Inc. Magazine: A Must Read For Small Businesses & EntrepreneursDecember 15th, 2009 | Small Business | 7 Comments »
I have read a lot of magazines in my life from the Economist, Mens Health, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated….ok you get the picture. I have also read a lot of business magazines ranging from BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, etc. There is not one magazine that gets me so energized and enthused like Inc. magazine. I realize that most of those other magazines do not cover small business, entrepreneurship and startups, but none of those magazines’ content makes me passionate about what they are covering even though I am very interested in each magazine’s subject mater. Inc. simply makes me more passionate and motivated to be a entrepreneur and have a successful business with each issue that I read.
Some of you may say, wow you lead a pretty boring existence. Get a life. Look, I like a lot of different types of forms of entertainment – Will Farrell as Chaz Michael Michael in Blades of Glory and an occasional AC/DC concert included, but I honestly look forward to getting Inc. magazine every month. I also really like the Inc. magazine website and the blogs, especially the staff one called Fresh Inc. Here are the reasons why every entrepreneur and small business should read Inc magazine cover to cover:
1) Many writers are real successful entrepreneurs: Joel Spolsky and Norm Brodsky write monthly columns on real business issues. Norm Brodsky has been giving us a play by play of the sale and then resale of his business, CitiStorage, and it has been tremendously insightful for anyone going through a sales or negotiation process. I remember his Rule of 3 from his stories- Three issues will always arise at the very end of a deal, that can kill a deal. It s so true and your challenge is to overcome them, if you want the deal to close. Joel Spolsky who is co-founder of Fog Creek Software, has excellent monthly articles about a range of topics from software development, sales, strategy, pricing and management that often relay real examples from his company. These first hand accounts are incredibly informative to any small business because so often we are facing the same issues that are covered in their columns.
2) Tone of Small Business Success: The tone that weaves its way into nearly every Inc. article is how to make your small business or startup succeed. Inc. does a great job of profiling successful entrepreneurs. But it does even a better job of profiling entrepreneurs and startups that may have failed in some way. The writer or interviewer always does a great job of getting the entrepreneur to describe how they may have failed, what they learned and what they should have done differently to be even more successful. Each of the articles then has a rich value of showing not only the successes of these entrepreneurs but also the lessons learned. No better article from Inc. does this than the “How to Kill A Great Idea!” profile of the founder of Friendster, Johnathan Abrams. Its a must read for any startup and especially any start up getting venture capital.
3) Micro-Articles on Strategy, Marketing and Management: – Inc also covers the main areas of a small business each month. In these separate articles devoted to specific areas such as marketing, strategy and management they often give valuable and very practical business tips that businesses can incorporate into their daily operations immediately. Last month, they had a great strategy tip of using interns to develop talent and even using contests at schools to attract recruits.
4) Small Business Tools, &Applications: In nearly each issue, Inc. profiles tools and applications that can make your business more productive and efficient. The magazine often tries to look out for the most cost-effective tools and even give you recommendations for what tools are best for what types of businesses. I have found out about tools and applications such as Zoho (free productivity and collaboration applications), BaseCamp (project management), Guru (outsourced software and web design and development) and many more from these profiles.
5) Learnings From Cover Stories: I have read every Inc. magazine cover to cover from mid-2007 to November (I am a little behind, have not read this month’s yet!). Nearly every cover story that Inc has had has profiled a small business or entrepreneur that has not only a noteworthy story, but has powerful lessons for every businessperson that is reading the article. The cover stories are deep, insightful and tell the story ofl real life successes,, failures, challenges and obstacles that businesses, partners and entrepreneurs lived through while operating their company.
There are so many other valuable parts of Inc. magazine including the “How to” guides that I have used that describe how to buy the best insurance, how to hire the best small business lawyer, or how to make the most of trade shows.
I can not tell you how many times my wife and I have sat down and discussed one of Inc.’s great articles about a business, startup or entrepreneur from that month’s issue. We recommend it wholeheartedly to any small business, entrepreneur and startup. Keep it up Inc. Thank you for being such a great magazine.
Let us know your views on Inc. magazine.