Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack

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Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
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Take an ordinary business. A bike shop. An auction company. An ice cream parlor. A sock manufacturer. In thoroughly mundane businesses like these, an entrepreneur must outsmart the multitudes of competitors, leap to the head of the pack, and become a dominant Alpha Dog.

Exactly how does an everyday company distinguish itself in the marketplace, generate much higher sales than its competitors, and earn the lasting loyalty of customers and employees? Is it cutting-edge products? Brilliant service? Ingenious branding?

Donna Fenn, a twenty-year veteran of Inc. magazine, has discovered the people who have the answers. In a personal and probing style, she introduces you to eight Alpha Dogs. These men and women share their solutions and insights on how to rise to the top, despite multiple competitors, from Chinese manufacturers to Wal-Mart.

Readers will meet:

  • Chris Zane, an intense, ambitious father of three boys. His Branford, Connecticut, retail bike shop has flourished among Wal-Mart, Sports Authority, and independent bike stores. He's done it by seeking out new markets and perfecting the art of customer service.

  • Deb Weidenhamer, a tough woman in a male-dominated industry who transformed a traditional auction company with cutting-edge technology. While her competitors were still fretting about eBay, she was using the online auction giant as a training ground for her own innovative Web site.

  • Amy Simmons, a former premed student who fell in love with the ice cream business in Boston and then founded her own ice cream parlor in Austin, Texas. With twelve Amy's Ice Creams stores in Austin, Amy's is the Austin hometown favorite, despite her deep-pocketed rivals, Ben & Jerry's and Cold Stone Creamery.

In accessible, conversational style, Donna Fenn tells each entrepreneur's personal story, shares their winning formulas, and offers nuts-and-bolts advice and practical tips. Alpha Dogs is a lively handbook for every current and aspiring entrepreneur.


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Required Reading for ANY Small Business

User Review  - Mark O. - Borders

I cannot say enough about this book! It's got amazing case studies, is fantastically written, and has top notch research that goes to the marrow of what makes each business ALPHA. B/c it's written by ... Read full review

Alpha dogs: how your small business can become a leader of the pack

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Fenn (Inc . magazine) relates eight small-business success stories in a casual, conversational style. Beginning each chapter with the company name, business type, location, revenues, number of ... Read full review


1Lead the Pack
2Seduce Your Customers
3Convert Your Employees into True Believers
4Transform with Technology
5Stake a Hometown Claim
6Innovate the Mundane
9Embrace Reinvention
10Alpha Dog DNA
About the Author
Praise for Alpha Dogs

7Market Your Brand Inside and Out
8Build a Village

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About the author (2009)

Donna Fenn is a long-time contributing editor at Inc. magazine and a small business evangelist. She lives in Pelham, New York.

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