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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Local Author Releases Third Book

John B. Vinturella, PhD
Hyde Park resident and author John B. Vinturella recently released his latest book 8 Steps to Starting a Business. John has published two previous books with traditional publishers, but this time has self-published. 

“The publishing industry has changed with the rise of self-publishing. The old-line publishers, rather than screening unsolicited manuscripts would rather contract with self-publishers who have already established a market for their books.”

John received his Ph.D in 1968 from Tulane University, later adding a Master’s Degree from Boston University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. The Ph.D. is in Chemical Engineering, a profession which John did not pursue.

“My dissertation topic was basically designing a chemical plant on the computer. My first permanent job was with IBM, and I was a computer guy for the next 25 years before becoming obsolete.”
John and his wife, Susan Howell, moved to Cincinnati after their home in New Orleans was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. Susan is from Cincinnati but taught Political Science at the University of New Orleans for 31 years while directing the UNO Poll.

John explains how he came to write his current book.  “In 1999 I published a book with Prentice Hall named The Entrepreneur’s Fieldbook. It was a moderate success as a textbook. Since then I have wanted to edit and re-position the material as a trade book, a how-to for prospective entrepreneurs. I am only slightly embarrassed that it took me 18 years to get around to it, but I only recently found the time.”

John says the book is appropriate for anyone considering an entrepreneurial venture or would like to know more about the entrepreneurial process. The “8 Steps” of the title indicates the process can be described as a series of steps, the accomplishment of which leads to a business destined for success. 
Can entrepreneurship be taught?  John says, “Opinions vary widely.  Many of the skills of successful entrepreneurs can be taught, and sensitivity to business opportunity can be sharpened. A thorough and orderly approach to business planning allows us to assess whether an opportunity exists and to chart the best way to take maximum advantage of that opportunity. From there, a hardy individual can decide, with a little less uncertainty, whether or not to pursue that opportunity.”

In explaining how his book differs from others, he says, “A feature of this book is it is centered on the business plan. After some basic concepts are treated, and an opportunity is selected, its evaluation and refinement are treated in the context of the appropriate section of the business plan. It has been my experience that this approach gives a structure to the planning process that makes it less intimidating, and more effective.

“The book also makes liberal use of case studies. After some market research we discuss (often through minicases) the concepts applicable to some stage of the entrepreneurial process; the full cases then "drive home" these concepts by demonstrating them in action.”

John started a wholesale distribution business in 1978 on the north shore of New Orleans. “It was a small town that had never had a building products line like ours at the wholesale level, so it was a fairly high-risk venture. I sold the business after a successful 20-year run to a regional chain.
“Tammany Supply was named a Blue-Chip Enterprise by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1994, and recognized for innovative use of technology in the trade journal, Supply House Times ("The Wizardry of Tammany Supply").” 

John’s first professional job was with IBM in 1966, when he also was working on a dissertation and received his Ph.D. in 1968. He taught Computer Science in New Orleans and the Boston area and, while owning his business, taught Management and Entrepreneurship at two New Orleans universities. John also directed the Family Business Forum at his alma mater. Tulane University.
“My friends joke that I couldn’t hold a job,” he says, “but most of my job changes were voluntary.”
8 Steps to Starting a Business may be found at Joseph‑Beth and at The Booksellers on Fountain Square, and online at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. It also is available as an ebook at Amazon.

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