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Idea Cafe's Biz Book Review

201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business

by: Jane Applegate

Book Briefs:
Paperback, 377 pages
1998, Bloomberg Press

Price: $14.95 ($11.96 at

Who Should Order Up this Book?
The juicy tips in this book will have any small biz owner's mouth watering! They're just too good to pass up. (You can't read just one!) If you're hungry for some top-of-the-line biz advice -- but don't have the extra dough -- this book's worth every morsel. For less than $15, you're treated to over 200 small business ideas from various sources -- that's about 7 cents per biz tip!

The Meat & Potatoes:
Author Jane Applegate is a syndicated business writer whose columns and articles appear nationwide. She discovered these great ideas for small business by digging deep in the biz trenches. Her savvy info comes from numerous interviews and coffee talks with real-life biz owners and consultants (and a few big wigs, like Lillian Vernon and Tom Peters.)

Applegate says an idea didn't cut the mustard unless it was "something tried by a real business owner in a real small business." She didn't go for just plain ole vanilla biz ideas, they had to be creative and unique, like Ben and Jerry's Wavy Gravy ice cream! And best of all, Applegate's tips have "universal appeal" -- info to suit all biz tastes and appetites.

The book's 201 ideas for small business are neatly sliced up into ten chapters, ranging from management and marketing strategies to developing and launching products. You'll also find ideas for recruiting quality help; using the latest high-tech gizmos to streamline your operations; and going global.

One Idea Cafe chapter favorite was the customer service chapter. It reminds us that customers are our bread and butter, and we gotta treat 'em right. (Something we might forget at times.) Another favorite was a short, but sweet chapter on time management, or in other words, getting your life back!

Biz ideas are concisely written and usually run no more than a page or two in length. So you can read a biz idea per day, or read for an hour and get a hefty helping of good information.

Here's a quick sampling of a few tip titles that might pique your interest and make your day!

  • Never Work with Anyone Who Gives You a Headache or Stomachache
  • Work Hard and Play Harder
  • Keep the Office Fridge Stocked Up
  • Find Yourself an Angel
  • Put a Pig in Your Window
  • Make the Most of Voice Mail
  • Hire a Mystery Shopper

Applegate ends her book with a power punch. Chapter 10 dishes up seven savvy secrets from some who's who in the biz world. And her Resource section features some good finds as well -- tho it's noteable Idea Cafe: The Small Business Channel was NOT listed in the "Websites to Check Out" section! (We won't hold it against her tho!)

Overall Taste:
This book is easy on the pocketbook and chock full of healthy hints for making a small business grow and prosper. It's a good value and will benefit and inspire any small business owner, even if it's in only one particular area. It's definitely words for the wise (from the wise).

rule for small business

Idea Cafe's Rating:
(five light bulbs is our top rating)

I'll Take It!

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