Over the last several years, I’ve heard so many of you say how busy you are and how you don’t often have time to read through a whole book to get the nuggets of how-tos or strategies that you want to put into practice inside your business.
If that sounds like you, then you’ll definitely want to read this review and possibly pick up a copy of It’s Your Business: 183 Essential Tips that Will Transform Your Small Business by JJ Ramberg (@JJRamberg) with Lisa Everson (@EversonLisa) and Frank Silverstein (@SliversteinF).
I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of It’s Your Business the other day and I had an absolute blast reading through it this weekend. Notice that I didn’t say that I read it back to back, I said that I was reading through it. This is a book that you can open to any page and get your golden nugget of best small business practices for the day.
Each tip is a chapter that is titled with the tip itself such as “decrease job related injuries.” Then it goes on to state the problem as it is expressed in small business:
“Job related injuries are scary and expensive, harmful to morale and can cause costly delays…”
The next part of the chapter gives the solution – reward people for staying safe. (Just that short and sweet. No more. No less.)
This solution is followed by a real case study of a small business that has dealt with the problem and implemented the solution. In this example, it was the owners of Amy’s Kitchen, an organic food company.
At the end of each accident free day, the company makes a contribution to a “safety fund” and once a month they hold a contest for the best suggestion on how to improve workplace safety. The person who comes up with the best idea gets to spin a giant wheel of fortune and win a cash prize from $100 – $500.
There are 183 of these “essential tips” that you can literally take on every other day in your business and will keep you busy for the year. Here are some more examples that were featured in the book:
- Tackle unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning – ZipCar
- Hire staffers who match your target demographic – Harvard Business School
- Be ready with a photo pitch on your phone
As you can see from these quick and dirty examples, none of these suggestions are rocket science, and yet they can be very powerful actions that will not only grow your business, but might keep you sane as well.
Main Street Lessons from MSNBC
If you watch a lot of MSNBC, you’ll recognize the author; JJ Ramberg and the stories that she tells. JJ Ramberg is the host of MSNBC’s Your Business, the only television show dedicated to featuring small business issues and how they affect small business owners. The program is in its sixth season and features advice from many small business experts.
What gives this book real credibility is that JJ Ramberg is an entrepreneur herself. She co-founded GoodSearch.com with her brother. GoodSearch is a company that helps users transform every day actions into ways to support their favorite cause. She’s also been a reporter for CNN and has been awarded Self Magazine’s “Women Doing Good” award.
Ideal For Businesses of All Shapes and Sizes
There are several reasons why I enjoyed this book:
- It is realistic and unpretentious. The advice you’ll get here can be applied to any kind of business big or small, one thousand employees or just one.
- The advice is more focused on actions to take, then items or products to buy. Because so much of my business is focused on getting big results from small budgets, this really resonated with me. These are tips more focused on quality than quantity.
- You won’t have to read hundreds of pages to get the message. This is a book you can have on your shelf and pull down, open, read a section and get on with your day.
- There are lessons for everyone – not just the owner. While the book is written for small business owners, larger organizations can certainly take on several of the tips and apply them as a group.
See For Yourself
If anything I’ve said sparks your interest, check out the web site for It’s Your Business and download a free chapter. You can also check out the It’s Your Business Facebook page and share your own lessons with the community or check out more current It’s Your Business tips.
One of my coaches likes to say:
“It’s simple, but it isn’t easy.”
I think that those words of wisdom apply to this book as well. It’s Your Business takes a lot of simple tips and gives you the push you need to easily put the advice to work for your business.
Thanks for another one of your stellar books reviews.
I haven’t had a chance to open the book yet, but it sound like a quick read.
JJ’s television show is one that I rarely miss; it’s the only one that’s 100% focused on small business.
I think I’ll open her book now. I feel the need to learn!
The Franchise King®
Great job Ivana! I’m on Page 229, #156! So cool! JJ will be at the XPO and Gala!
Thanks Deborah! I really enjoyed this book as well. I think I loved the short and snappy structure the most. Granted – the advice was really good too. One of my favorite segments of the live show is where they have entrepreneurs asking questions and experts answering. I’m always blown away by the quality of questions and answers that they cover in such a short time. The best thing about the book – is that you can keep reading — even after the TV segment is over 🙂
Thanks for your recommendation, Ivana.
I’m going to be sure to pick this one up – it sounds as if there’s a lot to be learned from it.
Thanks again for this helpful tip.. I appreciate it!
DH at Break Room
Thank you Deborah for a very well-written review.
You mentioned “morale” in your review, and I was just wondering if “Its your Business” included any tips regarding an employee break room?
Although many small business owners overlook it, its amazing how a small tweak to the break room can lead to great increases in employee morale and productivity.
Lisa Everson here, I’m one of the co-authors on “It’s Your Business.” Yes, we agree, morale is very important! We touch on the break room in Tip #78 – Keep your staff energized throughout the day. We talk about the need for “recess” for employees (it’s not just for kids) for stretching and taking breaks. We also talk about supplying and encouraging healthy snacks — more carrots than cookies among other things. Hope that answers your question!