Book Reviews

Looking for shots of business inspiration? Here are three new titles that focus on power, planning and profitability in the new business marketplace.

The Elements of Power

By Terry R. Bacon
Hardcover, 320 pages, $27.95

No question about it: power gets attention, and powerful people get results. But how do you become powerful? That’s the question author and leadership expert Terry Bacon tackles in his provocative new book, The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence.

Drawing on groundbreaking research into the nature of power, Bacon sheds light on 11 different power sources (five personal and five organizational, plus one meta-source: will) that contribute to a powerful person’s impact on a company, an environment or individual lives.

With concrete examples to guide them, readers will discover, for example, why knowledge is power, as are creative talents, technical skills and “street smarts;” how expressive power—a command of language—speaks louder than words; and other invaluable lessons.

Filled with insights into strengthening each power source, Bacon presents an energizing model for business leaders at all levels who want to increase their voltage.

Start-Up Smarts

By Barry H. Cohen and Michael Rybarski
Paperback, 272 pages, $12.95
Adams Media

Whether you’re just starting out or already operating a business, you know that profitability is key to success. Yet if that sounds like a no-brainer, consider this: according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years.

In their practical and no-nonsense sourcebook, Start-Up Smarts: The Thinking Entrepreneurs Guide to Starting and Growing Your Business, authors Barry Cohen and Michael Rybarski delineate the 10 most important ways to ensure small business success.

The book includes sections on how to create a flexible business plan; find out what your customers really want; capitalize on the right trends; and choose the best business partners. It also contains a series of appendixes incorporating real-world start-up stories and a handy source guide to everything from government agencies to venture capital funding groups.

With more than 13 million Americans thinking about starting their own companies next year and millions more in that make-or-break first five years of business, Start-Up Smarts shows you how to bulletproof your business concept and win.

No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy

By Dan S. Kennedy
Paperback, 258 pages, $15.95
Entrepreneur Press

If you’re still hanging on to the notion that somehow the old economy is going to come roaring back, get over it, says Dan Kennedy in his new book, No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy. It’s not going to happen, and if you want to stay in the game, you’ve got to learn the new rules.

Capitalizing on his experience in business and marketing, Kennedy takes readers on a tour of the new, more demanding marketplace where consumers have the power, ordinary products and services aren’t tolerated, money is spent with caution, sellers are scrutinized and business success is earned, not given.

Kennedy explains how to position yourself and your business for maximum success, and shows you how to create surefire sales and marketing strategies. He also outlines why people count, and what to look for in hiring the best employees, lawyers and accountants.

“Ultimately, the single most significant fact is that entrepreneurs must be smarter, more strategic, more creative, more customer-centric, and more disciplined and determined than ever before,” Kennedy says. And in the New Economy, he believes the entrepreneurial community will become more important than ever.

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