I've been getting surprisingly obnoxious unsolicited E-mails from somebody calling himself "America's business coach." He's calling an annoying offer of a free E-book his anti-Obama small-business bailout.
By the way, he's not who you might think. He's not Brian Tracy, or Barry Elms, or Thomas Winninger, or Lisa Bilal, or Maria Masala. His name doesn't turn up in the first few pages of any major Web search. I checked.
Suggestion: If you don't show up in the top 25 results for searching "America's business coach" in either Google, Yahoo, or MSN, don't send out press releases calling yourself that.
Second suggestion: Don't send out press releases saying you are going to give away a million copies of your book. Do it first, then brag about it. (Hint: Can you find even a thousand people who want it?)
Third suggestion: Stop with the bailout rhetoric, knocking President Obama for giving money to big companies and not to small business. It's just demagogy. The president doesn't give away money; Congress does. And the mechanics of government make it necessary to spend money to prevent some large company disasters, and they make it almost impossible to directly stimulate small business, except through slow movements related to loans and incentives and federal contracting and taxes and healthcare requirements and such, all of which are more about Congress than about presidents.
I own a small business. We have 45 employees and no outside investors. We've been in business for 22 years. I don't want the government to bail us out, but I do want the government to protect the economy, as best it can, from some dire economic conditions.
And I have no interest in this guy's self-proclaimed title, his book, his bailout, or his politics, either.
Tim Berry is president and founder of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He teaches starting a business at the University of Oregon. He is author of books and software including Business Plan Pro, published by Palo Alto Software, and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. He has a Stanford M.B.A. degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. He blogs at Planning Startup Stories and Up and Running.