Starting & Running a Business All-in-One For Dummies®


By Liz Barclay, Colin Barrow, Paul Barrow, Gregory Brooks, Ben Carter, Frank Catalano, Peter Economy, Lita Epstein, Alexander Hiam, Greg Holden, Tony Levene, Bob Nelson, Steven D. Peterson, Richard Pettinger, Bud E. Smith, Craig Smith, Paul Tiffany, and John A. Tracy

Edited by Dan Matthews




About the Authors

Dan Matthews: Dan Matthews is Group Online Editor of Caspian Publishing, which produces magazines, Web sites, and events for an audience of UK entrepreneurs. Primarily working on , Dan writes about stellar business success stories as well as up-and-coming start-ups. He was previously Group Online Editor of Crimson Business Publishing, with responsibility for sites such as and . He has contributed to a range of business magazines, including being contributing editor of Real Business Magazine and Growing Business Magazine.

Liz Barclay is presenter of BBC Radio 4’s daily consumer and social affairs programme You and Yours. Before joining the BBC she worked for Citizens Advice specialising in Employment and Family Law and Money Advice. She writes on business issues for BBC Online and has written on business and personal finance for various national newspapers, magazines, and Web sites over the past 10 years. Liz has also produced and presented 60 small business and 10 occupational health and safety programmes for BBC2 and written several booklets on work and personal finance to accompany BBC television and radio programmes. She chairs and speaks at conferences and seminars on work and business, is a trained counsellor, and lives in London.

Colin Barrow is Head of the Enterprise Group at Cranfield School of Management, where he teaches entrepreneurship on the MBA and other programmes. He is also a visiting professor at business schools in the US, Asia, France, and Austria. His books on entrepreneurship and small business have been translated into fifteen languages including Russian and Chinese. He worked with Microsoft to incorporate the business planning model used in his teaching programmes into the software programme, Microsoft Business Planner, now bundled with Office. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, periodicals, and academic journals such as the Financial Times, The Guardian, Management Today, and the International Small Business Journal. Thousands of students have passed through Colin’s start-up and business growth programmes, raising millions in new capital and going on to run successful and thriving enterprises. He is a non-executive director of two venture capital funds, on the board of several small businesses, and serves on a number of Government Task Forces.

Paul Barrow trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte & Touche before obtaining his MBA at Bradford University. As a senior consultant with Ernst & Young he was responsible for managing and delivering quality consulting assignments. During the mid-1980s, he was Investment Review Director for a UK venture capital business. In 1998, as Group Finance Director of Adval Group plc, he was part of the team which took their software company on to the Alternative Investment Market. Adval specialises in providing multimedia training – both bespoke and generic. Paul has also been a director of several owner-managed businesses, and has started up and sold other businesses. He currently works with businesses as diverse as software, turkey farming, and food retailing. Paul is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University where he teaches on the Business Growth Programme. This programme is designed specifically for owner managers who want to grow and improve their businesses. He also teaches at Warwick University and Oxford Brookes on similar programmes. Paul has written several other business books: The Business Plan Workbook and Raising Finance (both Kogan Page/Sunday Times); The Best Laid Business Plans and The Bottom Line (both Virgin Books). All these books are aimed at owner managers trying to grow and improve their businesses.

Greg Brooks is a freelance journalist who has written for a number of broadcasters, newspapers, and magazines including Channel 4, The Guardian, Marketing, New Media Age, and Marketing Direct. He has also carried out corporate ghostwriting and consultancy duties for a number of blue-chip clients around the globe. As part of his role as an industry commentator, he has spoken to organisations such as the BBC about how to communicate with consumers and journalists using interactive channels.

Ben Carter runs his own digital agency helping famous and not so famous brands launch marketing initiatives to capitalise on the changing media landscape and ever-changing consumer behaviour. Current clients of Ben Carter & Associates include npower and AOL, and the company has also provided consultancy services for several major UK-based blue-chip companies. Before setting up BCA, Ben worked as a business journalist for eight years, covering the UK’s media and marketing sectors and most recently was News Editor of Marketing magazine. He has also freelanced for a number of national newspapers including The Times and The Guardian and is used regularly as a commentator on the booming digital economy by different media, including the BBC, The Independent, and CNN.

Frank Catalano is a veteran marketing consultant and analyst. He’s the principal of Catalano Consulting, a strategic marketing firm advising Internet and technology companies. His consulting assignments include stints as Managing Director for PC Data’s Internet Monitoring Division, VP Marketing for McGraw-Hill Home Interactive, VP Marketing for iCopyright, and VP Marketing for Apex Computer. He also was a marketing manager for Egghead Software and for the Apple Programmers and Developers Association. When not consulting, Frank provides tech industry analysis and commentary for KCPQ-TV Fox Seattle and is the author of the long-running Byte Me columns for Seattle Weekly and others. His essays and short fiction about technology have appeared in a wide variety of print and broadcast media, including ClickZ, Omni, Inside Multimedia, and Analog.

Peter Economy is associate editor of Leader to Leader, the award-winning magazine of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Leadership, and author of numerous books. Peter combines his writing expertise with more than 15 years of management experience to provide his readers with solid, hands-on information and advice. He received his bachelor’s degree (with majors in economics and human biology) from Stanford University and his MBA at the Edinburgh Business School. Visit Peter at his Web site: .

Lita Epstein, who earned her MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, enjoys helping people develop good financial, investing, and tax planning skills. While getting her MBS, Lita worked as a teaching assistant for the financial accounting department and ran the accounting lab. After completing her MBA, she managed finances for a small nonprofit organization and for the facilities management section of a large medical clinic. She designs and teaches online courses on topics such as investing for retirement, getting ready for tax time, and finance and investing for women. She’s written more than ten books, including Streetwise Retirement Planning and Trading For Dummies. Lita was the content director for a financial services Web site, , and managed the Web site Investing for Women. As a Congressional press secretary, Lita gained firsthand knowledge about how to work within and around the Federal bureaucracy, which gives her great insight into how government programmes work. In the past, Lita has been a daily newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and fundraiser for the international activities of former US President Jimmy Carter through The Carter Center.

Alex Hiam is a consultant, corporate trainer, and public speaker with 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, and corporate communications. He is the director of Insights, which includes a division called Insights for Marketing that offers a wide range of services for supporting and training in sales, customer service, planning, and management. His firm is also active in developing the next generation of leaders in the workplace through its Insights for Training & Development. Alex has an MBA in marketing and strategic planning from the Haas School at U.C. Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. He has worked as marketing manager for both smaller high-tech firms and a Fortune 100 company, and did a stint as a professor of marketing at the business school at U. Mass. Amherst. Alex is the co-author of the best-seller, The Portable MBA in Marketing (Wiley) as well as The Vest-Pocket CEO and numerous other books and training programs. He has consulted to a wide range of companies and not-for-profit and government agencies, from General Motors and Volvo to HeathEast and the U.S. Army (a fuller list of clients is posted at ). Alex is also the author of a companion volume to this book, the Marketing Kit For Dummies (Wiley), which includes more detailed coverage of many of the hands-on topics involved in creating great advertising, direct mail letters, Web sites, publicity campaigns, and marketing plans. On the CD that comes with the Marketing Kit For Dummies, you’ll find forms, checklists, and templates that may be of use to you. Also, Alex maintains an extensive Web site of resources that he organised to support each of the chapters in the book.

Greg Holden started a small business called Stylus Media, which is a group of editorial, design, and computer professionals who produce both print and electronic publications. The company gets its name from a recording stylus that reads the traces left on a disk by voices or instruments and translates those signals into electronic data that can be amplified and enjoyed by many. He has been self-employed for the past ten years. He is an avid user of eBay, both as a buyer and seller, and he recently started his own blog. One of the ways Greg enjoys communicating is through explaining technical subjects in nontechnical language. The first edition of Starting an Online Business For Dummies was the ninth of his more than 30 computer books. He also authored eBay PowerUser’s Bible for Wiley Publishing. Over the years, Greg has been a contributing editor of Computer Currents magazine, where he writes a monthly column. He also contributes to PC World and the University of Illinois at Chicago alumni magazine. Other projects have included preparing documentation for an electronics catalog company in Chicago and creating online courses on Windows 2000 and Microsoft Word 2000. Greg balances his technical expertise and his entrepreneurial experience with his love of literature. He received an MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and also writes general interest books, short stories, and poetry. Among his editing assignments is the monthly newsletter for his daughters’ grade school. After graduating from college, Greg became a reporter for his hometown newspaper. Working at the publications office at the University of Chicago was his next job, and it was there that he started to use computers. He discovered, as the technology became available, that he loved desktop publishing (with the Macintosh and LaserWriter) and, later on, the World Wide Web. Greg loves to travel, but since his two daughters were born, he hasn’t been able to get around much. He was able to translate his experiences into a book called Karma Kids: Answering Everyday Parenting Questions with Buddhist Wisdom. However, through the Web, he enjoys traveling vicariously and meeting people online. He lives with his family in an old house in Chicago that he has been rehabbing for – well, for many years now. He is a collector of objects such as pens, cameras, radios, and hats. He is always looking for things to take apart so that he can see how they work and fix them up. Many of the same skills prove useful in creating and maintaining Web pages. He is an active member of Jewel Heart, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation and study group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tony Levene is a member of The Guardian Jobs & Money team, writing on issues including investment and consumer rights as well as on taxation. He has been a financial journalist for nearly thirty years after a brief foray into teaching French to school children. Over his journalistic career, Tony has worked for newspapers including The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, The Sun, Daily Star, Sunday Mirror, and Daily Express. He has written eight previous books on money matters including Investing For Dummies. Tony lives in London with his wife Claudia, ‘virtually grown up’ children Zoe and Oliver, and cats Plato, Pandora, and Pascal.

Bob Nelson, PhD, is founder and president of Nelson Motivation, Inc., a management training and products firm headquartered in San Diego, California. As a practising manager, researcher, and best-selling author, Bob is an internationally recognised expert in the areas of employee motivation, recognition and rewards, productivity and performance improvement, and leadership. Bob has published 20 books and sold more than 2.5 million books on management, which have been translated into some 20 languages. He earned his BA in communications from Macalester College, his MBA in organisational behavior from UC Berkeley, and his PhD in management from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management Center of the Claremont Graduate University. Visit his Web site at or contact Bob directly at

Steven Peterson is a senior partner and founder of Home Planet Technologies, a management training company specializing in hands-on software tools designed to enhance business strategy, business planning, and general management skills. He is the creator and designer of The Protean Strategist, a state of the art computer-based business simulation. The simulation creates a dynamic business environment where participants run companies and compete against each other in a fast-changing marketplace. Each management team in the simulation is responsible for developing its own strategy, business plan, and program to make the plan work. Steven has used The Protean Strategist to add excitement, hands-on experience, teamwork, and a competitive challenge to corporate training programs around the world. He has worked with both large and small companies on products and services in industries ranging from telecommunications to financial services and from high technology to consumer goods and industrial equipment. He can be reached by e-mail at When he’s not planning his own business, Steven is planning to remodel his 80-year old house or to redesign the garden. And he confesses that of the three, the garden proves to be the most difficult. Steven holds advanced degrees in mathematics and physics, receiving his doctorate from Cornell University. He teaches part-time at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, and lives in the Bay Area with his long-time companion, Peter, and their long-lived canine, Jake.

Richard Pettinger (BA, MBA, DipMktg) has taught at University College London since 1989, where he is senior lecturer in management. He teaches on the foundation courses, organisational change, and construction marketing courses. He has also taught strategic and operations management; the management of change; human resource management; and leadership to a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate, professional, and international students. Richard is also enhancing and developing Management Studies Centre activities and courses, including the directorship of the new Information Management for Business course. Since 2005, Richard has been a visiting professor at the Jagiellonian Business School, Krakow, teaching strategic management and developing a common UCL/Jagiellonian syllabus in strategic management and organisational change. Richard is the author of over thirty business and management books and textbooks, and also writes journal, conference, and study papers.

Bud Smith’s experience is split between the technical and marketing sides of the computer and Internet industries. Bud was a short-order cook before starting in the computer industry at age 21. He was a data entry supervisor, programmer, and technical writer before working as a competitive analyst and QuickTime marketing manager at Apple Computer. He has been a full-time writer and has joined Frank Catalano in several consulting projects. Bud is currently Director of Marketing at AllPublish, a venture-funded Silicon Valley startup. Bud’s writing experience is all on the nonfiction side and includes computer and medical articles as well as a dozen computer books.

Craig Smith is the editor of Marketing, the UK’s highest circulation weekly magazine, and PPA Weekly Business Magazine of the Year, serving the marketing and advertising industries. He has worked as a business journalist for 18 years and is a regular commentator on marketing issues to the national press and broadcast media. Craig works closely with industry trade bodies, the Association of Publishing Agencies, and Business in the Community to promote best practice in the areas of customer magazines and cause related marketing.

Paul Tiffany is the managing director of Paul Tiffany & Associates, a Santa Rosa, California-based firm that has offered management training and consulting services to organizations throughout the world for the past fifteen years. In addition, he has taught business planning courses at some of the top business schools in the USA, including Stanford, Wharton, and The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently serves as adjunct professor. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a PhD from Berkeley. He can be reached by e-mail at

John A. Tracy is Professor of Accounting, Emeritus, in the College of Business and Administration at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Before his 35-year tenure at Boulder he was on the business faculty for 4 years at the University of California in Berkeley. He has served as staff accountant at Ernst & Young and is the author of several books on accounting, including The Fast Forward MBA in Finance and How To Read a Financial Report. Dr Tracy received his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin and is a CPA in Colorado.


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