ll share the stories behind the stories, and with them the health, safety, efficacy, common sense, and fragilities that make us who we are. “Food is everywhere, and our relationship to food needs to be healthy if we are to stay healthy,” Schwartz says. The author lives with her family in San Francisco.

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THE GIG ECONOMY Now Available on NetGalley

Cover art for The Gig EconomySo many things in life are what you make of them–including the gig economy. Plenty of internet clickbait articles warn of the downsides of this new era in work norms, but few offer a game plan to embrace it and create your most rewarding career within it. Now that guide does exist. In THE GIG ECONOMY: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want (AMACOM November 2016), author Diane Mulcahy provides the tools to prepare for, succeed in, and enjoy this career form. Journalists, booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, and media professionals interested in career, labor, and the gig economy are invited to request The Gig Economy for review.

From Uber to the presidential debates, the gig economy has been dominating the headlines…and for good reason. Today, more than a third of Americans are working in the gig economy—mixing together short-term jobs, contract work, and freelance assignments. For those who’ve figured out the formula, life has never been better!

The Gig Economy is your guide to this uncertain but ultimately rewarding world. Succeeding in it starts with shifting gears to recognize that only you control your future. Next is leveraging your skills, knowledge, and network to create your own career trajectory—one immune to the whims of an employer.

Packed with research, exercises, and anecdotes, this eye-opening book supplies strategies—ranging from the professional to the personal—to help you:

Construct a life based on your priorities and vision of success • Cultivate connections without networking • Create your own security • Take more time off • Build flexibility into your financial life • Face your fears by reducing risk • Prepare for the future • And much more

Layoffs… recessions…Corporate jobs are not only unstable— they’re increasingly scarce. It’s time to take charge of your own career and lead the life you actually want.

DIANE MULCAHY is a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and an Adjunct Lecturer at Babson College, where she teaches “Entrepreneurship and the Gig Economy,” a popular MBA course that Forbes.com named one of the top ten most innovative business school classes in the country. Her work in venture capital and entrepreneurship has been featured on NPR and in the Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, The New Yorker, The Economist, and other national media.

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NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books, such as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers.

There are a number of different reading options for this e-galley:

Find all of AMACOM’s e-galleys on NetGalley.

You can review how to get AMACOM’s digital galley request approval on NetGalley HERE.

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Podcast: William F. Baker on Art as a Business

Jacket cover of World's Your Stage William F. Baker recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss his book, The World’s Your Stage: How Performing Artists Can Make a Living While Still Doing What They Love, and how artists can fuse their true talent with business savvy to achieve success.

“My students at Juilliard are perhaps the best in the world,” Baker explains on the podcast. “They’re coming out of school having practiced, say, an instrument five hours a day since age three, they’ve gone to the hardest school in America to get into, and they come out and there’s an expectation that somebody’s going to be throwing rose petals at you and an agent taps you on the shoulder and says ‘I’ve got a $200,000 job for you at the Berlin Philharmonic.’ Now, that person is certainly qualified to go to the Berlin Philharmonic, but likely there’s no job.” What are the options for these graduates? They probably need this podcast and The World’s Your Stage.

Artists usually chose their profession for the love of the craft but if they don’t have some business skills they’re going to get left behind. William F Baker, co-author of The World’s Your Stage, published by AMACOM, has tips on how to brand yourself, how to assess your competition, and act like an entrepreneur.

Listen to William F. Baker on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

 

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Click through to see William F. Baker’s AMA Talks videos!

WILLIAM F. BAKER is president emeritus of WNET, New York’s PBS station, and a professor at Fordham University. He teaches Understanding the Profession: The Business of the Performing Arts in the 21st Century to students from Juilliard and Fordham, and, in addition to The World’s Your Stage, is the author of Leading with Kindness: How Good People Consistently Get Superior Results (AMACOM August 2008).

Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.