Very Important Prospects

The Start-Up Encyclopedia

By Laura Tiffany

As a start-up business owner, trying to find the answers to questions such as what a 401(k) plan or the Dow Jones Average mean to your business can often send you running to a 10-foot-high stack of textbooks.

But don't head to the local university library just yet: The SOHO Desk Reference (Harper Collins Publishers, $35, 800-242-7737), a business guide for small office/home office business owners, takes the pain out of finding the answers. Led by editor Peter H. Engel, a team of successful entrepreneurs, educators and editors put together The SOHO Desk Reference to provide small-business owners with a comprehensive handbook containing answers to the many questions that arise when running a business.

Using a format similar to an encyclopedia, The SOHO Desk Reference lists more than 400 subjects, ranging from simple selling techniques to complex financial-planning issues. Listings encompass such fields as business law and theory; financing and investing; publicity; inventory procedures; and hiring employees.

Each of the book's sections briefly explains the subject at hand in layman's terms, by defining the subject and showing practical examples of how it affects a small business. For example, the "disclosure" entry provides a term definition as well as why it is important, what the law requires and how to protect yourself with disclosure agreements. The "mission statement" entry defines the term, provides sample mission statements and gives advice on how to create your own.

Contact Sources

Dr. Roger Fritz, 1240 Iroquois Dr., #406, Naperville, IL 60563, (630) 420-7673

Matscot International LLC, 37 Gwynns Mill Ct., Owings Mills, MD 21117, (410) 581-0077

The Shopping Moon, (800) 991-4933,

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Very Important Prospects.

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