Resources: Free e-book helps small businesses learn big business management methods

Through my work with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, I recently learned about a very useful new  e-book that can be downloaded for free. It is entitled Small Business Breakthrough: The entrepreneur’s ultimate handbook to success.

Written by Mark Kramer, CPA, the e-book is based on the U.S. Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is the nation’s public/private partnership dedicated to promoting performance excellence. The Baldrige program was established by Congress in 1987 and since then has been giving out the annual Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. (The program is named after a former Secretary of Commerce.) Competition for this award is stiff, with a rigorous review process determining the winner.

The Baldrige program, which primarily focuses on helping large corporations improve performance, suggests organizations manage seven key elements: Leadership, Strategy, Customer, Workforce, Operations, Knowledge and Results. What the Breakthrough e-book approach does is to provide seven corresponding tools that help entrepreneurs and small business owners implement the essential elements of Baldrige and related quality management methodologies.

The e-book includes process improvement tools, continuous improvement tools, an employee coaching worksheet, a CEO scorecard template. Coming in at just under 100 pages, the e-book is certainly well worth your time. And, of course, it’s free, so money is no impediment! To download the e-book, go to www.smallbusiness-breakthrough.org and click on “The Book” in the menu. You will find a blog there that also has some very helpful information.

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