Young Upstarts

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[Book Review] Building A Winning Business: 70 Takeaways

Some business books wax so much lyrical that any nuggets of useful information or valuable learning points are hidden and buried. Not “Building a Winning Business: 70 Takeaways for Creating a Strong Company during Good and Bad Economic Times“. Author Tom Salonek, a successful businessman and entrepreneur who grew his own IT consulting and training firm Intertechfrom US$2 million to US$10 million in annual revenue in the past ten years (and during the dotcom bubble burst, no less), instead comes up with a priceless book on business management that is concise yet insightful.

Enclosed within the pages are 70 pragmatic lessons that any leader or entrepreneur can immediately apply to their situation, whether it is about hiring, managing, company strategy, hiring and managing vendors, or leadership.

Let’s take takeaway No. 5, “Only Hire Top Performers”:

“If you think you can get by with mediocre employees, you’ll soon see profits eroding, since the only way you can compete is to lower prices.”

Or how about takeaway No. 12, “Provide Work That Matters”:

“As simple as this sounds, a whopping 80 percent of U.S workers do not think they use their strengths every day. Moreover, the longer someone stays at a firm, the less likely he is to say that he uses his strengths on a daily basis.”

Yes, it’s as common sense as it sounds, but you’ll smack your own forehead often as you read a certain nugget – be it a hard business principle like time management, or a softer one like defining social responsibility – that you should have known or remembered to apply.

In addition, Salonek provides downloadable templates for things such as offer letters and other basic business documents on his website. Each of these templates provides a specific tool including an interviewee checklist and employee recruitment guide for hiring, guides for strategic planning and SWOT analysis, meeting or agendas, employee review forms and more.

Throughout each section of “Building a Winning Business: 70 Takeaways“, there’s always something useful for the leader of a small team or an entrepreneur of a small firm. And because all the lessons are short and succinct, you’ll be done with it in no time.

But don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back time and again to reread relevant sections of the book!

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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