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A breezy, anecdotal companion piece to a PBS-TV series scheduled to begin an eight-week run in October with the author as on-camera host. Whatever the merits of the show may be, Hawken (The Magic of Findhorn, The Next Economy) offers savvy, hang-loose counsel on the risks as well as rewards of proprietorship. Drawing on his own experiences as a successful, if sometimes reluctant, entrepreneur (in natural foods and mail-order garden supplies), Hawken provides a deceptively systematic and unabashedly moral overview. ""Astute attention to detail"" and fair play, he maintains throughout, pay higher dividends than institutionalized controls and double-dealing. Discounting neither the psychic nor monetary returns of being on one's own, moreover, Hawken recommends evaluating opportunities not only on the basis of their commercial potential but also from a customer's perspective. Particularly helpful for neophytes are like-it-is briefings on other pre-plunge preparations, e.g., committing one's business plan to paper (for the benefit of prospective backers as well as the fledgling firm) and choosing the most advantageous form of organization. Also useful are low-key advisories on budgeting, cash flow, credit sources, ratio analysis, and allied aspects of financial management. The same holds tree for Hawken's down-to-earth guidance on personnel policy, compensation practice, vendor relations, responsive marketing programs, avoiding the pitfalls of too-swift growth, and otherwise nurturing an unripe enterprise. A standout in an overcrowded field.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1987
ISBN: 0671671642
Publisher: Simon & Schuster