At some point, a Paleolithic human thought it might be a good idea to share some mastodon flesh with another human in exchange for helping out in hauling the carcass. Or perhaps one remained home chipping away at chert to make arrowheads, while the other went off to chase after the local fauna. In my imagination, they might have then gone down to the local Small Business Administration office for some advice. That’s what I did 13 or so years ago with my previous exercise in the entrepreneurial.
I was pretty lucky. I met a guy who really set me straight with the creation of business plans – then I met someone else who was giving me some organizational development guidance, and another that operated an incredible graphic design firm.
It would have been even better if I’d had some of the great books that are now available. Back then, the local bookstore didn’t have the goods (and remember, no Amazon then, or even Google!). If I meet any nascent entrepreneurs today, I’m directing them to “Marketing: unmasked” by Erik Wolf and Stephanie Frost. Subtitled, “Insider’s tips + tricks for success in small business marketing”, the book provides plenty, covering the gamut, from business naming through social media.
I particularly like the advice around the hiring of a graphic designer, the creation of business cards, and the printing of brochures. The truth of the matter is, though, no book is going to be able to cover it all. What really makes this book a gem is the “Insider’s Tips”, like:
- If an icon can’t be described in three words or less, it’s too complicated.
- Please, PLEASE don’t print a trifold brochure
The advice about the creation of a website is right on, too. The authors’ advice regarding Flash should be a must-read for all marketers, not just small business.
For this audience, I might have added some advice about blog hosting. It seems one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is putting their blog on a hosted platform and ending up with a url like “marysblog.blogspot.com”. But that’s a small quibble to have with this book. If you’re starting a small business, order this book. And visit the authors at their website (marketingunmasked.com), listen to their podcasts, and follow them on Twitter. It could save you a lot of money and grief.