Published on FranchiseDirect.com, February 10, 2009

Today we’re going to roll out a new feature on the Franchise Direct Franchising blog: the Franchise Book review. The first instalment is Be A Shortcut: The Secret Fast Track to Business Success by Scott G Halford.

The trick in becoming a Shortcut is to frame yourself in the same indispensable way as the ATM. All commerce in the world exists because it provides a Shortcut to something or for someone. If you figure out what people want and need to have made more efficient in their lives, and you can provide it, you can nearly always get them to pay you for doing so. 

This is a book that will greatly appeal to entrepreneurs who are looking for an edge over their competition. Halford is a professional speaker and business consultant and his book is designed to help people realize their business potential.

The concept of the book centers around Shortcuts, which the author captures in the beginning of the book with an anecdote about a white water rafting trip that nearly went terribly wrong. After his boat capsized, Halford struggled through choppy white water until a rescuer offered him a lifeline. That rescuer is the epitome of a Shortcut to Halford: someone who provides a vital service without seeking plaudits or attention. He simply did the right thing, and did it well. Be A Shortcut is about bringing a similar ability into the business world.

Halford divides his book into five parts, though those are divided into smaller chapters that present easily-digestible insights into how to become a shortcut.

Halford directs his book at businesspeople and entrepreneurs who are desperately trying to improve their own performance in the office. The antithesis of the Shortcut for Halford is the Bottleneck, a person who clogs up the energies and needs of others.

The author’s core conclusion is that in today’s highly-stressful, intensive workplace, no one has the time to deal with a person who is unprepared – time is money, as the cliché goes. Halford rightly identifies that person who is always there and always reliable as the most essential cog in the big machine of business. He also provides a number of tips about how to become that ineffable business apparatus: the Shortcut. Along the way, he also poses a number of unsaid, instinctive points that elucidate this concept of the Shortcut: like how New Yorkers roving around the city for a lunch will never walk into an empty restaurant. Businesspeople are driven by a similar knowledge derived from the gut, and they always will seek out the shortcut.

With his new book, Scott Halford has tailored a new bit of jargon for the lexicon of commerce that might soon become essential for businessmen and women.

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