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Business Insights for Women
PNC INSIGHTS Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issue
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Author Susan Baroncini-Moe takes a holistic approach to starting and running a company.

There are dozens, even hundreds, of books out there ready to help budding entrepreneurs and small-business owners understand the basics of finance, marketing and sales, and even more proffering advice for getting what you want out of life. But Business in Blue Jeans by Susan Baroncini-Moe successfully combines those topics to offer a holistic approach to starting and running a business that is personally fulfilling and financially rewarding. The book is written both for newbies contemplating starting a business and existing business owners looking for inspiration to grow their company.

A business and marketing consultant based in Indianapolis, Baroncini-Moe approaches her reader as she would a consulting client, and urges readers not to skip the personal elements of coaching (what she calls "Brain Junk") at the beginning of the book in order to get to the concrete how-tos available in later chapters. Even if you're leery of self-help exercises such as creating a list of 100 things you want in life, heed the author's advice and follow through, if only for the way these exercises help illustrate the commitment necessary to start a business or get a working business out of a rut. "Entrepreneurs who skip the Brain Junk Step often end up creating businesses that don't bring them joy, thinking too small, branding for the short term, and getting stuck pretty quickly," she writes.

This point of view begins to make sense in a section of the book called "Packaging," her term for transforming your personal aspirations into a business via a mission statement, business model, target market and products and services. At each point, she refers the reader back to earlier exercises. When devising a business model, for example, she suggests that if you described yourself as an introvert, you should consider a business that doesn't require day-to-day direct interaction with others. Or when she'd previously asked readers to put a dollar figure on their dreams, she now urges them to devise a business model that realistically brings in the necessary income. All the while, she maintains that the best way of doing business is "in your own way, in your style, on your terms." It might sound pie-in-the-sky, but the approach is actually practical and uplifting.

Reading Business in Blue Jeans is like listening to a very smart friend - on your side and full of good advice. The author is not merely focused on best practices but also on helping entrepreneurs and business owners make their own smart decisions.



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