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Is this business book for you?

Published 2010, Hardcover, Amazon.com price: $12.70 
By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson 
 
[number color=red value=1] The word “entrepreneur” sounds like a big deal. Like it requires a bunch of money, a board of advisers and a business plan. Instead use a less daunting, more accurate term: “Starter.” Be a starter.[/number]

[number color=red value=2] Great jewelers don’t just buy to fill their cases. They curate their cases. These jewelers know that what doesn’t get in their cases is even more important than what does get in. So they streamline, tighten, clip and prune. What remains is only the very best — the essential.[/number]

[number color=red value=3] In Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, one of the first things the chef does after arriving at a failing business is cut down the menu — from 30-something items to 10. Think about how you could benefit from cutting back, offering less or focusing on a certain type of product.[/number]

[number color=red value=4] Sure, it’s important to listen to what your customers want. But don’t put every complaint on a to-do list. Listen, empathize and forget. What you  need to fix are complaints you hear repeatedly. Anything else is a distraction.[/number]

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[number color=red value=5] Don’t hire for pleasure; hire to kill pain. If you lose someone, don’t replace him immediately. See how long you can get by without that position. You’ll often discover you don’t need as many people as you think.[/number]

[number color=red value=6] Don’t be afraid to share your secrets. Could you tell customers about the Thai family from whom you’ve bought exclusive gemstone for decades? Or the design philosophy behind your latest jewelry picks? [/number]

[number color=red value=7] Emulate drug dealers by giving away something for free. Bakeries do it, and software companies do it. Even some jewelers selling beads do it by giving away starter bracelets and then selling charms to fill it up. What can you give away for free that will get people buying more?[/number]

[number color=red value=8] Test-drive employees. By hiring somebody for a mini-project of one week, you’ll get a much better idea of how they work, how they interact with others and whether you get along, than through the most exhaustive interview process.[/number]

[number color=red value=9] “We’re sorry if this upset you” is really a terrible apology. As is “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.” A good apology has no conditional “if” or “may” attached.[/number]

[number color=red value=10] Company policies are like scar tissue. Don’t create scars unless you have to. You don’t need a new dress code because John wore shorts into the office. You just need to tell John not to do it again. — David Squires[/number]

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[span class=note]This story is from the January 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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