Why Buy?

Farewell, Failure

If you have problems balancing your household checkbook or managing your personal finances, you'll more than likely need professional help when it comes to managing your business's finances. When start-up entrepreneurs fail to grasp the fundamentals of money management, "They discover that business survival requires more than simple record-keeping," counsels Paul E. Adams, professor emeritus of business administration at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey.

In Fail-Proof Your Business: Beat the Odds and Be Successful (Adams-Hall Publishing, $15.95, 800-888-4452), Adams describes the "perils, pitfalls and problems" of start-ups. The easy-to-read book, which focuses on avoiding the common mistakes made by most new business owners, also discusses the telltale warning signs of failure, how to deal with them and how to prevent potentially fatal problems.

Stressing that "money is the most important asset a start-up business has," the veteran educator and entrepreneur devotes three of the 10 chapters to "mastering money." Adams offers basic financial tips--how to devise a simple cash analysis report, prepare a budget, put together a one-page financial statement and more--and touches on such topics as accounts receivable, profit margins, budgeting, cash management and collections.

The anecdote-ridden Fail-Proof Your Business may be a bit elementary for some, but the 304-page book can't be faulted for being ambiguous. Adams, himself once on the brink of business failure, clearly and pointedly addresses the risks that concern all entrepreneurs, reveals the countless threats most have never considered, and shares some cogent counsel. This one is certainly worth a read.

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This article was originally published in the September 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Why Buy?.

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