The Complete Idiot's Guide to MBA Basics

Tom Gorman

Publisher: Alpha, 1998, 387 pages

ISBN: 0-02-862164-6

Keywords: MBA

Last modified: Aug. 5, 2021, 2:19 p.m.

You don't have to get a degree to make your business work!

You're no idiot, of course. At the office you meet your deadlines, schmooze your boss, and turn in quality work. But when it comes to understanding the skills of higher management, you think you need Finance 101!

Relax — class is in recess! The Complete Idiot's Guide® to MBA Basics teaches you everything you need to know about management — but were afraid to ask. You will learn the key concepts of accounting, economics, finance, operations, and marketing — and use them to improve your workplace and your career. In this Complete Idiot's Guide®, you get:

  • Simple tips on how to understand business trends
  • Easy-to-follow advice for improving your company's products, services, and image
  • Guidance on inspiring productivity and allegiance among your staff
  • Case studies of successful business strategies

Discover quick and easy ways to…

  • Understand how the different parts of your company work together
  • Make sense of your company's balance sheet, income statements, and cash-flow statements
  • Analyze economic trends — and how they affect your company
  • Develop a successful marketing plan
  • Improve your sales strategy
  • Boost quality and productivity in all parts of your company
  • Part 1: The Manager's Toolbox
    1. The Meaning of Management
      • What Makes a Good Manager?
      • The Professional Manager
      • The Five Business principles Every Manager Must Know
      • Value: What Customers Pay For
      • Let's Get Organized
      • Competitive Advantage
      • Control Means Never Having to Say You Lost It
      • Profitability: You Gotta Have It
      • Remember The Big Five
      • The Least You Need to Know
    2. The Seven Skills of Management
      • Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
      • Goal-Setting: Where To?
      • A Professional Decision-Making Process
      • Delegate All You Can
      • Support Your People
      • Communication: Important Beyond Words
      • Controlling to Plan
      • The Least You Need to Know
    3. Anatomy of a Business
      • The Parts of a Business
      • Finance Controls the Money
      • Accounting Counts the Money
      • Operations Makes What the Company Sells
      • Marketing Sells to Groups
      • Sales Brings in the Money
      • Management Information Keeps Everyone Informed
      • Support Functions Do the Rest
      • Putting It All Together: The Org Chart
      • What About Small Companies?
      • The Least You Need to Know
    4. Managing People Effectively
      • What Does Human Resources Do?
      • Hiring the Right Person for the Job
        • Advertising the Position
        • Interviewing Candidates
        • Checking References
        • Extending the Offer
        • Getting New Employees Oriented
      • Dealing With Problem Employees
        • Take Performance Appraisals Seriously
        • When It's Time to Go: Firing an Employee
      • Ensuring Fairness and Employee Safety
        • Employee Grievances
        • Employee Assistance Programs
        • Job Postings
        • Promotions, Raises, and Career Advancement
      • The Least You Need to Know
    5. Managing Yourself on the Job
      • Beyond Job Knowledge
      • Time Is Not on Your Side
      • Quick Time Management
      • Now Where Did I Put That?
      • Phone Power
        • Incoming Calls
        • Outgoing Calls
      • Powerful Presentations
        • Prepare Your Material
        • Visual Aids
        • Prepare Yourself
        • Prepare the Room and Equipment
      • All About Meetings
      • The Least You Need to Know
  • Part 2: How It All Operates
    1. It's the Economy
      • Our National Economy: As Easy as C + I + G
        • What Happened to Gross National Product?
        • Imports and Exports: Easy Come, Easy Go
        • Can Exports Move an Economy?
      • Growth Is Good
      • GDP: It's All Connected
        • What Goes Up, Must Come Down
        • Tracking the Business Cycle
        • Vicious and Virtuous Cycles
      • The Government's Role
        • What Does the Government Want?
        • The Inflation-Unemployment Trade-Off
        • Economic Policy
      • Fiscal Policy: Taxing and Spending
      • Monetary Policy: Money Makes the World Go 'Round
        • The Role of the Fed
        • Moving Rates to Get Things Moving
        • Buy! Sell!
        • When the Fed Talks
      • The Least You Need to Know
    2. Going by the Numbers: Economic Indicators
      • What Are the Key Indicators?
      • The Biggest Indicator: Economic Growth Rate
      • Buying Power: Prices and Inflation
      • The Cost of Money: Interest Rates
      • Out of Work: Unemployment
      • Safety and Security: Consumer Confidence
      • Settling Down: Housing Starts and Sales
      • Shop 'Till You Drop: Retail Sales and New Car Sales
      • Watching Wall Street: The Stock Market
      • What to Watch for When You Watch
      • The Least You Need to Know
    3. Getting Down to Business: Operations Management
      • Managing Your Resources
      • Cost-Benefit Analysis: What Is It Worth?
      • Too Much of a Good Thing: The Law of Diminishing Returns
      • Counting Costs: Fixed and Variable Costs
      • Size Matters: Economies of Scale
      • Come Together, Go Apart: Centralization and Decentralization
      • How Much Centralization Is Good?
      • You'll See These Concepts, if You Look
      • The Least You Need to Know
    4. Decisions, Decisions: Analytical Tools for Operations
      • The Managers's Toolbox
      • Break-Even Analysis
      • Finding the Break-Even Point
      • Cross-Over Analysis
      • Planning and Scheduling Tools
        • The Critical Path to Project Management
        • Getting the Picture
        • Getting PERT
      • Decision Trees: More Visual Aids
      • Use as Many as You Can
      • The Least You Need to Know
  • Part 3: All About Money
    1. Meet Your Balance Sheet
      • Assets, Liabilities, and Owner's Equity: You Need 'Em All
      • Meet the Balance Sheet
      • A Sample Balance Sheet
      • A Tour of the Assets
        • Cash
        • Marketable Securities
        • Accounts Receivable and Bad Debt
        • Inventories
        • Property, Plant, and Equipment
        • Land
        • Prepayments and Deferred Charges
        • Intangibles
      • The Major Liabilities
        • Accounts Payable
        • Notes Payable
        • Accrued Expenses Payable
        • Federal Income and Other Taxes Payable
        • Current Portion of Long-Term Debt
        • Long-Term Debt
      • Owner's Equity
        • Stock
        • Preferred Stock
        • Common Stock
        • Additional Paid-in Capital
        • Retained Earnings
      • The Least You Need to Know
    2. Making a Statement: Income and Cash Flow
      • Introducing the Income Statement
      • A Tour Through the Income Statement
        • Sales
        • Cost of Goods Sold
        • Gross Income
        • Selling, General, and Administrative Expense (SG&A)
        • Depreciation Expense
        • Operating Income
        • Other Expenses
        • Interest Expense
        • Other Income
        • Income Before Taxes
        • Provision for Income Taxes
        • Net Income (Loss)
      • Get Insights Into Income
      • How Are Your Employees Doing?
      • The Cash Flow Statement
        • Easy Come, Easy Go: Cash Flow
        • A Sample Cash Flow Statement
        • Getting Reconciled
        • Go With the Cash Flow
      • The Least You Need to Know
    3. The Big Picture: Financial Analysis
      • Let's Get Analytical: Financial Ratios
      • Liquidity Ratios
        • Working Capital
        • Current Ratio
        • Quick Ratio
        • Accounts Receivable Turnover
        • Collection Period
        • Inventory Turnover
        • Days' Sales on Hand
      • Solvency Ratios
        • Debt-to-Equity Ratio
        • Debt Ratio
        • Times Interest Earned
      • Profitability Ratios
        • Gross Margin
        • Operating Margin
        • Net Margin
        • Asset Turnover
        • Return on Assets
        • Return on Investment
      • Keep You Pencils — and Eyes — Sharp
      • The Least You Need to Know
    4. Look at the Books: Accounting Systems
      • The Major Ledgers
      • The Double-Entry System
        • What About the Financial Statements?
        • The Accountant's Opinion
      • Accounting Treatment of Assets
      • Accounting for Inventory
        • FIFO and LIFO
        • FIFO Effects
        • LIFO Effects
        • Which Method Should You Use?
      • Accounting for Depreciation
        • Straight-Line Depreciation
        • Double Declining Balance
        • Sum of the Years' Digits
        • Comparing the Three Methods of Depreciation
        • Matching Depreciation to Productive Life
      • The Least You Need to Know
    5. Making Investment Decisions
      • Time Is Money
        • A Present Value Table
      • Major Business Investment Decisions
        • Investment in Plant and Equipment
        • Acquisition of a Company
        • GIGO, Once Again
      • Three Ways to Analyze Investments
      • Net Present Value
        • Calculating NPV
        • Seeing the Time Value of Money
      • Internal Rate of Return
        • Figuring the Itgernal rate of return
      • Payback Period
      • Pick a Rate, but Not Just Any Rate
        • Using the Opportunity Cost
        • Using the Cost of Capital
        • What's the Cost of Equity?
        • Calculate the Cost of Capital
        • Beyond the Numbers
      • The Lease-Versus-Buy Decision
      • Crunch Those Numbers With a Spreadsheet
      • The Least You Need to Know
    6. Budget Basics
      • What Are Budgets and Why Do You Need Them?
      • How Budgets Really Work
      • Sales Budgets and Variance Reports
        • A Sample Sales Budget and Variance Report
        • How to read a Sales Variance Report
        • Year-over-Year Variances
      • Expense Budgets and Variance Reports
        • How to Read an Expense Variance Report
      • Cost Control
        • Radical Surgery
      • Take Credit Management Seriously
      • How to Manage Credit Aggressively
        • The Credit Approval Process
        • When Things Go Wrong, Collection gets Tough
        • Getting Very Seriously
      • Stay On Top of Your Finances
      • The Least You Need to Know
  • Part 4: To Market, to Market, to Sell and Sell Big
    1. Ready, Aim, Sell
      • Marketing, Sales — What's the Difference?
      • Commercial Versus Consumer Sales
      • Marketing Strategy Basics
      • Sales Tactics, Summarized
      • Translating Sales Goals Into Marketing Plans
        • Increase Your Prices
        • Sell More Existing Products to Current Customers
        • Sell New Products to Current Customers
        • Sell Existing Products to New Customers
        • Sell New Products to New Customers
      • Product Differentiation
        • Improved Performance
        • Improved Appearance
        • Improved Image
      • Marketing Basics
        • Who Drives Your Company?
        • The Product Adoption Curve
        • The Product Life Cycle
      • The Least You Need to Know
    2. Who Are Your Customers, Anyway?
      • What Is a Market?
      • Divide and Conquer: Market Segmentation Strategies
      • Why Do Market Research?
      • Who Needs Market Research?
      • The Two Types of Market Research
      • Creating a Market Research Study
        • Define Your Goal
        • Design the Study
        • Develop the Questionnaire
        • Dos and Don'ts of Questionnaire Design
        • Fielding the Questionnaire
        • Analysis and presentation of Results
      • Powerful Presentations Pack a Punch
      • The Least You Need to Know
    3. The Five Ps of Marketing
      • The Marketing Mix Made Easy
      • Product Is Paramount
      • Pricing Problems
        • Pricing Strategies
        • Mix Pricing Strategies
      • Packaging Presents Your Products
      • A Proper Place Produces Profits
      • Promotion Boosts Purchases
      • Proper Positioning Prevents Poor Performance
      • The Least You Need to Know
    4. You Can Understand Advertising (and that's a Promise!)
      • What Is Advertising and What Does It Do?
      • Components of Advertising
      • Ad Message: Say What?
        • Hot Copy
        • A Few Words on Copywriting
      • Money: Your Advertising Budget
      • Media: Who's Watching?
      • Consider the Demographics
      • Other Media Characteristics
      • Promotional Tools
      • Public Relations Programs
      • The Least You Need to Know
    5. Selling to Customers and Keeping Them Happy
      • Types of Sales
      • The Sales Process
        • Prospecting: On the Hunt
        • Problem-Solving and Presenting: Show and Ask
        • Persuasion: Overcoming Objections
      • Organizing a Sales Force
        • Sales Force Size: When Is Bigger Better?
        • Sales Force Alignment: Three Choices
      • Compensating and Motivating Your Sales Force
      • Supporting a Sales Force
      • Customer Service
      • A Few Words on Sales Training
      • The Least You Need to Know
    6. Product Development: Pioneers at Work
      • The Value of Cross-Functional Teams
      • The Product Development Process
      • Step One: Get a Good Idea
        • Listen to Your Customer
        • Ask Your Salespeople
        • Watch Your Competitors
      • Step Two: Test the Concept
      • Step Three: Design the Prototype and Product
      • Step Four: Test the product
      • Step Five: Do a Market Test
      • Step Six: Launch the Product
      • Know When to Stop
      • Extending Your Line
      • What About R&D?
      • Do It Now!
      • What's New?
      • The Least You Need to Know
  • Part 5: Steering the Business into the Future
    1. Charting a Course With Strategic Planning
      • What Is Strategic Planning?
      • Define the Company's Goals
        • Define Your Business Broadly
        • How Will You Know You've Arrived?
        • Consider the Sales-Growth Strategies
      • Analyze the Company's Environment
        • Customers and Prospects
        • Competitors
        • Suppliers
        • Regulatory and Social Change
        • Economic Trends
        • Add It Up
      • Consider the Company's Resources
        • Profitability and Growth
        • People Are the Company
        • Productive Capacity
        • Other Resources
      • Develop Action Steps
      • Implement the Steps
      • Strategic Planning Guidelines
        • Set a Timeframe
        • get Everyone Involved
        • Who Needs a Plan?
      • The Least You Need to Know
    2. Information Please
      • Why Information Has Become a Strategic Resource
      • What Exactly Is the Information Age?
      • The Intelligence Pyramid
      • Using Information to Gain Competitive Advantage
        • Financial Information: Where's the Money?
        • Marketing Information: What Do Customers Want?
      • Information Flows
      • Securing Corporate Knowledge
      • Exploiting Corporate Knowledge
        • Apply Corporate Knowledge to New Products
        • Apply Corporate Knowledge to Your Processes
      • The Role of MIS
      • The Least You Need to Know
    3. Mind Your Ps and Qs: Productivity and Quality
      • What Is Productivity?
      • Measuring Productivity
        • Calculating Worker Productivity
        • Calculating Machine Productivity
      • More, More! Faster, faster!
      • Boosting Employee Skills and Motivation
        • Paying for Production
        • What's the Motivation?
      • Improving Equipment
      • Give Them Better Methods
      • What Is Quality Anyway?
      • Quality Assurance
      • How to Control Quality
      • Developing Quality Standards
        • What About Zero Defects?
        • What Are Quality Standards?
      • Applying Quality Standards
      • Creating a Corporate "Culture of Quality"
      • Tools for Quality Control
        • Supplier Programs
        • Quality Circles
        • Control Charts
      • The Challenge of global Competition
      • The Least You Need to Know
    4. Doing Well by Doing Good
      • Society, Business, and the Law
      • Business Law
        • Anti-Trust
        • Consumer Protection
        • Product Liability
        • Bankruptcy
        • Business Organization
        • Contracts
        • Real Estate and Insurance
        • Employment
        • Intellectual Property
        • Securities Regulation
        • Uniform Commercial Code
        • Taxation
      • Rules and Regulations
      • What Does This Mean to Managers?
      • About Business Ethics
      • Hot Legal and Ethical Topics
      • Do the Right Thing
      • The Least You Need to Know
    5. Career Management in a Changing World
      • What Is the Goal of Career Management?
      • Take Care of Yourself
      • Plan Ahead and Have a Plan "B"
      • Know the Environment
      • Meanwhile, Out in the Real World
      • Be Promotable ­— and Employable
      • Crank Up Your Performance and Gain Visibility
        • Work Hard
        • Learn the Business
        • Project a Positive, Problem-Solving Image
        • Exhibit Solid Personal Habits
      • Ways to Increase Your Visibility
      • The Job Search
        • Constant Readiness
        • All-Out Effort
        • Flexible Approaches
        • Emotional Supports
      • Should You Get an MBA?
      • The Least You Need to Know
  1. Management and Business Organizations
    • Banking
    • Career
    • Finance and Accounting
    • General Management
    • Human Resource Management
    • Manufacturing and Operations Management
    • Marketing and Sales
    • MIS and Information
    • Strategic Planning
  2. MBA Lingo


The Complete Idiot's Guide to MBA Basics

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Mediocre **** (4 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:25 a.m.

I had high expectations on this book. Unfortunately, it ain't even funny. Read Silbiger instead.


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