Cash In on Cash Flow

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In typical promotional fashion, A. David Silver promises that if readers buy this, his latest book on business management, and implement at least half of its suggestions, they will triple their company’s cash flow in ninety days and triple it again within the year.

Silver’s fifty “tough-as-nails” ideas for revitalizing a small business are broken down into four separate stages: slash costs, spin off peripheral assets, create multiple marketing channels, and bring a new product or service to market. This all sounds ordinary enough, but the real value of the book is based on numerous specific examples of these tactics which Silver draws from his own experience as a management consultant. Advising a small business manager to raise cash by cutting rent, phone, insurance, legal, advertising, and travel costs is little more than common sense. Yet describing in detail how a number of businesses have successfully done just that is as good as cash.

After cutting costs, Silver says a manager must make a hard decision about what is core to his or her business and what is peripheral, and then spin off the peripheral, while keeping at least 15 percent of the subsidiary. With this tactic, Silver says that individuals can focus energies on the core business while assuring a future capital gain on the peripheral. By following the first two tactics, and thus creating a slimmed-down, back-to-basics, cash-rich company, Silver argues that enough cash and time will be available to proceed to the second two stages of his master strategy: multiplying marketing channels and innovating new products or services.

The value of a small business management book depends less on the general advice it provides than on its specific examples—any one of which may save the reader many times over the cost of the book and the time spent in reading it. Silver’s book is full of such examples and thus well worth the investment.