A close, by-the-numbers look at exactly what's involved in opening and operating a manufacturing, merchandising, or service business. Much of the material has been culled from government publications, in particular those of the Small Business Administration and the Census Bureau. But the editor has chosen wisely, and his compendium covers important ground. Using a checklist format, Szykitka starts with the excellent advice that would-be entrepreneurs think hard about whether they are psychologically qualified to go it alone. Next come practical suggestions for deciding which business to enter and where to locate. (Service fields like advertising and consulting offer the best returns on investment; retail lumber yards are at the bottom.) Also covered are the fundamentals of raising money from banks, the SBA, venture capital firms, and such non-institutional lenders as family or friends. In addition, Szykitka examines the relative merits of start-ups versus purchase of an established enterprise or franchise. Roughly half the book is devoted to the practical aspects of managing a business for profit, a broad subject that encompasses financial planning, meeting payrolls, reconciling bank statements, estimating inventory requirements, posting sales receipts, accounting for bad debts, and so on. Legal and insurance exigencies receive comparatively short shrift, but the sections on advertising, personnel, and relations with regulatory or licensing bodies are first-rate--as is the comprehensive bibliography, which comes with ZIP-coded addresses for sources. Given the mortality rate of small businesses, Szykitka's work should prove of considerable value--not least to those whom it dissuades from taking the plunge.