A lively, knowledgeable survey of the rewards and risks of proprietorship that stands several cuts above the average how-to offering. It's aimed, moreover, at individuals interested in supplying services rather than goods, and thus complements Dearer Brown's admirable The Entrepreneur's Guide (p. 331), which takes just the opposite tack. Smith, a professor (Business Management, Franklin Pierce College) and consultant, assumes a fair degree of commercial sophistication on the part of readers, particularly in financial matters. Nonetheless, his text is thorough and accessible. At the outset, he reviews such preparatory steps as deciding whether to buy a going concern or to begin from scratch. (In general, he favors suburban or rural locations for new ventures on grounds that cities are too crime-ridden and costly.) Covered as well are: planning, with the caveat that ""not all plans produce success""; operations; personnel policies; finance; and marketing, which, Smith asserts, encompasses everything from directory listings of the corporate phone number through television commercials. (But: ""If you do get to the point where TV might be a valuable medium, under no circumstances allow your face and voice to appear in the ad."") There's solid material, too, on sources of capital, credit, and assistance (e.g., the Farmers Home Administration as well as the SBA), plus line-by-line exegeses of income statements and balance sheets. Smith goes well beyond these workaday calculations to explain, with commendable clarity, inventory valuation, depreciation alternatives, discounted cash flow, and other accounting arcana that affect corporate tax liabilities. Toward the close, Smith addresses the subject of getting out--and how, from the seller's point of view, to price a going concern. A practical treatment of enterprise as a serious but not invariably somber business.