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The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-By-Step Legal Guide [With CDROM] Paperback – May 9 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Nolo; 1 Pap/Cdr edition (May 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413311881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413311884
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,778,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 32 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Another Well-Organized and Informative NOLO Book May 29 2010
By Elisa 20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Some people may be wondering, "Why 'Women'?" After all, it's about starting a small business. Are the differences for women really enough to justify a separate book?

After reading through Pakroo's book, I think the answer to this is, "Yes." As she explains in the introduction (paraphrased): "There are business basics that apply to men and women alike: writing a business plan, handling finances, getting a website, etc.. But there are also women-specific topics: government contracts for women, identifying yourself as a woman-owned business and using it to financial advantage, plus interviews (on the CD) with women who've succeeded as entrepreneurs."

She points out that this is not really a book of "inspiration" (although her enthusiasm for women-as-entrepreneurs" is a bit inspiring in itself. She wants readers to know her emphasis is really on successfully starting and running a business--in other words, realistic, factual, practical help, including pros and cons (like health insurance coverage). The discussion of the pros and cons of running a business from home was useful--particularly the reminder of how many things are deductible even if your home office doesn't qualify for federal deduction.

And then there is marketing. Lots of good ideas here, both in the "real" world and using various opportunities online. (The website information, in my opinion, needs work. The nuts and bolts of web authoring are missed--why no mention of Dreamweaver?--and there's a lack of clarity in who would be able to create the website, update it, and maintain it. I really thought this section was a good idea, but poorly executed. The section on financial accountability was better.

There is tax advice at the end, and a CD with some forms that could help new businesses set up a partnership and maintain their books and stay organized. All-in-all, I wouldn't call it a "Step by step legal guide", but there's a lot of good information and it's a very solid overview that would help a new businesswoman know what to prepare for and to troubleshoot some of the problems enough to avoid them--always a good thing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
NOLO does it again June 9 2010
By TheBandit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
So far in my experience exploring books released by NOLO, I've found you can't really go wrong. Their books are so well organized, containing nothing but useful, pertinent information, that any topic they cover will provide a good deal of education.

The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit is designed for someone without a huge amount of business knowledge. If you're just getting starting, it's a great resource. Every step is covered, along with a CD-ROM of legal forms that are printable. The curious thing to me is that this book is targeted at women, and is in fact a follow up to a more universally titled volume, The Small Business Start-Up Kit. I think there is a little bit of strategy being employed here to get women specifically to pick it up. Perhaps some women are intimidated by the idea of entering the world of entreprenuership, thinking that its a "man's world." The cover shot of a woman lazing away at the office with her feet up on the desk is designed to trick someone into thinking this is a breeze.

Well, it's not. Starting a business and running it successfully is never easy, for a man or a woman. But this book does have a decidedly feminized slant, as it discusses business ownership from a woman's viewpoint. It also delves into how advantages can be had by being a woman business owner, as far as government incentives go. I'm strictly against that; in this day in age, what difference should gender still make, all things being equal? But the advantages are there, so there's no reason to hold back from using them. The book will help you.

NOLO is a great resource time and again and this volume is no exception.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent resource for Small Business owners June 3 2010
By Scott FS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
First of all, I wouldn't categorize this book as a book useful to women only. As the author says, most of the information you are going to need if you start your own business is the same whether you are a man or a woman. As a man, I didn't feel the book wasn't germane to my gender. It transcends gender 99% of the time. Perhaps this more of a marketing ploy than anything. That said, it doesn't impair the usefulness of the book.

If you are going to start a business, you're going to have to jump through three major hurdles: financial, legal, and personal. You've got to fund your business, you have to make sure you have paperwork filled out so that it meets legal requirements, and you have to make sure that your family understands and accepts the serious commitment that you are undertaking in running your business.

I'll bet a lot of small businesses are started with scant attention to each of those, especially the last. I know mine was. I learned as I went (as all business owners do), and made plenty of mistakes. I wish I had a book such as 'The Woman's Small Business Start-Up Kit' when I started mine.

Author Peri Pakroo (who has written two other books for Nolo on business) concentrates on the legal aspects of the process, since she is a lawyer. But the book isn't a boring tome about 'this contract and that permit'. She covers the gamut of what needs to be done: elucidating your vision and mission, identifying a market, writing a business plan, raising capital (so important), hiring employees, accounting, and marketing. She also addresses other important topics, such as whether to work out of your home or not, finding rental space if necessary, dealing with employees, and negotiating the sometimes tortuous permit process. She also addresses what I consider to be one of the most important problems that can arise in starting and running a business: balancing work and family. I can attest that small business owners can become fixated on growing their business, putting in long, hard hours. That can lead to strains in the family.

One thing that struck me about the book is emphasis on internet-based resources that can help grow your business. She addresses social media, developing a website (almost a requirement for any business that deals with the public), blogging, e-marketing and so on. And that's even if you don't run your business primarily on the 'net. That is something I've not done, since I started my business before the widespread adoption of the Internet, and my business doesn't really lend itself to the internet (I find clients the old-fashioned way. Although I do advertise on the Internet.)

As is the case with virtually all Nolo books, this is a great general overview of the process. You're going to need more specialized help along the way, and this book isn't going to have the answer to every question you're going to have. But it can point the way, discussing the broad overview, and taking care of some of the big questions at the very onset of your business. And she discusses lining up experts that you can hire when you have a problem that you can't solve yourself.

There is a useful CD included in the book that contains legal forms that one can use as a companion with the book.

Highly recommended. I wish I had had this book when I started my business. I certainly would have avoided a few tough lessons I learned the hard way. Four-and-a-half stars for 'The Woman's Small Business Start-up Kit.' (By the way, I'm a guy, yet the information here can apply to anyone who is making the important decision on when and how to start a small business.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Useful Reference Book June 17 2010
By My2Cents - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Starting a small business can be a wonderful experience, but would you know where to begin? What do you need to think about, and what do you need to do, before making such a huge and important decision?

In this new book the author outlines the important pieces that need to be researched and then implemented to get your new venture off the ground and running smoothly. You will learn how to develop a business plan; ways to successfully market your business and how to get maximum market exposure; the benefits of e-business tools; how to manage the accounting portion of your business, including what you need to know about federal, state and local taxes; whether you need to have legal professionals involved, and even how to hire employees who will help your business.

I thought this book was well organized, pretty easy to understand and that this book would be a good resource to any woman (or man) seriously considering a first time business venture. RECOMMENDED
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
NOLO is an AMAZING resource June 2 2010
By kre8iv1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
There are over 520 pages in this book, plus a CD with all kinds of forms on it.

I read the inside of the cover with the NOLO story - a quick blurb about when, where, and why NOLO was created - and felt that I had made a good choice when I ordered this book.

Second thing I turned to was the Table of Contents: *whew!*
1 Crafting a solid business/life fit
2 Targeting a profitable market with a winning idea
3 Making the financial transition to self-employment
4 Drafting an effective business plan
5 Understanding and choosing a legal structure
6 Your business location: working from home or renting space
7 Dealing with start-up requirements and bureaucratic hurdles
8 Getting the word out: cost-effective marketing
9 E-business: conducting and marketing your business online
10 Keeping your books and managing your finances
11 Federal, state, and local tax basics
12 Building your business and hiring employees and other workers
13 Lawyers and accountants: building your family of professionals
Appendix A: How to use the forms CD-ROM
Index

Third thing I turned to was the Index ... again *whew* ... there are 25 pages of index, with subjects I had never heard/thought of!

So, I dove in. Page 2 is titled "Do women entrepreneurs need their own book?". Well, that is EXACTLY what I was asking myself when I ordered it in the first place! (Yes we do, by the way.)

This book impressed me right off the bat. If you are female and looking to start your own business, I would recommend this book first.


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