KOSBE Executive Director Releases Her First Book, Startup Savvy, to Help Small Businesses Stay in Business and Succeed

May 27, 2011

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the release of Startup Savvy: Strategies for Optimizing Small Business Survival and Success written by Aundrea Y. Wilcox, MBA, executive director of the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE).

Unlike typical business leadership and self-help books, Startup Savvy is complete with relatable real-world entrepreneurial stories combined with solid advice from an everyday practitioner of small business who encourages readers to seek help from a variety of qualified professionals and ultimately be willing to pay for particular support, rather than try to do everything themselves. The book highlights lessons learned and best practices from seven actual local small businesses that are also past KOSBE Award winners.

“Starting a business is tough,” Wilcox writes in the book. “Surviving the startup phase is even tougher. An alarming number of small businesses do not manage to stay afloat beyond five years, because of unplanned and misdirected spending, short-sighted planning, under and over reaction to competitor moves, ineffective marketing and because the owners fail to perform in functions they genuinely believe they are experts, whether it is finance and administration, marketing and sales, personnel compensation, or management and operations.”

The small business stories of challenge and triumph featured in the book in order of appearance are: Trigger’s BBQ Sauce and Salsas, Edo’s Sushi Bar and Grill, Tutoring Solutions, Elixir Media Group, Lake Pointe Advertising and Awards, Sugar Mama Waxing and Beauty Studio and MaxMax Coffee Shop. Startup Savvy also points to other past KOSBE Award winners, as well as several other local small businesses as examples for doing the right things.

Douglas S. Kirkland, former Kingsport Chamber Board of Director’s President and former president of both AFG Industries and Goodwill Industries of Tennessee-Virginia, has contributed a chapter in the book entitled, Baker’s Dozen 13 Marketing Musts, in which he comments on 13 critical areas of a business (big or small) that every owner must monitor and focus on at one point or another during the natural small business lifecycle.

“It takes real guts to throw a steady paycheck overboard and become your own boss,” said Wilcox. “If entrepreneurs and small business owners will commit to doing just some of the things discussed in this book, in the early years of starting their business, they will increase the likelihood of attaining their dream of long-term small business success and subsequent profitability.”

Those who read Startup Savvy are assured they will be able to: steer clear of common pitfalls and mistakes; learn from real entrepreneurs about some behind the scenes aspects of starting and running a small business; save themselves considerable pain, money and precious time; and outperform and outlast their competition.

Miles Burdine, president & CEO of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “Aundrea’s new book increases awareness for the value of joining your Kingsport Chamber and demonstrates the caliber of service that our members and non-members can receive through our unique small business development and entrepreneurship program.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with Aundrea and the KOSBE team over the past year,” said Larry Burris, president of Lake Pointe Advertising and Awards. “KOSBE has been instrumental in helping Lake Pointe meet the challenges that small businesses face in the growth of their businesses. I sat down with Aundrea in September 2010 to talk about my business when she was in the final stages of writing her book Startup Savvy. I was impressed with the detail of her knowledge of our business, but more so with her understanding of the many challenges and issues small businesses in our region face each day.”

Wilcox is currently the senior business counselor of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) Kingsport Affiliate Office, and executive director of KOSBE at the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce. In her role as a professional small business advisor, she helps navigate startups and existing businesses through the sometimes rough waters of small business ownership and management.

Since being hired at the Kingsport Chamber in July 2006, Wilcox has provided one-on-one technical assistance to more than 500 individuals or businesses. She holds a master’s degree from Brenau University, Gainesville, Ga.; and has more than 20 years of wide-ranging business experience in the full-service hotel, environmental consulting, automotive, woodworking machinery, flat glass and nonprofit sectors.

Startup Savvy was released May 3, 2011, by PublishAmerica in Baltimore and printed in the United States. The 18-chapter, 230-page book retails for $24.95 and can be purchased locally at Bubba’s Book Swap in downtown Kingsport or online from most major retailers including but not limited to: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Borders and Books-A-Million.

In 2009, the Tennessee District Office U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) presented the Women in Business Champion Award to Wilcox, an honor bestowed to select individuals or organizations who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Previously, she testified at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Contracting and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business in Washington, D.C., and served as a session moderator on Small Business Incubation at the 55th Annual Tennessee Governor's Conference on Economic & Community Development.

To read the author’s blog and learn more about her book visit startupsavvy.biz, or follow her on Facebook, Startup Savvy, Twitter @StartupSavvy, and LinkedIn, Aundrea Wilcox, MBA.

Wilcox and her husband, Lonnie Salyer, reside in Kingsport with their two children.

It is the intent of KOSBE to be the go-to organization in the Tri-Cities for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, by creating and developing the right tools and resources and cultivating the right partnerships. In partnership with Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC) at ETSU, KOSBE can more effectively serve the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For a complete listing of services, tools and resources, visit kosbe.org.

The cooperative agreement between KOSBE and East Tennessee State University is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Additional funding is provided by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state of Tennessee.

To schedule your free confidential counseling appointment in a private setting by TSBDC-certified counselors in person, online by phone or e-mail call Marybeth McLain at (423) 392.8825 or e-mail, mmclain@kosbe.org.

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at ETSU Kingsport Affiliate Office and your Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), visit tsbdc.org and kosbe.org or call (423) 392.8825. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook, Kosbe – The Small Business Connection, Twitter, @KOSBEConnection, LinkedIn group, KOSBE — The Small Business Connection and our YouTube Channel, KOSBEConnection.